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Las Lomas Meeting Draws a Crowd

Posted: February 5, 2008 11:34 a.m.
Updated: April 7, 2008 2:01 a.m.
NORTHRIDGE - Santa Clarita Mayor Bob Kellar gave the city of Los Angeles a piece of his mind Monday night at a committee meeting regarding the proposed Las Lomas development.

As the first person to step up to the microphone in opposition to the planned 5,500-unit project, his message was loud and clear.

"We're opposing this project - period," he said.

"This is a bad project in a bad location," he told more than 500 people who had come to express, and listen to, views about the proposed deal.

"This project would jeopardize the Rim of the Valley (conservation) corridor," Kellar said, pointing out that Santa Clarita City Council voted unanimously last November to oppose the development and that it was detrimental to the region.

He said the project would adversely affect Santa Clarita schools, streets and freeways.

The highly-charged meeting took place in a packed hall at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church Monday night for the Los Angeles City Council's Budget and Finance Committee.

Most turned out to hear city money-crunchers address the issue of Las Lomas and the plan to build more than 5,500-housing units on the steep slopes on the east side of The Old Road above the junction of Interstate 5 and Highway 14.

At issue was whether or not the city of Los Angeles should continue processing paperwork for the Las Lomas housing project as part of the city's Supplemental Fee Agreement.

Under the agreement developers such as Las Lomas Land Co. agree to pay the city a fee for the time it takes city staff to prepare such documents as the developer's Environmental Impact Report and its Specific Plan. The move that would prove expensive for the developer but would expedite the project quickly.

"We are not here asking the city of Los Angeles to change the process," Hilary Norton Orozoco, vice president of the Las Lomas Land Co., told the group. "The process is very important to us."

Listening to the comments for and against Las Lomas was the man who reviews application such as annexation - Sandor Winger, executive officer for the Local Agency Formation Commission for the County of Los Angeles.

District 7 Councilman Richard Alarcon, who set the debate of supplemental fees in motion last June did not attend the meeting. Saeed Ali, his chief of staff, read a statement on his behalf.

"We're here to ask you to approve a fee agreement for the cost of processing its (annexation) application," Ali said. "(Alarcon) wants the city to have jurisdiction over Las Lomas to protect our quality of life."


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