Forestar Real Estate, a Texas based development company, is proposing a 188 home subdivision called Hidden Creeks Estates, in one of our last remaining parcels of prime wildlife habitat in the southern Santa Susana Mountains.
This 259 acre site in unincorporated Los Angeles County is zoned for up to 33 rural homes. In Dec. 2011, the developer unilaterally applied to LAFCO asking to be annexed into the City of Los Angeles – and thus up-zoning (increasing the density of) his project, to a whopping 188 luxury estates. That is flagrantly outrageous.
This pristine property lies in the north San Fernando Valley wedged between the only perennial creeks in the southern Santa Susanas. It abuts the 2,326-acre Michael D. Antonovich Regional Park and 10,000 acres of open space managed by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA). Paul Edelman, MRCA’s Chief of Natural Resources and Planning said, “the site is a critical component of the Santa Susana ecosystem. You couldn’t pick an ecologically worse place to plop down a big subdivision.”
The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy’s comment letter also states, “The proposed Hidden Creeks Estate project is by far the most ecologically damaging and ill-suited hillside development proposed in the City of Los Angeles in over 25 years. It is an attempt to convert a 150-acre mountain landslide in the heart of the Santa Susana Mountains into a gated, mass grading, cut and fill subdivision.”
Access to this project requires the extension of a four-lane-wide road “three quarters of a mile through a mountainside” (at a depth of an 18 story building) – bulldozing into the heart of black bear, mountain lion, and California condor habitat.
The Hidden Creeks Estates’ EIR is also badly flawed and biased – and has not adequately addressed the biological impacts of grading 6.5 million cubic yards of earth, removing 456 trees and building a subdivision that eliminates 186 acres of core habitat from the Los Angeles River watershed.
17 scientists from UCLA, USC, Humboldt State, Cal State Northridge, Loyola Marymount University and Santa Monica College have also a signed a petition – united – in their opposition to the project.
Please, send an important message to the City of Los Angeles now. Tell them you oppose this monstrous estate tract in the heart of our wildlands. Not only does the City not have to green light a 188-unit subdivision – neither is it required to bail out a developer who knowingly bought an ancient landslide without a road leading to it.
Deadline for your comments is June 30. You can simply cut and paste the letter of opposition below or create your own. (One of the Conservancy’s letters of opposition is also attached for your perusal.)
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1. Cut and Paste the copy below and put in a new email.
2. Put OPPOSE HIDDEN CREEKS PROJECT AND BIASED EIR in the subject line of your email.
3. Send the email to: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org copy: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
4. Deadline to receive your comments is June 30.
CUT AND PASTE HERE:
OPPOSITION TO HIDDEN CREEKS ESTATES PROJECT, 12900 BROWNS CANYON ROAD
VTT-68724 / ENV-2005-6657-EIR / ZA-2013-4153-CU-ZAD-F / CPC-2005-6656-AD-GPA-ZC-DA
Dear Mr. Woersching and Advisory Agency Members:
I respectfully urge your categorical denial of the Tract Map for the Hidden Creeks Estates Project, VTT-68724, and urge you not to certify the project’s deficient Environmental Impact Report, ENV-2005-6657-EIR.
There is no justification to allow a private development like Hidden Creeks to grade into the adjacent public open space that has been promised to the City from the Porter Ranch Development Agreement.
Please do not be fooled by the applicant’s claim that this open space, and Mormon Creek, a year-round stream, will be “improved” by this intrusion. This grading on public open space, if approved by the City, would be a breach of the public trust.
The proposed grading and tract housing would permanently ruin the ambiance of the adjacent Michael D. Antonovich Regional Park to the west of the project, and the County’s recently acquired Green Ranch property to the project’s south.
The Environmental Impact Report for the project remains unforgivably flawed. How can grading over 225 acres of the Santa Susana Mountains and upper Los Angeles River watershed not be considered a significant biological impact?
Thank you for your consideration.