Posted by STA on Monday, February 13, 2012
We had an impressive turn out at Pierce College today of opponents to the proposed draft map that has been released by the Redistricting Commission! Thank you everyone who spoke so eloquently in support of keeping the deeply bonded communities of Shadow Hills, Sunland-Tujunga, La Tuna Canyon, Lake View Terrace and Sun Valley intact!
And guess what? Not one speaker spoke in favor of breaking us up! Thank you to all that helped organize our communities and helped to make such a powerful impact today! Here is the video of our residents speaking at today’s hearing;
photos by Kresse Armour
Posted by STA on Sunday, February 5, 2012
Posted by STA on Friday, January 27, 2012
To download a pdf of the flyer go here.
Posted by STA on Wednesday, January 25, 2012
For Immediate Release:
|Contact: Cindy CleghornSecretary, Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council|
Sunland-Tujunga Community Improvement Workshop
History of the Specific Plan – First in a Series
Sunland-Tujunga, CA – On Saturday, February 18, 2012 from 12 noon-2 p.m., the Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council will host the first in a series of workshops to inform, educate and discuss improving the Foothill Boulevard Corridor in Sunland-Tujunga. For over 10 years the community has had a Specific Plan that is intended to improve and protect the visual appearance and types of businesses permitted throughout the 4-1/2 mile corridor that is located at the base of the Angeles National Forest between two mountain ranges.
Businesses, property owners, homeowners and renters are all welcome and encouraged to participate in what will be a very informative and engaging session.
R. Nicolas Brown, the City Planner assigned to the Specific Plan creation at the time, who now works for the City as Associate Zoning Administrator will be our main speaker.
The first workshop will be hosted by Jon vonGunten, resident and stakeholder who worked on the Specific Plan in the early 1990’s during the time when Joel Wachs was the City Councilman representing the area.
Future workshops are scheduled for Monday, March 12, and beyond, to explore the problems of the current Specific Plan.
The Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council, certified by the City of Los Angeles in 2003 has spear-headed these workshops in coordination with the Sunland-Tujunga Alliance, Inc. and the Sunland Tujunga Chamber of Commerce, long time resident stakeholders and new resident stakeholders to the Sunland-Tujunga Community
A copy of the Foothill Blvd. Corridor Specific Plan and Design Guidelines is available on the STNC website at www.stnc.org or you can pick up a copy at the Workshop or the STNC office Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. – 12 noon. For more information on the STNC please call 818-951-7411. Meetings are held the second Wednesday of each month at North Valley Neighborhood City Hall, 7747 Foothill Blvd., Tujunga 91042.
Posted by STA on Tuesday, January 24, 2012
The Samoa Avenue Appeals were filed this morning at LA City Planning’s HQ in Downtown LA. The STA Site Plan Review Appeal and the Neighbor’s Density Bonus Appeal will be heard before the City Planning Commission. We will receive notice of the date of that hearing by mail shortly.
Posted by STA on Thursday, January 19, 2012
The banner is ready, the press release and fliers are almost ready, the guest speakers are lined up, the Foothill Blvd Improvement Workshops will begin a month from today! These important workshops will explore our Foothill Blvd Corridor Specific Plan and look for ways to fix the thing. One drive down Foothill Blvd is proof enough that the FBCSP is simply not working! The promotional effort for these historic workshops will begin in just a few days…
The Appeals against the City Planning approval of the massive Samoa Avenue Affordable Housing Project will be filed in the morning at City Planning. The case will be heard before the City Planning Commission at a yet to be determined date. There are 2 separate Appeals that had to be filed in this case. One of the Appeals, the Density Bonus Appeal, will be filed by neighbors that live adjacent to the project. This was required because when a Density Bonus is involved only adjacent residents can legally appeal the approval. The Site Plan Review Appeal will be filed by the STA. Both Appeals were prepared by Dean Sherer, a local resident and certified planner. Mr. Sherer is a STA member as well as a Land Use Committee member. Cindy Cleghorn and I spent several hours today putting the paperwork together in preparation for the numerous copies of each Appeal that need to be submitted to the City Planning Commission and other City Staff. We’ll have links to the Appeals up soon.
Just a reminder; This Friday at 10am, Los Angeles Family Housing (LAFH) will be celebrating the grand opening of their Sun Valley facility now named the Palo Verde Gardens. This facility provides housing to qualified homeless individuals from the Sun Valley and surrounding areas. There are actually four former homeless residents of Sunland-Tujunga now living at Palo Verde Gardens. A special highlight of the grand opening will be that a former female resident of the Tujunga Wash will be speaking at the event. If you would like to attend on Friday, please RSVP to Nancy Sedano at firstname.lastname@example.org or 818-255-2779.
Posted by STA on Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Posted by STA on Monday, January 16, 2012
The Sunland-Tujunga Alliance (STA) will be the legal entity that will be filing the Site Plan Review Appeal in response to LA City Planning’s approval of the Samoa Ave SB1818 Affordable Housing Project. Residents that live adjacent to the proposed site will be filing the Density Bonus Appeal as required by law. Both Appeals have to be filed this week and we will post links to those Appeals once they are filed.
The FBCSP Workshops Committee will meet on Wednesday this week instead of Tuesday due to a couple of special meetings that had to be arranged. Same time (6:30pm), same location (North Valley City Hall).
