Project to bring Increased Traffic, Say Residents

Posted by on Aug 7th, 2014 and filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

By Michael J. ARVIZU

A proposed construction project by Canyon Park Homes in the 12400 block of Big Tujunga Canyon Road in Tujunga has already raised eyebrows among residents concerned with the area’s fragile infrastructure and narrow roadway.

The project is being billed as similar to one already taking place on Sister Elsie Drive in Tujunga. It has received heavy opposition from residents, who are going as far as the Los Angeles City Council to appeal their case. They fear that the project will bring additional traffic to the neighborhood and risk destabilizing an already fragile hillside, among other concerns.

The proposed build on Big Tujunga Canyon Road was discussed Monday evening at the first of two August meetings of the Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council Land Use Committee.

Residents living along the Big Tujunga Canyon Road project have similar concerns as the Sister Elsie project, mainly revolving around increased traffic.

Robin Dorfman, a Big Tujunga Canyon Road resident, said the project will only increase the amount of traffic on the road. The road is particularly busy, she said, due to the number of schools, churches and sports organizations that use it to get around.

And Dorfman said she has had plenty of close calls while driving on the road.

“They are two-lane roads either way,” she said. “There’s no place for this traffic to go. To me, it is just inconceivable. In the last week, I narrowly missed two accidents on those roads just in normal traffic, people shooting down Tujunga Canyon.”

Residents were made aware of the project when they received letters written by the property owner, Ben Salisbury.

Efforts to reach Salisbury for comment via email were unsuccessful as of deadline Wednesday.

In his letter obtained by the Crescenta Valley Weekly, Salisbury asked his future neighbors what amenities they feel are appropriate to include on the new property, as well as their thoughts on any existing facilities they feel might need to be improved upon.

“It is my goal to work with the community as I plan this new neighborhood, to be as transparent as possible, and to listen carefully to your thoughts and concerns,” Salisbury wrote.

The number of homes that would be built is unknown, but they would be built on 110 acres on property located on the east side of Big Tujunga Canyon Road, between the Tujunga Little League fields to the south, and Camp Louis Routh to the north, a juvenile probation camp.

Although no formal plans, variances or zoning changes have been filed with the city of Los Angeles or Land Use Committee, residents who received the letters are concerned that, like the project on Sister Elsie Drive, this build will be a detriment to residents living nearby.

“Here we go with another developer trying to take our zonings apart,” said Sun Valley resident Frank Buchanan. “I am kind of bothered that he would write letters to the community before he comes to the neighborhood council first.”

Addressing Buchanan’s concerns, Land Use Committee member Cindy Cleghorn attributed the developer’s actions as a trend among developers who intend to invest a large amount of money to develop their properties.

“You’re seeing those who put together projects … want to reach out to the community and hear what the community’s concerns are before they put a lot of investing into planning,” she said. “That’s the stage where this is at. What are all your concerns?”

But like the project on Sister Elsie Drive, Big Tujunga Canyon Road residents are weary that any build in their neighborhoods will increase traffic and destabilize a fragile hillside that is subject to rockslides during wet weather.

“The rains actually washed out that street,” said Liliana Sanchez, a Tujunga resident living on Big Tujunga Canyon Road. “The traffic that would be going through that area … I think it wouldn’t hold that many people.”

Meanwhile, Sunland resident Tomi Bowling formally filed a one-year Sunland-Tujunga development moratorium with the LUC on Monday evening to prevent such builds.

Bowling sits on the Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council and is its first vice president.

The moratorium was filed as California continues to suffer from one its worst droughts in state history. The moratorium would pause construction of new projects that could potentially increase water usage. It would also allow for the community to “review and revise regulations regarding additional housing being built before any new construction is approved or allowed.”

The LUC decided not to make a final decision Monday and to table the issue for a future meeting.

“I was surprised they were not more welcoming to the idea than I thought they would be,” Bowling said.

Categories: News

2 Responses for “Project to bring Increased Traffic, Say Residents”

  1. Douglas Feay says:

    I am a retired engineering geologist. I retired from the State of California Water Quality Resources Control Board in 2011. I am a resident of Sunland. I was also the Region 6 manager for the state stormwater program. I have reviewed over 200 EIR reports for large and small construction project. The largest project I reviewed was for a Sun Cal development of over 11,000 homes. I have looked at the site proposed for the Canyon Park Development and have some concerns.
    1) Earthquake hazards- about a mile to the west of the development site is a “Special Studies Zones.” This zone trends towards the canyon where the proposed 242 homes will be located. There will need to be a very in-depth geologic report to find out if any active faults are within the proposed development.
    2) Stormwater Runoff- 242 homes and all the hardscape that goes with that large of a development will generate a lot of stormwater runoff. Currently there is no system in that area large enough to handle that amount of runoff. To put that stormwater in the Big Tujunga Wash would be very expensive, if the Water Board would even write a permit for it.
    Thank You –Douglas Feay

  2. Diane MacInnes says:

    No new housing developments in drought stricken areas should be allowed. In addition, we must stop the destruction of the rural quality of our neighborhood. The mini city put in at the base of the canyon by Mt. Gleason is an atrocity – enormous homes using air-conditioning, and nearly no space around them. Traffic is really getting to be a big problem due to the continual build up of new construction. Because of the backup of cars on Tujunga Canyon Blvd, it takes me longer to just get to the freeway now than it takes me to get from the on ramp at Lowell to my exit in Pasadena. We cannot afford more energy and water consuming housing in Sunland Tujunga.

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