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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Fuentes Shepherds $15 Million Bond to Affordable Housing Developer

Samoa Street: Site of Coming 48 Unit Apartment Complex

You won't read about it in the papers very likely, but $15 million of taxpayer money is being directed towards a controversial housing development in Sunland-Tujunga, rammed through the City Council while most of the citizenry is gearing up for the holidays.

Councilman Felipe Fuentes backed affordable housing bond funds going to a 48 unit four bedroom apartment complex on a narrow hillside road in Sunland-Tujunga, despite the protests of local residents and the Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council.

Developers, in a letter to the Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council and the Sunland Tujunga Alliance stated that without the public funds, their project would not pencil out.

In addition to the impact the property would have on strained local infrastructure, safety issues with regard to parking and the ability of fire personnel to reach the property, residents objected to how a required bond hearing was not held, in lieu of the City Council discussing the matter. Many have noted that the Council is likely in violation of the law here.

The next step will be a state panel issuing the final approval for the bonds; however many residents feel that will simply be a rubber stamp of the Council's rubber stamp.

Let us hope that this is a wake-up call to the community that the game has changed, that developers and the City Council see Sunland-Tujunga as a prime area to concentrate affordable housing and that one can not fairly expect the Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council and it's Land Use Committee to shoulder the burden of this fight. Individuals will need to get involved, dollars may need to be raised to hire attorneys and cover other expenses of the fight and perhaps, a suitable replacement for Mr. Fuentes for the 2017 election needs to be identified, groomed and supported now.

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