This Friday at 10am, Los Angeles Family Housing (LAFH) will be celebrating the grand opening of their Sun Valley facility now named the Palo Verde Gardens. This facility provides housing to qualified homeless individuals from the Sun Valley and surrounding areas. There are actually four former homeless residents of Sunland-Tujunga now living at Palo Verde. A special highlight of the grand opening will be that a former female resident of the Tujunga Wash will be speaking at the event. If you would like to attend on Friday, please RSVP to Nancy Sedano at email@example.com or 818-255-2779.
Posted by STA on Sunday, January 15, 2012
The Executive Director of LA Family Housing, Stephanie Klasky-Gamer, makes a presentation at Wednesday night’s STNC meeting regarding the Day Street Apartments.
Posted by STA on Thursday, January 12, 2012
The Planning Department has finished and just mailed their Letter of Determination regarding the project located at 10046-50 Samoa Avenue. You can view it at: http://sunlandtujungaalliance.com/files/DIR-2011-2058_FINAL.pdf
Posted by STA on Friday, January 6, 2012
There is a special meeting of the STNC on Thursday night to vote on a letter of support for the Day Street Apartments. The Day Street Apartments are 46 (44 of which are studio apartments) units that will be built to provide low cost housing for the homeless.
This is a much needed facility that should help with S-T’s growing homeless population. The facility will provide low rent apartments and services, and will be run by LA Family Housing Services (LAFHS), a highly regarded and professional organization that has recently opened a similar facility in Sun Valley.
LAFHS has met with the STNC’s Land Use Committee numerous times over the last year and has made presentations and answered many questions about the project at each meeting. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a by-right project be as vetted and examined as much as the Day Street Apartments have. LAFHS has been a real friend to our community, and has personally assisted me in finding housing for several homeless individuals in our area. In addition, LAFHS has been an invaluable participant in Councilman Krekorian’s Homeless Connect Day events. The Sunland-Tujunga Alliance submitted a letter of support for the Day Street Apartments on Tuesday and it’s my hope that the STNC will vote on Thursday to support this much needed facility as well. The meeting is at 6pm at North Valley City Hall, 7747 Foothill Blvd. The special meeting had to be called because LAFHS is up against a funding deadline and needs letters of support from community groups by Jan 9th.
Posted by STA on Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Neighbors, officials decry camps in Big Tujunga Wash
For years, the homeless have gravitated toward the open expanse, the privacy and the quiet – not to mention the remove from the law – offered in the Big Tujunga Wash.
On the edge of the Angeles National Forest, the Sunland wash is a unique, ecologically sensitive area that floods during rains, harboring rare plant and animal species. It’s also dotted with tents, tarps, abandoned shopping carts and copious amounts of trash.
“At night, you can hear women screaming. You can hear couples fighting,” said Joe Barrett, a local resident who often hikes in the wash and encourages those camping there to enter supportive housing.
Since police last year cleared out shelters that had been built near the Foothill Boulevard and 210 Freeway bridges, some homeless camps have moved up the wash into an area referred to as “Uptown,” Barrett said. That has coincided with a shifting outreach strategy to address what some say is worsening homelessness in the northeast San Fernando Valley.
“It’s an ongoing challenge for us,” said Cindy Cleghorn, a member of the Sunland- Tujunga Neighborhood Council. “We have people who are in the wash who we cannot get out of the wash because of their drug addiction or mental status, and they just do not want to leave. … It’s a hiding place.”
Read the rest of the story HERE!
UPDATE; KABC 7 has a report HERE.
Posted by STA on Thursday, December 29, 2011
This is that one great week of the year when there is absolutely nothing going on. No community meetings, the LA City Council is on recess, and so many people are out of town. Enjoy! About the most exciting news this week has been the abandonment of a couple of young horses in the Wash. Fortunately, there was a happy ending as the yearlings have been rescued and are now safe & sound.
Next week, the FBCSP Workshops Committee will resume planning the series of workshops scheduled to begin in February of 2012. These workshops will explore the history, intent, and flaws of the FBCSP ( aka the Specific Plan) and look for ways to safely improve it. The committee has recently had the first workshops approved by the STNC . The committee members are Cindy Cleghorn, Chair; Joe Barrett, STA; Sonia Tatulian, ST Chamber, Nina Royal, Safety Committee; Jon von Gunten, Stakeholder; Jim McGlynn, Stakeholder; and Jackie Sanders, Stakeholder.
Our former Council woman, present City Controller, and now candidate for Mayor of Los Angeles, Wendy Greuel, will be holding a series of Town Hall Meetings beginning in January of next year. The focus will be a review of City Finances and the results of the numerous audits Wendy has conducted. here’s the full invitation;
December 27, 2011
The first town hall meeting will be held on:
I hope that you can join me. Please R.S.V.P. with your name and email address to Marisol Espinoza at firstname.lastname@example.org . Please feel free to forward this invitation to others who are interested in attending.
