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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Lopez Canyon, Richard Alarcon, and the WTF Factor

I would venture to guess that overall, a relative few in Los Angeles have ever heard of a place called Lopez Canyon, but for many in the Foothill communities and the northern end of the Valley, Lopez Canyon is ground zero in a battle to preserve and protect Open Space designations.

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!

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Anonymous Anonymous said:


April 14, 2010 6:45 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Why does this blog focus disproportionately about matters in the north/east part of the city?

Yes, we know you ALL live there, so why don't you try to get more coverage on the other 95% of the city?

Higby? It's the Assembly. It's Glendale/Krekorian. It's the mudslides. All you seem to do, now and before you quit the blog, is focus on matters in your own neck of the woods.

Aren't you aware of all the other problems in the city?

April 14, 2010 7:04 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Hey, don't put this all on Alarcon.
Villaraigosa has a big part in trying to ram this project through for his union buddies who want to run the school (the Teamsters).

April 14, 2010 8:35 AM  

Blogger Red Spot in CD 14 said:

"Lets make a deal" is the official motto of the Mayor Parkervillar Reign at City Hall.

April 14, 2010 8:43 AM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:

Gosh we thought the only other problems in the rest of the City were pot and billboards!

April 14, 2010 10:12 AM  

Blogger Petra Fried in the City said:

I wrote quite a bit about this issue here in the past.

Glad to see the big guns are *finally* getting involved. Unfortunately, the City hates the County and will probably do it anyway just to spite Zev et al.


April 14, 2010 10:24 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Busing in "supporters" has been AlarCON's M.O. for decades.

This *sshole must be stopped. He and his nasty loser cousin dela Rosa think they're the damn Landfill Mafia or something. Enough of the bastards.

April 14, 2010 4:05 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Joe B good story glad you are back.

April 14, 2010 11:09 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

This asshat isn't even living in his own claimed house. screw him.

April 15, 2010 12:19 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Everyone show up this afternoon and pledge to circulate the recall petitions for the Mayor. This dumb ass idea is not as much the Councilmember's idea, as it is the Mayor and his dull edged staff. Recall. Recall. Recall.

April 15, 2010 1:56 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

And Alarcon does have the dumbest staff in town, I have to agree. He brought a lot of them with him from the Assembly, but they're all pretty dim-witted. I have definitely noticed that since he came back to Council.

April 17, 2010 4:46 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I cannot understand how this can happen. Richard Alarcon is incompetent. All of his ideas and actions are backward and he is not an advocate for the community. He utilizes the power in numbers. He throughs the poor and uneducated a bone now and then in order to take advantage of their vulnerability and use them. I only wish they understood how the only person that really benefits from all of Alarcons dicisions is Alercon himself. How has it came to this?

May 08, 2010 12:02 AM  

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