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Monday, December 15, 2014

The Insane Development of Big Tujunga Canyon

Big Tujunga Today
The continuing insanity of over-densifying Los Angeles has now come to the rural northern hamlet of Sunland-Tujunga. 

Plans are afoot to build a major development of nearly 250 luxury homes smack dab in the middle of Big Tujunga Canyon, near what has been used as space for baseball fields and archery ranges. And the rest of it, just good old fashioned open space.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the Big Tujunga Wash is a major tributary of the Los Angeles River which links the San Gabriel Mountains to the Pacific Ocean offering residents of the Los Angeles area a link to a natural environment. The Place's wooden riparian area serves as an important wildlife corridor, as well as a habitat for sensitive animal species.

But the powers that be want a Santa Clarita style mini city. All in a location at the base of Foothills with only a two lane road in and out. 

Can you say "Stop the Insanity?" More to come.

For More Information: Check Out Save Big Tujunga Canyon's Facebook Page.

Previous plan from 2007

Current Project Plan

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Anonymous Elaine Brown said:

On September 14, 2007 the Los Angeles City Council at the behest of then Councilmember Wendy Greuel passed a General Plan Amendment to protect the Agriculturally zoned properties along Big Tujunga Road from Oro Vista Ave, Sunland on the west to the City line in Tujunga on the east from up zoning.

The intent was that these properties should remain MINIMUM density and never be subjected to higher density developments. The MINIMUM density zoning already existed mostly as A1 and A2 and was to remain MINIMUM - there were several properties affected by this including the one mentioned in this article which is presently wilderness watershed close to the entrance to the Angeles National Forest.

There are two documents which tell the story. One is the actual GPA and the other is the planning report done for the City Planning Commission which indicated that this GPA was NOT APPEALABLE and that if there was to be any legal action taken, the lawsuit had to be filed within 90 days. There were no appeals or lawsuits filed.



December 15, 2014 10:26 PM  

Blogger Irishteacup said:

As President of the Sunland Village Homeowners Association and former member of the Sunland Tujunga Neighborhood Council (2003-2004), I will report this situation to our homeowners at our annual election meeting on December 18, at the Sunland Park Visitor's Center. I hope to get even more attention and support for this movement to STOP THE INSANITY of the proposed project in Big Tujunga Canyon.

December 16, 2014 6:18 PM  

Blogger Irishteacup said:

As President of the Sunland Village Homeowners Association and former STNC member (2003-2004), I wholeheartedly support SAVE BIG TUJUNGA CANYON's efforts to stop the insanity of putting housing in the Canyon and will bring this issue to the attention of the SVHOA homeowners who attend our annual meeting on Dec 18 at Sunland Park. Thank you to Elaine Brown for providing such valuation information in her comment.

December 16, 2014 6:23 PM  

Anonymous Elaine Brown said:

Well, I was hoping for a response and to hear someone tell me that the existing zoning was down zoned by the GPA. The existing zoning being agricultural. And this would have opened up a discussion about how this city does its development. I think of it as the sneaky way this city does its development.

Are you aware that Planning and/or Councilmembers decide when a section of Los Angeles is ripe for development. A totally unpublicized and generally unattended hearing is held and a notice is posted on a Thursday in the LATIMES 30 days later and what is referred to as the General Plan Framework is quietly up zoned for that area.

But basically no one knows about it. Real Estate agents still list it as it was originally zoned. Banks finance it under that original zoning. Then a developer decides he wants to build according to the Framework up zoning, all he has to do is apply and almost always it is a done deal. Next thing you know they are building condos next to your house or your farm and when you try to fight it, you are told sorry that property and yours were up zoned long ago - and although you were never notified, they insist they held a public hearing and published the up zoning in the local newspaper. As if that is all you have to do is to watch like a hawk for your property to be up zoned.

In the case of Big Tujunga Wash and Road which run along together into the National Forest, Ms. Greuel was attempting to save wildlife, watershed, and open space as much as MIMIMUM density can allow.

When a General Plan Amendment goes through PLUM, the City Planning Commission and City Council, it is a big deal. All votes were unanimous at each department. The City meant for these properties to remain at MINIMUM density.

So who now dares to attempt to override the City of Los Angeles? A developer, that's who.

December 16, 2014 7:23 PM  

Anonymous Elaine Brown said:

Thank you, Irishteacup, and please pass the word. We need our community to know what is going on.