Posted by STA on Wednesday, December 28, 2011
On Monday morning, Councilman Paul Krekorian led a dedication event at Angeles National Golf Course to recognize the permanent protection of almost 280 acres of land surrounding the golf horse. Against the beautiful backdrop of the Tujunga Wash and the Angeles National Forrest, Councilman Krekorian celebrated the transfer of this acreage to the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA). The land will never be developed, there will never be houses built or the land exploited in any way. This was an almost 15 year effort by numerous organizations, elected officials, and local residents to arrive at this historic day. Thank you Councilman Krekorian for finishing the mission undertaken so many years ago. This is a gift to us all and to the future residents of our community and the city. A really special day in every way!
More pictures after the jump
Read the full post »
Posted by STA on Tuesday, December 20, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Event date: Monday, December 19, 2011
Contact: Jeremy Oberstein, (213) 359-8506
Krekorian to Lead Dedication of Historic Parcel of Open Space
LOS ANGELES – Councilmember Paul Krekorian, City Controller Wendy Greuel, along with members of the community and the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) will hold a news conference and community ceremony Monday to publicly dedicate nearly 280 acres of open space. The event will take place at 9 a.m. at the Angeles National Golf Club, 9401 Foothill Blvd., Sunland, 91040.
The historic transfer of 277.5 acres adjacent to the golf course will protect the wildlife corridor that links the Verdugo Mountains with the Angeles National Forest and will now be preserved as recreational open space and protected from future development. In addition to the transfer of land, owners of the golf club will spend $42,000 each year for 25 years for trail maintenance, $15,000 for the MCRA to develop signage for the area and $250,000 to create and maintain equestrian trails in the Foothills.
“The area surrounding this golf course is among the most scenic open space in all of Los Angeles, and it was imperative to protect it from development,” said Councilmember Paul Krekorian, chairman of the Arts, Parks & Neighborhoods Committee. “I am thrilled that a 15-year journey has finally come to a successful conclusion thanks to the persistent efforts of so many in the community, the MRCA and Angeles National, and I am very proud that my office has pushed hard to get this done. Our collective efforts will leave a permanent legacy of environmental protection, recreational enhancements and an improved quality of life in this area.”
What: Land transfer ceremony led by Councilmember Paul Krekorian.
Who: Councilmember Paul Krekorian; City Controller Wendy Greuel, a former representative of the region; Joseph T. Edmiston, MRCA Executive Officer; Tomi-Lyn Bowling, Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council’s Land Use Committee Chair.
Where: Angeles National Golf Club, 9401 Foothill Boulevard Sunland, California 91040. Parking is available at the golf course and guests will be transported to the dedication site via golf carts. [Please see the attached map for details.]
When: Monday, December 19 at 9 a.m.
Note: The ceremony will take place on the golf course while the mountains and open space to be preserved will be on display in the background.
Councilmember Paul Krekorian represents Los Angeles’ Second Council District, which includes the east San Fernando Valley and the foothills. His website is cd2.lacity.org, where you can sign up for news updates or visit him on Twitter (@PaulKrekorian) or Facebook.
# # #
Posted by STA on Friday, December 16, 2011
Posted by STA on Tuesday, December 13, 2011
The Los Angeles Redistricting Commission came to town on Monday night to listen to residents concerns and suggestions on the redistricting process. It was a pretty full house for a rainy evening and the courtesy and professionalism of the Redistricting Commission and staff is to be commended. Councilman Paul Krekorian spoke at the beginning of the hearing, urging the commissioners to listen to the community, and listen good.
There were also attendees from La Tuna Canyon, Shadow Hills, Lakeview Terrace, Sun Valley and even some of our friends from the south part of the district (Studio City).
Council District 2 must lose around 12,500 residents in order to keep the population closely matched with other districts. The best way, in my opinion, to achieve this requirement is to simply shift a few blocks of high density housing on the border of CD2 into another district. It would be detrimental and significantly more of an upheaval to shift a vast low density area in the foothills in order to meet the 12,500 number. According to the restrictions of redistricting, the commission is limited to a maximum of 5% of the entire population of CD2 being moved into another district. What I understand this to mean is that there is no way Sunland-Tujunga and our 55,000 or so residents will be moved into another district. This means that the commission will have to do a separation of a portion of the district and that is all. A high density border area of the district, such as in North Hollywood , would be the least disruptive to the district at large.
The Commission will continue to gather input from residents across the City and we will be able to offer further input at a hearing or two in Van Nuys in January. Please visit the Redistricting 2011 web site for more info and updates.
Of interest; During the opening statements, the Commissioners gave a shout out and thanks to the North Valley Reporter for their story on the Redistricting efforts in the latest issue.
Posted by STA on Monday, December 12, 2011
Lydia Grant and myself gave a tour of Sunland-Tujunga to Los Angeles mayoral candidate Kevin James on Saturday afternoon. Our tour took Kevin from the Angeles National Golf Course to the Verdugo Hills Golf Course with stops at McGroarty Arts Center, Bolton Hall, the Samoa Project, the soccer field, and the K-Mart property, to name a few. It was the first time I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Kevin James and I was impressed by both his intellect and comprehension of our local land use issues. Later, Kevin made an appearance and spoke at the Olde Town Comfort & Joy Cafe where Mayor Sam (Michael Higby) did a live internet interview with Kevin that you can listen to the podcast at LA Talk Radio. Keep an eye on Kevin; it’s refreshing to have a candidate that is not a professional politician, yet he is very informed about our local issues and has some practical ideas about how to fix this city.
