And the gifts just keep coming:
April 7, 2010
North Valley Area Planning Commission
City of Los Angeles
200 N. Spring Street, Room 532
Los Angeles, California 90012
Proposed Truck-Driving Academy at the Lopez Canyon Landfill
Dear Commission Members:
I am writing to express my concern regarding a proposed truck-driving academy at the Lopez Canyon Landfill. This proposal is an inappropriate use of the property and does not meet the required findings for approval.
The finding that “enjoyment of a property right or use generally possessed by other property in the same zone and vicinity” is inappropriately addressed by the City. The application states that “it is clear the City allows non-recreational uses when the property in question cannot reasonably be used for the intended purpose.” This implies a narrow definition of open space as “active” and overlooks the value of passive open space (open land that people do not actively recreate on). Passive open space areas are often used to preserve viewsheds. In this case, the Lopez Canyon Landfill provides a viewshed for Lopez and Kagel Canyon residents.
The application claims that it “will not be materially detrimental to the public welfare”, yet concedes the use will increase activity and noise. They argue these impacts will not be substantial given the current use on the property. However, the current activity is required for safe closure of the landfill whereas the proposed use is not a required on-site activity.
Finally, there is the issue of CEQA compliance. The City uses a Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) instead of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR), which states that there is no impact in “conflict with any applicable land use plan.” Considering the admitted increase in noise and activity, there is no reasonable justification provided for this finding within the written explanation of the MND.
Given that the proposed use does not meet the required findings for approval, it is my opinion that the proposed truck-driving academy is an inappropriate use of the Lopez Canyon Landfill property. Thank you for your consideration of these comments.
Joseph T. Edmiston, FAICP, Hon. ASLA Executive Director
cc: The Honorable Michael D. Antonovich, LA County Board of Supervisors
Paul Edelman, Deputy Director of Natural Resources and Planning, SMMC