Voters Needed in Sunland-Tujunga
There is a very important election this weekend for Sunland-Tujunga voters – it will determine the leaders of the next Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council for a two-year term. We are at a critical juncture where everything could change in our beloved community if voters do not support this election.
There are 21 seats on the STNC board and, of those, 13 current or former board members are running for reelection. The rest are primarily part of a slate of candidates (called “Moving Sunland-Tujunga Forward”) who have been recruited for this purpose without previous experience on the board or in one of our local organizations. They say they have “common goals” but we’re not sure what they are. What we do know is that one of the slate’s founders is pro-development, which is something our board has fought long and hard against. We don’t want to see more residential developments on the hillsides, we don’t want to see traffic increasing on the 210 Freeway during rush hour, and we don’t want to see our native wildlife habitats that are so precious and few in L.A. disappearing.
Those of us who have served on the STNC board have put in hundreds of hours of our personal time to show up at hearings before the City of L.A. to oppose “McMansions,” close down illegal “pot shops” and to fight “the powers that be” who want to take away the rural flavor that we love in our Sunland-Tujunga community. If the “slate” is elected (and that’s a very real possibility), we will lose our representation because the new candidates have not shown any proven commitment to serving these causes.
I want to send out an alert to those residents in Sunland and Tujunga to get out and vote for the leadership that will preserve and protect the community’s efforts, and continue its long history of fighting City Hall. We need your votes and, without them, we could lose what we love about our lifestyle.
Please vote between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. at the Vons parking lot in Tujunga. Bring proof of residency/work in the Sunland-Tujunga community. Arrive early at noon for free refreshments and be part of our STNC community.
Region 1 Rep, STNC
Recommends Candidate Clark
I want to share three reasons with you to vote for Krystee Clark as president of the Sunland- Tujunga Neighborhood Council.
1) Krystee Clark comes from a family devoted to public service. Her father is a lawyer and a judge in his local community and her mother was voted Woman of the Year for her involvement in her local service organizations. Krystee is a born leader with exceptional communication skills and organizational expertise with experience in the private sector as well as public service. She is able to bring about consensus within divergent groups in the community because she believes in listening to the concerns of every side of an issue. She offers respect and the right to be heard, ferreting out facts when making her decisions based on common sense and the needs of the community.
2) Krystee Clark is incredibly experienced and has served on the Neighborhood Council for the last four years and has widened her understanding of city hall by serving on the executive committee as an elected budget advocate giving recommendations for the city budget to our mayor and city council. She graduated from the first ever Civic University and was instrumental in conducting a citywide survey of residents and is intimately aware of our local concerns and ongoing issues.
3) Krystee Clark is vitally concerned with the issue of transparency in local government. Since serving on the Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council she has been responsible for videoing and posting hundreds of local meetings as well as community events in order to keep her constituents informed. She has authored numerous Community Impact Statements regarding high-risk local issues such as the threat of the high-speed rail, the Rim of The Valley protection, the historical importance of the Tuna Canyon Detention Station and the protection of our wildlife and open spaces.
Please get informed. We have many risks to our local quality of life and Krystee Clark is the only experienced and dedicated candidate for the job. I am asking you to come out and vote on April 2 and tell your family and friends. The future of our one-of-a-kind community depends on it.
Dr. Constance Gibson
40-year local resident and retired principal for LAUSD
Not a NIMBY Question
In the [March 17 Viewpoints], Michael Powers shared his thoughts about neighbors who raise questions about or actually oppose a building project. He also expanded the definition of NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard). According to Powers, if you question or oppose a project it is because you are envious of the developer.
In the case of the Verdugo Hills Golf Course I haven’t heard anyone express envy or jealousy of the property owner. In fact, both the property owner and his architect seem to be good people.
What I have heard expressed are the justifiable concerns of families that live nearby, as well as the motorists who use Tujunga Canyon Boulevard and adjacent streets. They worry about existing traffic on a street that was never intended to carry the volume it has now, let alone having to compete with an additional 442 vehicles. And the traffic on Tujunga Canyon Boulevard inevitably impacts the 210 Freeway, it’s on and off ramps, as well as surrounding local streets.
Planning decisions by the City of Los Angeles impact all of us here in the foothills, whether you live east or west of Lowell Avenue. So do the recommendations made by the city’s Dept. of Transportation. This isn’t about envy. It’s about safety issues, loss of recreation, loss of watershed and open space, and the ultimate impact a development will have on our day-to-day lives.