On Sunday afternoon at Chapel of the Hills Church on Oro Vista, Councilman Krekorian is sponsoring Homeless Connect Day #2. Besides the hot meals served by the church, there will be free flu shots provided by LA County Health Services as well as representatives from LA Family Housing , the VA, and other organizations to offer assistance to our local homeless population. The event runs from 3pm to 4:30pm.
On Monday, the Los Angeles Redistricting Commission comes to North Valley City Hall to gather input from us on the best way to redistrict Council District 2. Redistricting is an event that occurs every 10 years and is based on the new census count. See our earlier post for the details.We need a full house for this one folks, so please spread the word!
Posted by STA on Saturday, December 10, 2011
Posted by STA on Thursday, December 8, 2011
Posted by STA on Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Posted by STA on Tuesday, December 6, 2011
There’s a new place to eat in town! It’s called the “Olde Town Comfort & Joy Cafe” and is located at 10024 Commerce Avenue in Tujunga. The place is run by our friend and longtime resident Erin Ferrell. She is serving up some very tasty comfort food (of course). She’s also serving soups and salads along with fresh juice drinks. There is live music on Wednesday and comedy on Friday evenings. The Comfort & Joy Cafe‘s Facebook page is here, and Yelp has a review here. Please pay her a visit and help support this wonderful and much needed local business!
Posted by STA on Sunday, November 27, 2011
Posted by STA on Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Thanks to the Community Alliance for Open Space for the heads up!
|Attend a Hearing to Protect
the San Gabriel Mountains!
Right now, you have a chance to protect the San Gabriel mountains and make them easier for our communities to enjoy. The National Park Service (NPS) is seeking public comment on their newly released report which will help determine the future of the San Gabriel Mountains. Your attendance at one of four public meetings is critical to build support for Alternative D, which provides for the protection of public lands and rivers through the creation of the San Gabriel Region National Recreation Area.
Can you join us in Palmdale, Pomona, Santa Clarita, or Tujunga next week to ensure that our mountains are protected? Staff and volunteers will be on hand at each event to help you craft your comments and ensure our collective voice is heard.
Pomona Public Hearing
When: Tuesday, November 15th, 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Where: Agriscapes Center, California Polytechnic Institute Campus
4102 S. University Drive, Pomona, CA 91768 (map)
Register to attend!
Santa Clarita Public Hearing
When: Wednesday, November 16th, 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Where: George A. Caravalho Activities Center, Santa Clarita Room A
20880 Centre Point Parkway, Santa Clarita, CA 91351 (map)
Register to attend!
I look forward to seeing you there,
P.S. Events are always more fun with friends, so please share this email and invite your friends today.
Posted by STA on Sunday, November 13, 2011
Stephanie Klasky-Gamer Needs Our Help!
Monday night’s Land Use Committee Meeting had as it’s highlight a presentation by Stephanie Klasky-Gamer of LA Family Housing. LAFH has acquired a vacant lot at 7650 Day Street that they intend to build much needed housing for the homeless and those with mental health issues. The 47 studio apartments will house single adults, many from the Sunland-Tujunga area. Stephanie and her architect (Ali?) were there to present their renderings (I was impressed with the design of the building and their use of solar energy).
There’s just one problem with the Day Street Apartments. LAFH has come up short in funding for this project to the tune of $1.7 million, and Stephanie is asking for our help. Evidently, LA County has funds that are known as MHSA funds. MHSA stands for Mental Health Services Act , and the money can be used to help construct a facility like the Day Street Apartments. Stephanie is asking that we all send a quick note to Supervisor Michael Antonovich and ask that he allow these MHSA funds to be used for the Day Street Apartments in Tujunga. Let him know that there is no facility like this in our area, and that as a local resident of S-T, you support the building of these apartments.
You can mail a note to Supervisor Antonovich at:
Michael D. Antonovich
L.A. County Supervisor
500 W. Temple St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
or by email at: email@example.com
There are also Housing funds (not MHSA funds) available through the City of Los Angeles and Stephanie is asking that we send a request to Councilman Krekorian on behalf of the Day Street Apartments and LA Family Housing for funds to support this project.
Councilman Krekorian can be reached at:
LA City Councilmember
7747 Foothill Blvd
Tujunga, CA 91042
or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Locally, LA Family Housing has been involved in finding and providing housing for many of the homeless in Sunland-Tujunga for some time. They participated in Councilman Krekorian’s Homeless Connect Day earlier this year at North Valley City Hall. At that event, they were able to provide 12 individuals shelter and set them on the road to more permanent housing. LAFH also helped in a big way back in May of this year when Officer Martinez coordinated the clean out of the Tujunga Wash. They are a wonderful organization, and they are fully aware of the exploding homeless problem in Sunland-Tujunga. Please take a moment to send a brief note of support to Supervisor Antonovich and Councilman Krekorian.
Elsewhere, The FBCSP Workshops Committee will meet Tuesday night to begin planning workshop #2, “What happens when the FBCSP doesn’t work?”. This workshop will feature case studies of SP failures and talks from Building & Safety Inspectors, City Planners, and members of the STNC, LUC, and STA.
