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Hart district to hold discussion on Castaic EIR

Posted: August 15, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: August 15, 2012 2:00 a.m.

A public meeting for Santa Clarita Valley residents to comment and get more information about the proposed Castaic high school site is scheduled tonight.

A draft Environmental Impact Report for the proposed Romero Canyon school site was made public July 24, and the William S. Hart Union High School District has already received a handful of comments, organizers say.

“We‘ve had ongoing communication with members of the Castaic community, and that’s a good thing,” said school board President Gloria Mercado-Fortine. “(The meeting) is another opportunity for people to come and speak and give their oral comments.”

In April, the board held a meeting in Castaic that drew about 100 people. The community has waited for a high school for more than 12 years.

Tonight’s meeting will start at 5 at the district’s office, 21515 Centre Pointe Parkway in Santa Clarita.

The most prominent concern heard so far has involved traffic — specifically, the suggested access points to the Castaic campus listed in the draft Environmental Impact Report.

While one possibility for access offers only one road in and out of the campus, more options have presented themselves during the two years it took to prepare the EIR, officials said.

“Through the EIR process, the project has evolved in three stages,” said Randy Wrage, spokesman for the property’s owner. “First, from a single point of access through the adjacent planned neighborhood to the north and a gated emergency access down Romero (Canyon Road); to (the) second, a more direct access to the east, bypassing the planned neighborhood to the north; and third, consideration of a southern access via Barringer Road to Hillcrest Parkway.”

District officials would like to see a secondary access road from the south, spokeswoman Gail Pinsker said in an email.

A final version of the Environmental Impact Report will be written after public comments are submitted.

The next stage in finalizing the school location would be property negotiations between the district and the property’s owner.

“It should take days or weeks, not months,” Wrage said. “The state has guidelines that govern that process.”

Public comments close on Sept. 6.



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