SMMC weighs in on Lopez Canyon!!!

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

Leave a comment

1 Comment

  1. Elaine Brown

     /  Monday, April 12, 2010

    The City of Los Angeles must return to the rule of law. CEQA is the law of the State of California.

    Over and over LA has tweeked, tampered with, ignored, and treaded on CEQA. The improper intention to misuse this landfill must be stopped. Los Angeles must learn to respect the law, the environment and its residents.

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