Posted by STA on Monday, November 7, 2011
Fresh & Easy cleared their final hurdle earlier this week. They had one last hearing before the full LA City Council on Nov 1st regarding what is known as a PCN, or Public Convenience or Necessity Hearing. The City Council needed to make a finding that an alcohol license at this location will serve the public convenience or necessity and will not cause a law enforcement problem. This was their last hoop to jump through, and we are thrilled to announce that the LA City Council voted unanimously in favor of this business. Fresh & Easy is coming to Sunland-Tujunga! The store is expected to open in March or April of 2012!
We had breakfast with Councilman Krekorian’s Planning Director Karo Torossian the other day, and he mentioned that he is interested in a program called “Safe Routes to Schools“, a national effort to make the journey from home to a classroom as safe as possible for kids. He is beginning to collect information from our community on particular hazards, like lack of sidewalks, damaged sidewalks, unsafe street crossings, etc. Walk with your child to school and make notes on hazards that a kid could face in their daily journey. Note the street and cross-street , describe the danger in detail, and then send an email to Karo at Karo.Torossian@lacity.org .
We received an interesting email from LA Neighbors United that describes a potential problem for certain communities (probably not S-T), but it is an interesting read and insight into the politics and manipulation that occurs in LA City Planning:
Proposed New Ordinance Would Allow Bigger, Taller Buildings Without Variances or Public Notice
A new ordinance proposed by the Mayor’s Planning Department would enable buildings that are bigger and taller than underlying zoning allows to be approved without variances or public notice.
The innocuous-sounding “Planned Development Districts Ordinance” has the potential to be a useful tool. In its current form, however, it would enable a hodge-podge of developments across the city to flout Community Plans. The proposed ordinance would not apply to Specific Plan areas, but the vast majority of the city’s land area is not covered by Specific Plans.
Posted by STA on Friday, November 4, 2011
Below is the agenda for Monday night’s FBCSP (Foothill Blvd Corridor Specific Plan) Workshops Committee meeting. The STA is very excited and proud to be part of this effort to improve this hopelessly out of date and infamously vague current version of the FBCSP!
Posted by STA on Saturday, October 22, 2011
Our community is going to be hearing this word repeated often in the coming months.
We suggest that you set aside some time to learn all about this word and what it means in a legal sense. Why? Because this one word has already defined, for the most part, the future of the Samoa Ave Project.
In general terms, preemption refers to the ability of one level of government to override laws of a lower level.
Example: While local governments once had the ability to restrict the use, sales and distribution of pesticides, the pesticide manufacturer and user industry helped many states to pass legislation prohibiting municipalities from passing local pesticide ordinances that are stricter than state policy. These laws, called state preemption laws, effectively stopped local government from passing more restrictive laws than the state. (source: Land Care Network)
For all intents and purposes, the developer of the Samoa Ave. Project has state law on his side, and in a big way. Simply put, the Specific Plan is soundly trumped by SB1818. At any point the two intersect, SB1818 takes precedence and gets to move on to the next round.
In other news
Councilman Krekorian has released a letter that addresses community concerns about the Samoa Project. The letter is posted after the fold.
Posted by STA on Wednesday, October 19, 2011
After a rare Sunday emergency meeting, the STNC has sent Councilman Krekorian the following letter regarding the SB1818 Samoa Ave. Project:
Posted by STA on Monday, October 17, 2011
Signs have begun to appear around Sunland-Tujunga calling attention to the controversial Samoa Avenue Project. The developer could receive $13 million in City Funds on Tuesday if Councilman Krekorian does not step in to stop it. The community is stunned that this project is receiving funds when the developer has yet to submit a complete application, or address the Historical Resource Impact of having Bolton Hall just up the street, just to name 2 of the many concerns!
Posted by STA on Sunday, October 16, 2011
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-PLENV-2011-2059-MNDDIR-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
Cindy’s letter is after the fold. Read the full post »
Posted by STA on Saturday, October 15, 2011
If you missed last night’s wonderful Mountain Lion presentation by Zara McDonald of the Felidae Conservation Fund at the STNC meeting, fear not! Below is the video (courtesy of the Mop & Bucket News Network) of this powerful and moving examination of Mountain Lions, their importance in the eco-system, and the increasing challenges they face to survive in this modern world. Plus, you’ll learn some fascinating Mountain Lion trivia and how best to deal with a big cat encounter. This presentation is worth every minute of viewing! Enjoy!
Posted by STA on Thursday, October 13, 2011
I’m pretty sure the committee won’t look like this
The FBCSP Workshops Committee now has 10 members and growing! The first initial meeting will be held on Monday, Oct 17th at 6pm at North Valley City Hall. This first meeting’s purpose will be for everyone to introduce themselves and discuss the purpose of the committee and to form an outline for the workshops! This is very exciting and I, along with many others, am extremely pleased, that finally, the community is going to move forward and begin to examine the Specific Plan and look for ways to improve it!
The great part about these committee meetings is that they will all be filmed and posted on the website that is now being constructed specifically for these workshops. You’ll be able to review a meeting if you can’t attend one and then be able to offer comments or suggestions on how to make the workshops even better! Sound good?
My hope is that these workshops will be so informative that other communities will review the videos of the workshops and the committee meetings as a guide before they attempt to improve their own Specific Plans.
