Council Passes Motion on Lighting Issue

By Brandon HENSLEY

The Crescenta Valley Town Council passed a motion at its Sept. 21 meeting to recommend to LA County an 80% signature threshold for residents who wish to either add or take away lights on their streets.

The motion passed 5-2.

The results of a survey circulated by the County to La Crescenta residents caused the council to grapple with what to do for months before coming to a decision last week. “I am so thankful this is over,” said President Harry Leon, addressing the audience after the motion was voted on.

The survey was given to over 5,000 property owners this summer. County said it received 905 responses. The current threshold for signatures to make a change is 60%, and the results from the survey were basically split on whether residents wanted a higher threshold of 80% or not. Forty-five percent of people who responded said they didn’t want more lighting except for public safety. The Land Use Committee previously recommended a 75% threshold as a compromise.

“Factoring in that the majority who responded wanted to go 80% or higher, the Land Use [Committee] did a compromise and said, okay, why don’t we go with 75%?” said Land Use member James Bodnar.

Councilmember Kyle Studebaker made the motion which passed, that included maintaining the current petition process, but raising the threshold to 80%.

Studebaker said the 75% number was “a compromise, but it’s an arbitrary compromise.”

Also at the meeting, Crescenta Valley Water District general manager Thomas Love spoke to the council and audience about the district’s costs of infrastructure and water supply, but was met with some hard questions afterward about rising rates.

Love was questioned about the shrinking tier system, which is frustrating some customers because it leads to increased rates. Love said the district did a cost of service study, which evaluates the cost of the supply system and spreads it out over its customer classes. CVWD has a methodology that allocates those costs to its consumers.

“When we did that study, we found that our tier brackets are too large given our sources of water. We had to shrink those,” Love said. “We don’t have much ground water to go around.”

Love said the cost of the lower-tier water is affected by the cheapest water.

A couple that attended told Love they were upset with their bill, arguing the costs don’t reflect their usage of water. Love said he would be more than open to hold a workshop for customers with any type of questions, and noted that several recent workshops have only pulled in a handful of people.

The meeting kept members of the CVHS football team around later than they probably wanted as several Falcon players were on hand to offer support for a lighting and seating appeal to the school district. The players, along with CV Principal Linda Junge and resident Alex Stupakis, made their case for council to advocate for funding for extra lighting and permanent seating for the school’s football field.

The school has been making a push for GUSD to allocate funds from Measure S to allow the football team to finally use its own field for home games, instead of what its been doing for years, which is using Glendale High’s Moyse Field.

One of the main points for attaining the funding is so the team, the pep squad, the marching band, and fans won’t have to travel so often.

“[Residents] will no longer have to drive eight to 10 miles for a home game,” Stupakis said. “In many cases, they can walk. For a home game [currently], you have to travel farther than for an away game in La Cañada.”

Council said it would like to advocate for the school, but it wants more detailed information on the logistics so it can draft a more comprehension recommendation.

The next CVTC meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Oct. 19 at the La Crescenta Library, 2809 Foothill Blvd.