Here’s the article we wrote for the new newspaper “Voice of the Village”. http://voiceofthevillage.org/images/vtv_current_issue.pdf
They goofed and omitted our article from the first edition. So here it is, for your reading pleasure.
Getting to Know the STA
By Abby Diamond
With the motto – Be Involved – Stay Informed – the Sunland-Tujunga Alliance was established in 2005 for the purpose of advocating for appropriate and carefully planned land use and community improvement. We accomplish our goals through volunteer and community based activities. The STA relies on the Foothill Boulevard Corridor Specific Plan to guide our actions and our communication with the City.
We are currently working with Glendale-Crescenta Volunteers Organized in Conserving the Environment (V.O.I.C.E.) to Save the Verdugo Hills Golf Course. A developer intends to transform our local gem of a golf course into a gated community with 229 luxury homes. Blindly allowing this development to take place would greatly affect all of us with more traffic and more strain on our already overburdened infrastructure. The loss of green space and affordable recreation will negatively affect our quality of life now and for future generations. If we do not save this space now, it will be gone – forever. Go to www.savethegolfcourse.org for more information about the community wide effort to save the golf course.
Just recently we filed an appeal with City Planning to protest the expansion of another automobile repair business at the corner of Apperson and Plainview. Did you know that in the 2 block section of Foothill Boulevard at Apperson Street, 23 auto use businesses already exist? Our specific plan calls for limited auto uses and encourages a variety of pedestrian oriented shops and services. We want Sunland-Tujunga to thrive with appropriate local shopping and not to be known as a “used car and auto repair community.”
In addition to our interest in land use and planning, we realize it is important to have effective and strong representation in our City Council district. To that end, we are facilitating communication between the candidates who are competing to fill the vacant Council seat left behind by Wendy Greuel. In cooperation with Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council (STNC) we sponsored a candidate forum on August 8th. We have also recently held public Q&A meetings with each of the candidates who are in the run-off. Another candidate forum will be held on November 7th at North Valley City Hall. We urge all residents to attend. There will be a “Meet and Greet” beginning at Noon and the actual Forum will begin at 1:00 PM. Although the STA does not support any one candidate, we want all residents to be informed so they can confidently cast their vote for the candidate of their choosing.
Did you know we have a cemetery right here in Sunland-Tujunga? Our Pioneer Cemetery is old and needs regular upkeep. We’ve been organizing volunteers to help with monthly clean-up events on the first Saturday of the month. The next volunteer clean-up day is November 7 starting at 9 AM. We encourage everyone to participate in community beautification. Volunteering can be very rewarding!
A lot of folks ask us about the old K-Mart site located at Woodward and Foothill. That very important 11.5 acre parcel of land is still owned by the Sade Family Trust. In 2004 the Home Depot Corporation signed a 40 year lease with them. After a 4 year battle, our community defeated Home Depot in January 2009. The property sits vacant as Home Depot continues to pay rent. The Target store chain is interested in the site, as well as Mission Community College. The college has expressed interest in seeking a commercial partner to help develop the location. A combined retail and college use would provide for local educational opportunities as well as much needed local shopping and services in accordance with the Foothill Boulevard Corridor Specific Plan’s requirements to provide for a pedestrian friendly, vibrant commercial experience. We’ve waited this long, so we’ll try to be patient and see what happens!
Over the past 4 years, we have successfully navigated the complicated processes of city government and we are known as the “go-to group” to file land use and development appeals ensuring the City follows its own rules. We are proud of our coalition building skills, particularly with our STNC Land Use Committee. Although the members of our Neighborhood Council and Land Use Committee are extremely knowledgeable about these issues, the STNC cannot legally file appeals. We will continue to monitor local planning and land use applications and City Planning determinations, and will file appeals when necessary.
You may know us for our leadership in the No Home Depot Campaign, but the Sunland-Tujunga Alliance has now grown to include a variety of volunteer activities. We believe in proper and thoughtfully planned development which would fulfill the needs of the community as a whole. We depend entirely on donations and support from the community to keep our organization alive. Our fundraiser events are lots of fun and we welcome your participation! Please join us! Be Involved – Stay Informed.
Please feel free to contact me at abby AT abbydiamond DOT com or call (818) 293-1440