December 16, 2014 7:47 PM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:

Thank you, Elaine Brown, for the education on zoning. Very distressing. Folks are going to have to get super sophisticated.

December 16, 2014 7:55 PM  

Blogger Liliana Sanchez said:

What Is confusing to me is that if our City knows there is a GPA set in place to protect Big Tujunga Canyon from being upzoned why not STOP it there and respect what this community has already set in place as the law.

December 17, 2014 4:52 AM  

Blogger Mark Legassie said:

There has been confusion over the use of the term “down-zone” that should be cleared up. It's really a semantics issue combined with the city's use of two different zoning systems, which confuses matters even further.
When the "Save Our Canyon" organization stated the GPA down-zoned the property, we meant that the General Plan’s designated land-use zoning for this property of “Very Low II” and “Low” were inconsistent with A1-1-H. “Very Low II” and “Low” designations would have allowed higher densities than permitted by the existing A1-1-H zone. Therefore, a GPA was initiated in 2007 to “down-zone” the land-use designation to “Minimum” residential, so that the two different zoning systems matched and were consistent.
Furthermore, at a LUC mtg this past fall, the developer revealed plans that they will be applying for a GPA change to up-zone this property to allow higher densities.

For a tri-fold outreach brochure and form letters to send in to your Councilmember and to City Planning objecting to any up-zoning, please join our group "Save Our Canyon" on Facebook (fb.com/groups/SaveOurCanyon).

December 17, 2014 10:05 AM  

Blogger Mark Legassie said:

Here's the wording of the council motion for the 2007 GPA:

"The high demand for housing has fostered continuous development towards the
outer edge of the City. This growth is often incompatible with the rural character of the
existing community. The open space of Sunland-Tujunga, a community nestled
between the Angeles National Forest and the Verdugo Mountains, is incessantly being developed. Although the current zoning for much of the community's undeveloped land reflects the- traditional land use and density of Sunland-Tujunga, its general plan land use designation is inconsistent with this notion.

In order to retain the integrity of Sunland-Tujunga while continuing to allow developmenL, the City should assess the general plan land use designations for the undeveloped land adjacent to the Angeles National Forest and City limit.

I THEREFORE MOVE that the Council DIRECT the Department of City Planning to commence a General Plan Amendment to redesignate t he land bounded by Ellenbogen Street, Airlie Drive and their respective east-west extensions on the south, Oro Vista Avenue and its extension on the west, the City boundary on the north and the City boundary and the Angeles National Forest on the east to minimum residential."

December 17, 2014 10:10 AM  

Blogger Mark Legassie said:

Typo in last post--FB group that is posting an outreach brochure and form letters is "Stop the Canyon Park Development" (StopCPD), not "Save Our Canyon". My apologies.

If logged into Facebook you can access these docs directly via the following links:

Outreach brochure: https://www.facebook.com/download/890125447688910/CANYON%20PARK%20DEVELOPMENT%20BROCHURE.pdf

EIR scope form letter to send to City Planning:

"Stop the Canyon Park Development" is a Facebook group with similar goals as Save Big Tujunga Cyn. StopCPD's main mission is to protect BT Cyn from this inappropriate development project at 12400 BT Cyn Rd.

December 17, 2014 1:20 PM  

Blogger Mark Legassie said:

Typo in last post: An outreach brochure protesting the proposed Canyon Park development project, and a generic form letter to send to City Planning regarding EIR scope can be found at the following address:


December 19, 2014 11:51 AM  

Anonymous Barbara said:

Thank you for writing this. I am a middle class renter who left Long Beach due to density and crime. I have loved the fact that I can hike all over Tujunga and the fact that I know my neighbors. This is the last bastion for the working and middle classes who want a safe area to live in that isn't crowded. Why in the world is any housing- let alone luxury housing being built. Rich people can live in Sherman Oaks or Bel Air. Can you imagine Sunland blvd with 700 more cars on it? Please keep the 1% out of our city. They will then think they can control us.

December 21, 2014 9:11 PM  

Blogger david barron said:

Exactly, Liliana.

December 23, 2014 10:58 PM  

Anonymous David Barron said:

Exactly Liliana.
There is good reasoning to zoning laws. They're designed to provide good quality of life and not to be tampered with unless a situation present's a real hardship.

December 24, 2014 8:30 PM  

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