Golf course final EIR underway

By Charles COOPER

The environmental impact report for the housing project proposed for the Verdugo Hills Golf Course is now in the process of being finalized, accord­ing to a city planning official.

The solicitation of comments during the draft process ended Aug. 19 with more than 250 letters submitted along with public testimony, according to city planning official David Somers.

Environmental consultant Christo­pher Joseph Associates, who produced the DEIR, will prepare the final report with responses to the comments.

Somers said the preparation of the DEIR will probably take at least 90 days, and will come back for a hearing and tentative action by the planning commission. In a parallel track, a sub­division change will be considered.

Final certification of the EIR and ap­proval of the project will rest with the L.A. City Council, which will likely have a new council member seated by that date.

Ten candidates are running for the 2nd District seat representing the Sunland Tujunga area with the elec­tion scheduled for Sept. 22. If no can­didate wins a majority, there will be a runoff between the top two finishers.

Likely front runners are Assembly­man Paul Krekorian, school board member Tamar Galatzan and enter­tainment executive Christine Essel. Essel and Krekorian have been la­beled as carpetbaggers by other can­didates for moving into the district to run.
Most of the candidates questioned at a recent meeting support saving the golf course, though all acknowledge the difficulty of finding enough money to purchase the property.

Owner MWH Development is cur­rently proposing a 229 unit housing development on about half the 58 acre lot, with the remainder offered for open space.

Opposition to the loss of the 50-year old golf course has centered on traffic and congestion issues, as well as the loss of a major recreation asset.

MWH executives have signaled they would be prepared to sell the property for the price they set, but public fund­ing has not been found. Golf course backers have been looking at private resources.

The city of Glendale has participated in discussions about the property, but is not prepared to commit any funds. The county is also participating, but the main financial obligation would be borne by Los Angeles.

Sunland Tujunga community leaders have joined with Crescenta Voice to form a committee to fight to preserve the property. Local resident Richard Toyon has circulated a proposal to turn the property into a regional park, which has substantial support from golf course supporters.