STATEMENT ON THE APPROVAL OF THE SPRING CANYON PROJECT
“It is a misdemeanor for a person to pick a wild flower, but developers are allowed to destroy whole mountainsides of flowers”
Urban sprawl is never the answer, and the Spring Canyon project at the outskirts of the Santa Clarita Valley is no exception. The impacts of this project to our community in the form of additional traffic, and to the natural world through reduction of this major wildlife corridor and two tributaries to the Santa Clara river is substantial. But we tried to work with the developer to make it better.
We know that some of the energy and water saving mitigations that we were promised for this project will be required anyway by state law, so we take no credit for having them included now. Those changes were due to the hard work of our state legislators last year, and would have hopefully been required anyway.
But we were concerned that the developer might somehow be able to grandfather in this 19- year- old project without complying with current building codes and we wanted to try to get better baseline biological studies and mitigation for the loss of part of the rare cherry woodland.
This much did get accomplished. It took time consuming attendance at public hearings and substantial costs for filing appeals to the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors.
During the process we also requested that the Board of Supervisors require the Planning Department to bring CEQA addendums to the Planning Commission so that the community can be fully informed of proposed changes, and that really old projects like this be required to provide updates on traffic, water supply and climate change or other affected parts of their Environmental Impact Reports.
Many thanks to the SCOPE team that worked on this project including Sally White and Nathan Bousfield, and to Cher Gilmore from Citizen’s Climate Lobby for attending the Supervisors’ meeting to speak on climate change, and to all our members and others who wrote letters of concern to the County about this project.