Here is the list of the first 10 members of the FBCSP Workshops Committee:
Sonia Tatulian -Chamber of Commerce Rep
Cindy Cleghorn- STNC
Jon von Gunten- Worked on original FBCSP
Joe Barrett- STA Rep
There’s room for more folks! So if you’re not busy for the next 8 months or so…. come join us!
Posted by STA on Thursday, October 6, 2011
Don’t try this at home, kids!
As everyone is probably aware by now, there has been a recent surge in sightings and close encounters with Mountain Lions in the Foothills area. There were 2 sightings (one a close encounter) on the hills above Lake View Terrace, and another sighting of a big cat strolling down McGroarty, all within the last 10 days. The presence of the Mountain Lions in the community has raised some serious concerns, both for the safety of our local residents, and for the safety of the Mountain Lions, themselves.
To address these concerns and to help us all understand what is going on and how to best deal with the situation, the STNC will present;
Mountain Lion Sightings in Our Community
What to do- What not to do- What you need to know
at the STNC General Community Meeting
Wednesday, October 12th, 2011 – 7:00pm
NVCH – North Valley City Hall – 7747 Foothill Blvd, Tujunga
This presentation has been put together by Vicki Brink, Equestrian Chair of the Foothill Trails District Neighborhood Council. Representatives from the Dept of Fish & Game and Wildlife Waystation will be part of the presentation along with a representative from the Felidae Conservation Fund, an organization specializing in Wild Cat research, education, and conservation. The Felidae Representative is being flown in from Sausalito, CA for this event.
This is a presentation you don’t want to miss!
Posted by STA on Wednesday, October 5, 2011
This sounds like a great event! Come join us on Saturday (Joe will be trying to do justice to a folk tale that he has been assigned to read).
Posted by STA on Monday, October 3, 2011
The Land Use Committee (LUC) of the STNC is now forming a committee to organize a series of workshops to learn about the history, strengths, weaknesses, and utter failures of the Foothill Blvd Corridor Specific Plan. The workshops will look for ways to improve the SP and make it actually work for our community. The workshops will be presented on a monthly basis through June 2012 (the end of the next fiscal year).
This is an exciting and important opportunity to be involved in a community effort to identify problems and seek ways to safely improve our Specific Plan. Having been involved in numerous land use issues, the STA has seen firsthand that more often than not, the SP works against the community, is woefully outdated (As an example: No mention of smokeshops or medical supply stores in the current plan), and frankly, the Specific Plan is just not Specific enough. There have been occasions where a city planner or a Building & Safety inspector has said to us “Your SP is too vague, so there’s nothing we can do”.
If you are interested in being on the organizing committee, you can volunteer in several different ways (local stakeholders only):
1. Call Tomi Bowling at 818 353-9143
2. Email Tomi at email@example.com
3. Attend the next LUC meeting on OCT 3.
Sunland-Tujunga needs you on this one!
Background info here.
Posted by STA on Friday, September 23, 2011
A City of Los Angeles Zoning Administrator has approved the Conditional Use Beverage Permit (CUB) for the proposed Fresh & Easy store at 6348 Foothill in Tujunga. This permit allows for the sale of beer & wine for offsite consumption and clears the way for Fresh & Easy to obtain a license from the ABC (Alcoholic Beverage Control).
We continue to be impressed by the efforts of the Fresh & Easy store as they work their way through the permit and Specific Plan exception process. They have not and will not begin any work on their location until all the required steps have been taken (wish we could say that about other projects in the community).
Most notable about this morning’s hearing in Van Nuys? There was not a single opponent to Fresh & Easy’s CUB in attendance. There were, however, supporters of the proposed F & E store from Sunland-Tujunga who spoke in favor of the CUB, including members of the STA and the STNC. Great work everyone! As Tomi Bowling would say, “All systems are Go, Go, Go!”.
Posted by STA on Tuesday, September 20, 2011
An important announcement regarding improving the Foothill Blvd Corridor Specific Plan was made at Monday night’s LUC meeting! LUC chair Tomi Bowling announced that a work group is to be formed that will organize and coordinate a series of workshop style meetings that will take place on a monthly basis through next summer 2012. The purpose of these meetings is to inform and hold discussions with the public on the history, flaws, failings and strengths of the Specific Plan and to begin exploring the changes that would safely improve the SP. This working group will develop and plan the theme for each meeting (example: History), invite speakers and coordinate presentations. Councilman Krekorian has determined that there are no funds available in this fiscal year to deal with the SP, so the STNC/LUC now has until around June 2012 to host these workshops. This is very good news and we are excited about the workshops and working with everyone in the community on improving our SP! We’re moving forward people!
The new tenants at 7937 Foothill Blvd attended Monday night’s LUC meeting. This is the old Coffee Stop location that is working to reopen as a Mediterranean food restaurant. The three young gentlemen spoke for some time to the committee and laid out their plans for this site. All I have to say is that these guys are ambitious! The plans as I understand them are: Initially open as a food service establishment and then develop as a “nightlife” destination. They said their occupancy capacity will be 80 people. They intend to be open until midnight on weeknights and until 1:00 am on weekends, 7 days per week. They will have a live DJ on several nights and will be catering to the over 18 crowd. Eventually, they want to install a small dance floor in the outside patio area. Also, they are considering having live bands at some point. They may expand the patio area at some point and may also seek a beer & wine license. They intend to keep the name of the place as “The Code Blue”, even though they were urged by several to change the name. They were also informed that they can not be doing construction work later than 7pm (they were unaware of this law, but explained that they all have day jobs and they are doing the work themselves). The LUC and the audience appreciated them attending the meeting and the baklava they brought as a gift was delicious!
