Lopez Canyon, Richard Alarcon, and the WTF Factor
A little background- back in 1996, the Lopez Canyon Landfill was closed after over 20 years of use and began to undergo a 30 year monitoring period as the land settled and the slow process of rejuvenation began. The land was designated to be Open Space and intended to be used for low impact recreational use (hiking,etc). The motion to close the facility and designate it Open Space was introduced by then Councilmember Alarcon (who was about to move up the political ladder to the state level). In early 2007, the now (again) LA City Councilmember Alarcon introduced an even more detailed plan for Lopez Canyon called the Lopez Canyon Restoration Project. This plan was meant to restore the area even further and once again called for the passive Open Space use of the grounds.
That should have been the end of the story, but this is Los Angeles, a city overflowing with bad ideas, piss poor planning decisions, and sudden appearances by what I call "the WTF factor".
About 8 months after Councilmember Alarcon called for the Lopez Canyon Restoration Project,"the WTF factor" made an appearance. In January of 2008, the Councilmember, out of nowhere, began to tout his new plan for the former Lopez Canyon Landfill; a big rig truck driving school.
A big rig truck driving school on top of a mountain.
In the middle of horse country.
Surrounded by winding roads.
On a site that had not yet recovered from being a landfill.
In an area designated Open Space.
And the land would be provided to the truck driving school by the city at little or no charge.
This of course did not go over well with with the feisty residents of the area and so to make a long story short, there will be a hearing this Thursday April 15th at 4:30 pm at the Marvin Braude Building in Van Nuys before the North Valley Area Planning Commission to decide if Richard's idea may be a bad one or not. Of course, the City Planning recommendation is to deny the appeal of the residents.
The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and just about everyone else disagrees. And now the Big Guns have arrived...
(click each image twice to view full size);
UPDATE; We have just received a report from a reliable source that Richard Alarcon will be busing in "supporters" of the school to Thursday's Hearing. Shades of Home Depot indeed!