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Debate over acceptable growth heats up

Posted: July 5, 2008 1:14 a.m.
Updated: September 5, 2008 5:03 a.m.
As summer begins with triple-digit weather, so heats up SCV's debate regarding acceptable growth in our fine city.

I certainly cannot fault City Manager Ken Pulskamp for promptly responding on June 20 to my letter regarding unfettered SCV growth ("Planning for growth," June 18).

I give our local newspaper high praise for its practice of publishing diverse opinions. Free speech is alive and well at The Signal, unlike a certain local Internet blog.

Excerpt from The Signal's 2007 profile of Ken Pulskamp ("Managing the City," from "The 51 Most Influential People in the SCV"): "One of his stated goals when selected to fill the position in 2002 was helping turn Santa Clarita from a suburban bedroom community to a legitimate urban center of its own. To that end, Pulskamp oversaw the hiring of Paul Brotzman in 2005."

In Mr. Pulskamp's letter ("City manager responds to development issues") he wrote: "With regard to the quote that has been attributed to me regarding my supposed ... ‘desire to turn our suburban bedroom community into a legitimate urban center' - I never said that."

Pulskamp further explained that different people contributed to The Signal's story and that "It is absolutely not a true statement." I am not sure whether he is denying that this is one of his goals or if he is simply denying he made that statement in such a flat-out fashion.

Most busy Santa Clarita residents desire to go about their daily responsibilities and pleasures without worrying what is happening at City Hall. Nor do they wish to spend excessive time and resources to monitor City Hall.

However, in recent years citizens have felt compelled to persistently line up one after the next at City Council public hearings to voice their complaints of heavy traffic, oversized development projects that do not match zoning laws in suburban bedroom communities, and high-density housing - the threat of urbanization.

"Our neighborhoods are under siege!" exclaimed a respected citizen at a recent public hearing.

Granted, Ms. Ender, 175,000 citizens have not attended to voice their opinions, but a very large number have literally pleaded year after year for City Hall to correct planning mistakes. Benz Road residents are but one example.

Why is it that our city planning staff continuously allow developers to seek construction approval for projects that exceed existing zoning laws, our general plan, and existing suburban bedroom community master plans?

Moreover, why is it that city personnel constantly present such plans to the city Planning Commission and City Council as though they are presenting Rembrandt paintings?

So Mr. City Manager, yes, it is about trust, and all one has to do is to simply monitor City Hall's words, actions and expenditures to realize that the SCV's suburban citizens are steaming over your so-called non-stated goals.

From my chair, it is high time for City Hall to cease spending our tax dollars assisting developers/lobbyists and focus on redemption to your citizens, and then, and only then, will the city's public hearings cool down.


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