Say it Ain’t So Recycling Center at 6737 Foothill! This disappointment of a business has been ordered CLOSED by the City until it comes into compliance with Planning directives. In fact, this business has received 2 notices to shut their doors and is now operating illegally! The City will be going back to the business and issuing a final order to close and will be assessing huge fines against the business for failing to comply.
Posted by STA on Monday, September 19, 2011
Graffiti Clean-Up at Hansen Dam. Our good friend Kris Sabo, who is the caretaker of Amir’s Garden in Griffith Park has organized a graffiti clean-up of the Hansen Dam area for this coming Saturday. The Dept of Parks & Recs is the sponsoring agency and they will be providing paint, brushes, and bottled water. The event starts at 7:30am on Saturday September 24, and runs through noon. If you need service hours this is a great opportunity to earn some! If you want to participate and join us, send an email to Kris at firstname.lastname@example.org. She will fill you in on the details including the meet-up location. Some of this graffiti is pretty offensive, so parents be aware if you are bringing young’uns.
The homeless camps have returned to the Tujunga Wash. You may recall that LAPD Officer Larry Martinez coordinated an effort back in May to remove many of the camps and find alternative housing for those that were residing there. This effort brought together agencies such as LA Family Housing and SFV Community Mental Health Center. The Dept of Public Works and DWP provided the dumpsters and the skip-loaders, and People in Progress were a big help in removing the tons of rubbish. Councilman Krekorian’s staff also helped to coordinate the event and were present to lend a hand as well. Several people chose to go to Valley Shelter in North Hollywood where they received medical attention and lodging. I have remained in contact with one gentlemen that relocated to Valley Shelter and although it hasn’t been a picnic by any means, he is still living at the facility and will soon be enrolled in Computer Training classes. Sadly, there are new encampments now in the Wash and with it the huge amounts of trash and damage to this delicate environment. We did a brief hike through the area early Saturday morning and spotted at least 4 new camps and lots of trash and discards in the area nearest Riverwood Ranch.
I am being told that the new tenant at 7937 Foothill (the old Coffee Stop) will be attending Monday night’s Land Use Committee meeting. Hopefully, we’ll get a better idea of what he is building,and what he intends to improve at the site . This new restaurant reportedly will be named “Code Blue”.
The public hearings for the new Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market that is proposed for 6348 Foothill will be on Monday, Sept. 19 and Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 10 a.m. at the Braude Center in Van Nuys, 10:00 a.m. Here is the notice.
Posted by STA on Sunday, September 18, 2011
This is a photo of the former Coffee Stop at 7937 Foothill Blvd. This photo was taken Wednesday night at around 8:15 pm. The new tenants of this site are converting this location into a restaurant, which is a great improvement to the site and a welcome addition to the community. If you recall, the STA, with support from the STNC , LUC and Councilman Krekorian fought and won in stopping an industrial propane refueling station from opening here last year.
So, what’s wrong with this picture?
The new tenants have yet to apply for or be granted a single permit that allows them to perform this construction work. The tenants have not yet applied for a change of use permit (the last legal use was as a gas station). The tenants are also performing construction at night, which is a big no-no!
We welcome this type of business to the community, but they need to do it right and not “build first, and beg forgiveness later”. Complaints have been filed by the STA and Councilman Krekorian’s staff is aware of the situation. We are following this one closely!
UPDATE: The tenant has now pulled a permit for some electrical work, and Councilman Krekorian’s staff has notified us that plans have now been submitted to plan check. The STNC is not yet in possession of a copy of those plans. We are still waiting on an evaluation of other permits that may be required.
Posted by STA on Thursday, September 15, 2011
Posted by STA on Wednesday, September 14, 2011
- We DO NOT want special treatment for big corporations like AEG and other big developers.
- Last-minute laws like this erode public trust, and in the long term do not create more jobs or healthier communities.
- Vote NO on SB 292, SB 226 and AB 900.
Posted by STA on Sunday, September 11, 2011
Good news regarding the out of compliance recycling center that just opened at 6737 Foothill Blvd.! The Dept of Building & Safety has issued the following statement: “LADBS has reviewed the permits and plans for this project and found that the site does not appear to be in compliance with City Planning approvals. The project is being directed to return to Plan Check and City Planning for review of permit requirements and the as-built conditions.”
We are not sure if they will be shut down until they are in compliance or allowed to operate in a state of non compliance, we’re waiting for an answer from CD2. Our thanks to Councilman Paul Krekorian and his Planning Director, Karo Torossian, for their rapid and thorough response to this matter! This matter is not yet resolved, but it appears we are heading in the right direction.
