Site to Get Face Lift

By Brandon HENSLEY

The site at Markridge Road and Dunsmore Avenue will be getting a makeover, but it will take some time, L.A. County officials said.

During a meeting at the Center for Spiritual Living Monday night, L.A. County Senior Civil Engineer Patricia Wood spoke to a crowd about the changes County plans to make to the Dunsmuir sediment placement site, the goal of which is to permanently contain soil erosion.

The site currently holds large piles of dirt and debris from the after effects of the Station Fire and subsequent floods. Wood said 500,000 cubic yards of material were collected and put into Dunsmuir in after the 2010 rains.

“We want to give back to the community for everything they put up with all those trucks the last couple of years to place that fill in that sediment placement site,” she said.

That, according to Wood, means vegetation, and lots of it. She highlighted different levels of the site, and said which plants and trees would be going where.

In the lower fill, the most visible part, County wants to plant Coast Live Oak trees and sugarbushes. The upper slopes would be blended in with the natural hillside. Dead oleanders would be replaced along the western fence line, and sugarbushes would be put in.

“Each of these zones has its own planting plan of action,” Wood said.

Other plants that will dot the hill will be Mexican Elderberry, California Buckwheat, sagebrush and monkey flower.

The oak trees will hopefully be placed this fall, Wood said.

The entire project is scheduled for completion by April 2013, and the cost will range from  $1.2 million to $1.5 million, according to Public Affairs Manager Kerjon Lee. Much off the cost will depend on the kind of irrigation system County uses.

The payoff could take a while. Wood said it might take upward of 10 to 15 years to see the plan come to fruition.

With the issue regarding the land’s stability, Wood said geotechnical experts have signed off on the landscaping plan.

Residents were allowed to speak afterward, and the reaction was mixed. Some still thought the project was unnecessary. Resident Roger Klemm said the sediment should have been taken elsewhere.

“We have built our city in the middle of nature,” Klemm said. “We’re paying the price for it.”

Dunsmuir has recently undergone improvement. In 2010 a new storm drain was installed, and earlier this year an interim erosion control system was put in.