This Is A Sunland-Tujunga Action Alert!

Comment letters regarding the Samoa project are needed this weekend!
The STNC’s letter outlining the discrepancies in the application is in the file but nothing more.  No other comments from neighbors or community groups.  I know many have had concerns about this project and there is strong opposition to it as proposed.  But, our voice is not being heard where it needs to be heard.  Copies of your letters are not getting into the files.  Letters need to be sent to Paul Krekorian and City Planning with a copy to the STNC this weekend as the LA Housing Department is pushing to release the bond funds on Tuesday, Oct. 18.
Below is a copy of my letter to Mr. Krekorian.  Please write your own.Here are some ideas to help you in writing your letter.  You may have other ideas.
 The important thing is to get the comment letters into Mr. Krekorian and his staff before Monday morning.
•  This project cannot be railroaded through.  Demand that the developer work with the STNC and the community for a better project.
•  The project must be scaled down.  It is too massive.
•  The historic resource preservation cannot be ignored.
•  The impacts on public safety.  High crime area.
•  There is inadequate parking and Samoa is a sub-standard street.
•  Thorough Environmental Review must be required.
•  The MND released on 10-11-11 and already published in the LA Times must be completely re-written.
•  There are no provisions to improve the infrastructure and the existing infrastructure can’t handle the density now.
•  To fund this project as presented is not in keeping with the unique character of this community.
And, the URGENT reason you need to write your letter this weekend to Mr. Krekorian:
•  On October 18, unless we act now, the LAHD (Los Angeles Housing Dept.) will likely release the $13 million in bond financing to the developer for this project.
Request that your letter be part of the official file on this project.  Reference the following Case Numbers:
MND-NG-286-PL
ENV-2011-2059-MND
DIR-2011-2058-SPR-DB

Please e-mail and / or FAX comment letters this weekend to the following:  The FAX number for Paul Krekorian’s office is  (213) 978-3092

Thank you for reaching out to your neighbors regarding this unique and important neighborhood in our community.  The STNC will be holding a Special Meeting between now and Monday.  Everyone is welcome to attend.  Check the STNC website www.stnc.org for postings or the e-Notices.
-Cindy Cleghorn

Cindy’s letter is after the fold.

From: Cindy Cleghorn <cindycleghorn@me.com>
Date: October 14, 2011 11:29:20 PM PDT
To: Paul Krekorian <paul.krekorian@lacity.org>
Cc: Councilmember Krekorian Paul <councilmember.krekorian@lacity.org>, Karo Torossian <karo.torossian@lacity.org>, Areen Ibranossian <areen.ibranossian@lacity.org>, Adrin Nazarian <adrin.nazarian@lacity.org>, Damian Carroll <damian.carroll@lacity.org>, Jackie Keene <Jackie.Keene@lacity.org>, Mary Benson <mary.benson@lacity.org>, Claudia Rodriguez <claudia.rodriguez@lacity.org>, LoGrande Michael <michael.logrande@lacity.org>, ken.bernstein@lacity.org, Alan Bell <alan.bell@lacity.org>, Jeremy.oberstein@lacity.org
Subject: URGENT Halt the Oct. 18 Bond Financing for Proposed 64-unit Samoa Project 
Dear Councilman Krekorian,
URGENT — LAHD is about to issue bond financing this coming Tuesday, October 18.    See e-mails between LAHD and City Planning attached.
You promised in your letter of February 15, 2011 to the LAHD that this developer assured your office “that it will continue to maintain an open dialogue with the Neighborhood Council to address additional concerns that the community may have and to ensure that this project is consistent with the unique character of this community.”   Although the STNC has invited the developer’s representative, Mr. Buckmelter, to the Land Use Committee and STNC meetings, he has failed to schedule.
You promised when I spoke with you at City Council on April 8, 2011, the day that the TEFRA bonds were approved by City Council (CF11-0404),  that this developer would “NOT” be receiving any funding until the project was approved.  Nina Royal and I both emphasized that approving the TEFRA bonds ($13 million) gives the perception that the project is approved.  This is not a “by right” project and Milare had not even filed their application with the City.  Now, LAHD is RUSHING to issue this financing to Milare this coming Tuesday, October 18.  These are the exact concerns we were emphasizing to you and how wrong it is.
On April 8, 2011 Karo assured Nina and I that the bonds would not be issued.  He said that the developer would not receive funds until there is an approved project and that this process was “only a formality”.
On August 11, 2011 the developer submitted his application.  The STNC did not receive a copy as is the usual procedure where the complete package is mailed the same day the City receives it.  This because staff indicated the project application as “not complete”.  Staff offered the copy they had so far and we picked up what was ready on August 30, 2011. It is a good thing we did.  And, as you can see by the e-mail thread City Planning staff were not assigned until  September 16, 2011.
On September 14, 2011, the STNC issued a letter that the application is incomplete.  The STNC’s letter was discussed and drafted by the Samoa Sub-Committee, discussed at the full Land Use Committee and further discussed and voted on by the full STNC board.  To date, no reply from either the City Planning Department or your office has been received by the STNC.
On October 11, 2011, the STNC received a copy of the Proposed MND.  It is horrible and needs to be re-written.  It is a very shoddy piece of staff work that shows how rushed this project is going and how disconnected the Valley Planning staff are with the Sunland-Tujunga community.  The Samoa Sub-Committee has drafted a response to the MND for full Land Use Committee/STNC review and vote by Special meetings being held on Monday, if not sooner.
Because of the lack of feedback from City Planning or CD2, I went today to see and copy the files at City Planning (Room 430, Michelle Singh).  The attached e-mail thread between LAHD and City Planning shows the urgency and the exceptions that this project is receiving.   The August 23 e-mail from Yaneli Ruiz, LAHD Bond Finance to Joey Vasquez, Subdivision Unit, Planning Department explains the truth regarding the Bond Financing:  “October 18”.
Mr. Krekorian, it is URGENT that you halt the bond financing release.   This project cannot be railroaded through. The project must be scaled down.  The historic resource preservation cannot be ignored.  The current infrastructure can’t handle the existing density let alone this out of scale project.
The developer must return to work with the community for a better project.   To fund this project as presented is not in keeping with the unique character of this community.  The City should not be obligated to release these funds to an unknown developer with an unapproved project.  LA Family Housing should have their funding approved first.  LA Family Housing has kept in contact with the community throughout their process and is not treating their proposed Day Street project as Milare is treating Samoa.
Community opposition to the 64 unit Samoa project continues to grow.  This is not “government at your doorstep” as you promised.  Please issue a letter to LAHD to halt your support of the Oct. 18, 2011 Bond Financing release.
Respectfully,
-Cindy Cleghorn
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