By Mary O’KEEFE
Tonight, Thursday, Feb. 19 the Crescenta Valley Town Council will be hosting a discussion concerning the California High Speed Rail Authority.
The council will host a representative from the Authority as well as a representative from S.A.V.E. (Save Angeles Forest for Everyone), a group of residents from the area that is opposed to the proposed East Corridor section of the high-speed rail routes.
The HSR representative will be the first to present, with a chance given for questions and answers, followed by S.A.V.E. and another chance for Q&A. Then both representatives will be brought forward to discuss the issue together.
The East Corridor would head north out of Burbank, go around Hansen Dam and run through the Angeles National Forest toward Lake Palmdale and would include about 20 miles of tunneling. The proposed routes would directly affect the communities of Shadow Hills, Lake View Terrace, Sunland-Tujunga, La Tuna Canyon and Kagel Canyon.
The HSR is in the process of prequalifying routes for an Environmental Impact Report. For this to happen the Authority needs access to private property within the affected communities. They will conduct environmental tests including collecting soil and water samples.
Residents in those communities recently received letters informing them of the EIR and requesting permission to enter their property.
Although the area of ANF does not directly impact La Crescenta residents, CVTC President Robbyn Battles wanted the issue to be brought to the meeting to bring awareness of what is happening to CV neighbors.
“[HSR] is not going through our backyard but neither is the 710 tunnel,” Battles said. “We have to be sympathetic and empathetic to our neighbors. One day it is going to be us [who need help] and we will want our neighbors’ support.”
In addition to the residences, the affected land houses an equestrian center as well as several hiking trails, camping sites and recreational areas.
The CVTC will also be receiving an update on a petition that is circulating concerning street lights in a La Crescenta neighborhood above Foothill Boulevard. Representatives from the Los Angeles County street and lighting will be on hand to discuss the issue.
Resident Desiree Rabinov, who was recently voted onto the CVTC, first brought the idea of streetlights in the area to the council.
Battles wants to make it clear that the lighting proposal and petition are not CVTC sponsored.
“I want to clarify that the petition being circulated was started by a resident who is now a councilmember but this is not a council petition,” she said.
However the issue will be discussed because residents did initially bring it to the CVTC.
The CVTC meeting is tonight at 7 p.m. at the La Crescenta Library community room, 2809 Foothill Blvd. The CV Youth Town Council will be meeting prior beginning at 6 p.m.