We’re not NIMBYs. We’re tax-paying families that want to maintain a quality of life that makes living here in the foothills worthwhile.
Note: The TCBlvd traffic figures above do not include the Canyon Hills project (220 houses/440 vehicles) already approved by the City of LA. The Canyon Hills entrance will be located about a mile west of the VHGC.
Mountain Oaks – Another Rockhaven?
For eight years Rockhaven park has been on the books with no benefits.
And now, in the same meetings where [the City of Glendale] is discussing selling this park property to become a mall or mental facility, they are negotiating to buy property at Mountain Oaks. They call Rockhaven “surplus property” but [yet] are in talks to buy more?
Councilwoman Laura Friedman says she wants Mountain Oaks to be out of private hands to protect it from development. What they are planning to do with Rockhaven proves that doesn’t guarantee anything. And no public access has been allowed at Rockhaven where people had been walking just years before. I can’t imagine what the City would have to do to the Mountain Oaks property to protect the public from it.
The economy is looking up. The community is willing to work for it. At a time when “preservation” is considered leaving only a façade, we have buildings that retain original interiors from the 1930s. We have an opportunity to do something great.
Please allow Rockhaven to be opened as the public historic park it was purchased to be.
Joanna Linkchorst, President
Friends of Rockhaven
Opposes Rockhaven RFP
The Crescenta Valley Community Association would like to restate its position regarding the property known as Rockhaven located at 2713 Honolulu Ave. in Montrose.
We were saddened and frustrated with the recent Council vote to issue a Request for Proposal inviting development plans for a medical/mental health related facility and/or a boutique lifestyle commercial center, in lieu of any other concepts and despite continued pleas from the community for Glendale to honor its original promises. We feel our voices have not been heard and that the public has been shut out of the process.
As you know, it is the vision of the Crescenta Valley community to keep Rockhaven for public use, the same as all the other facilities of this nature in Glendale like the Doctor’s House, Catalina Verdugo Adobe, Casa Adobe de San Rafael and Le Mesnager Barn. No other facility like this in Glendale is being held to the standard now being required of Rockhaven to “pay for itself” or to obtain a private partner in order to survive.
For some odd reason, Rockhaven is viewed by the City of Glendale as an albatross around the neck of the taxpayers rather than a valuable asset and an opportunity to showcase it along with the other historically significant venues. The CVCA can imagine that some day a group of students or seniors may hop on a small bus or trolley (or take a self-guided tour) to visit these special locations to learn and appreciate their local history. Rockhaven should be part of that educational experience.
Unfortunately, the RFP as written does not allow for submissions of any other concepts other than medical or boutique designs with possible housing components. Nowhere does it suggest that a public park, museum, community building, educational center, student/teen/senior facility, event venue or any other use could be appropriate nor does it describe that any alternative ideas would even be considered. This is unfair.
In addition, the unusual point system appears to have been created to achieve a desired outcome as well as to reward the “qualified firms” if they offer to purchase the property at a profit to the City. Let’s be clear – the resale of the property was never part of the original plan and, once sold, Glendale would lose all rights to how the land is used, forever.
Instead, Glendale should consider that there are numerous ways to make a return on investment and a quick sale isn’t always the best option. Lease and concessionaire agreements can bring in money over time so there is a steady revenue stream that the City can rely on, long after the loan is paid off. The Friends of Rockhaven have already been approached by a number of businesses that are interested in such an arrangement.
At the same time that Rockhaven may be sold off, Glendale has recognized the need for park space in central and south Glendale with the allocation of DIF funds and embarking on the massive Space 134 project. The challenge is finding available open space in Glendale to provide for the city residents as density is increasing. Rockhaven is a parcel of a size that is otherwise unavailable. To sell off park space anywhere within the City at a time when more is sought is short sighted. To remove it completely and lease the land for $1 seems even more imprudent.
The Crescenta Valley Community Association respectfully requests that the Glendale City Council revise the language in the RFP to be more broad in scope so that a diverse number of ideas can be brought forward for consideration. Please do this in good faith. We think you owe the residents of the Crescenta Valley this much.
Steering Committee, Crescenta Valley Community Association
Editor’s note: CV Weekly was copied on this correspondence to the City of Glendale.