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Dense development at Smiser ranch? No way

Posted: July 18, 2008 11:38 p.m.
Updated: September 19, 2008 5:04 a.m.

Editor’s note: While our July 3 call for comments about an urban center in the Santa Clarita Valley was not directed at the now-defunct The Avenue at Santa Clarita planned development, several readers responded with specific feedback on that proposal. Here is one letter.

I have been a resident of the Oaks off Calgrove Boulevard for almost 20 years. I live a in a quiet residential area and hope the area remains so.

 The residents of the Oaks and Hidden Valley basically depend on one road to get in and out of our homes, and that is Calgrove.

We have been trapped in our homes by earthquakes, fires and truck crashes on the southbound Interstate 5 freeway. We know how hard it is to get in and out of homes when traffic is bad on the freeway, and when Wiley Canyon Road was closed for upgrades.

We also know how dangerous getting off at Calgrove can be when you have to maneuver between trucks who can’t slow down coming north on I-5. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have heard that there is a truck-involved accident in the vicinity of Calgrove.

To build a high-density project on Smiser Mule Ranch will not only turn our quiet neighborhood into a congested urban center, it will create a traffic nightmare.

The developers who purchased the Smiser Ranch have admitted that the project would cause increased traffic but said not to worry, I-5 will be improved as well as Wiley Canyon Road. Knowing how tight money is for our state right now, I don’t see any improvements to I-5 coming from there.

And as all these improvements are being made to I-5 and Wiley Canyon Road (which the developers admitted will take years), along with the construction required to build the proposed development, homeowners will be “trapped” and forced to suffer the increased traffic congestion this project will cause.

To compare this project to Warner Center is ludicrous. Warner Center has access to the 101 freeway from several main roads; it has access to the 118 via Topanga Canyon and Desoto avenues.

You can enter and leave Warner Center from major roads such as Ventura Boulevard and Victory Boulevard.

The Smiser development would have only two ways to get in and out: Calgrove and Wiley. That’s it.

Individuals coming to the area (which the developers have stated could number in the thousands) will have to fight the trucks on the crowded I-5 to get off at Calgrove or traverse the two-lane, but highly traveled, Wiley Canyon Road to get to Lyons Avenue.

Unless someone can convince me that the residents of The Oaks and Hidden Valley will have other exits besides the one we are now limited to, I cannot support this project even in a scaled-down version.


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