Posted by STA on Friday, September 9, 2011
The new recycling center at 6737 Foothill Blvd opened today even though it is not in compliance with conditions set forth by the North Valley Area Planning Commission(NVAPC) after an Appeal was filed by the Sunland-Tujunga Alliance (STA). The NVAPC has determined that the recycling center hours of operation are restricted to Mon-Sat 9am to 5pm and Sunday 10am-5pm. The sign on the recycling center states that they are open until 6pm each day. The recycling center submitted a traffic circulation plan to the Department of Transportation (DOT) but conveniently failed to inform DOT that there is also a U-Haul business on the site, along with a Propane tank. DOT paid a visit to the location after meeting with the STA and they want the recycling containers moved back from the sidewalk as they intrude too far into the driveway apron. This means that the business is not in compliance with DOT at this time. The business is supposed to have a fence that would prevent unauthorized access to the site. Instead, the business has erected a 4′ high wood fence that anyone can climb over. The front facade of the site and the landscaping is also not in compliance with the NVAPC requirements.
What is most disturbing about this site not adhering to the restrictions,layout, landscaping, etc.,that they are required to follow, is that the STA spent a significant amount of time working with the property owner to come to an agreement on the conditions of the site. We even had the NVAPC postpone our initial hearing that was scheduled, in order to give more time for Abby Diamond and Dean Sherer to work with the owner to find reasonable solutions to the problems that were presented by this type of business.
Complaints with LA City Planning have now been filed, and Councilman Krekorian’s office is aware of the situation and is said to be working on the problem. We’ll stay on this one for sure!
Posted by STA on Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Councilman Krekorian has issued a response to the memorandum that was sent to him awhile back seeking his assistance with improving the Foothill Blvd Corridor Specific Plan. We’ve always known that there is no money to start the process this fiscal year, but we are looking forward to preparing for next year by working with the community to be ready to go when the funds do become available! Thank you Councilman Krekorian! Click images to view larger.
Posted by STA on Friday, September 2, 2011
Tuesday night Aug 30th, the Samoa Project Committee will hold their second meeting at North Valley City Hall at 7:30pm. This sub-committee of the LUC is researching the proposed affordable housing project and it’s potential impacts on the area. This is a working committee meeting so even though it is open to the public, don’t think you can attend just to rant and rave. They have a lot of research to go through so let them work and save the display of opposition until you are needed at a more public forum. If you are able to offer assistance to the committee please contact the chairman, Bill Skiles at email@example.com. There is also a new blog that just kicked off that will be the go to site for information regarding the work of the committee. The site is a STNC info blog and can be found at http://samoaavetujungasb1818project.blogspot.com/
Keep your eye on Zachau Canyon in Tujunga and a developing problem with the US Forest Service. The Station Fire and the subsequent rains have managed to severely damage a retaining wall (that also serves as a fire road bridge) just above the Zachau Canyon Debris Basin. If the wall goes in a storm, many homes could be threatened, and yet, the US Forest Service, who is responsible for the wall, is refusing to repair it! More on this later!
Posted by STA on Monday, August 29, 2011
We have some great news for the community! The former Coffee Stop is being converted into a cafe! I met the owners today and they said they plan on being open by Nov 1st and will be serving Middle Eastern and American food.
What makes this story cause for celebration is that this site came very, very close to being turned into an industrial propane refueling facility! The STA led the fight against the propane use and we filed an appeal to the Planning Department decision to approve this use. With the support of Councilman Paul Krekorian and the STNC, we were able to bring that bad project to a grinding halt!
We are pleased to see that this site will now be used as it should be, a business that serves the community, is pedestrian friendly, and brings another restaurant choice to the community! Great work everyone!
Posted by STA on Sunday, August 21, 2011
City officials announced Wednesday they had dropped an ambitious, 5-year-old plan to create a truck driving academy atop a portion of the closed Lopez Canyon Landfill.
After a closed-door meeting, the City Council decided to not appeal a judge’s ruling that would have required the city to perform a full environmental impact review for use of the 1.5 acre site.
“We were hoping the court would have said our mitigated negative declaration would have been fine with a few fixes,” said Councilman Richard Alarcón. “But when the court said we would need a full environmental review, it wasn’t worth pursuing.”
Alarcón said the two main groups behind the proposal – the Teamsters Union and El Proyecto del Barrio – have decided to open the academy in South Los Angeles instead.
“The shame of it is that a number of Valley residents who could have used the academy to be trained as truck drivers won’t have that chance now,” Alarcón said.
A homeowners group, the Community Alliance for Open Space, had filed suit to challenge the academy. Representatives of that organization could not be reached late Wednesday.
However, alliance member Marlene Rader previously said the court ruling validated their argument that the city needed to provide more details about the project.
The plan called for the academy to be located at the site for two years to provide driver training.
Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich had joined in the opposition, sending out letters questioning all aspects of the city’s proposal.
He said he was pleased with the city decision to drop the academy plans.
“This is a clear victory for the residents and neighborhood councils who would have been impacted negatively by the truck traffic and pollution associated with this absurd proposal,” Antonovich said.
Posted by STA on Thursday, August 11, 2011
-The STNC along with the STA and the Chamber of Commerce are beginning to plan what could be multiple workshops dedicated to the Foothill Blvd Corridor Specific Plan (FBCSP or SP). These workshops will explore the history of the SP, it’s successes and failures, and identify key elements that need improvement so that the SP actually works for our community. The first workshop could be as soon as mid to late August. Stay tuned for more details!
Posted by STA on Thursday, July 28, 2011