More landfill design stylin’ in the Santa Clara River watershed

November 8, 2010 § 1 Comment

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(Above: I’ve outlined creeks in red – mostly elusive unmapped ephemeral drainages that will be filled by proposed development. Grey lines are existing contours, black includes new contour and lots. I only reviewed a small number of the sheets available at the website below.)

Here’s a chance to weigh in to keep the Santa Clara watershed from looking worse than the LA River watershed. I say worse because at least our hills and mountains, for the most part, haven’t been reshaped to look like engineered landfills. I haven’t had much time to review the documents, but my 5-minute assessment reveals that the beautiful terrain will be dramatically re-shaped to create stabilized and uniform slopes for cookie-cutter homes, condos and commercial areas. Drainages will definitely be filled. And these could be intermittent or ephemeral streams, with their own sensitive habitat. Remember, not all streams are properly mapped.

What’s more, as recent posts have shown, preserving uplands is also important. Will they preserve and replant the seedbank? I don’t know (the first chapter of the EIR is 122MB – too much for a mid-day work break!) That it will have the required stormwater quality detention ponds and protected areas for spineflower and stickleback is a perfunctory nod at legal requirements rather than an inspired design approach that leverages the natural capital of the site for long-term sustainability and aesthetic pleasure.

From Lynne Plambeck, Friends of Santa Clara River:

Just a head’s up to anyone that might be interested – The Mission Village project will be heard at the LA County Regional Planning Hearing Rm 150 (320 Temple St., LA 90012) Wenesday morning at 9AM. (emphasis by LA Creekfreak) It is another huge proposal – over 4400 units.  With so many vacant lots and continuing bankruptcies and foreclosures, further approvals at this time are rreally ludicrous.  Plus, they have not been granted a permit to alter the river yet.  One can only wonder what the County can be thinking.
>We hope you will contact the Regional Planning Dept and request that this comment period be extended to 120 days due to the size of the document and the number of hearing for large projects currently underway.
>You can contact Regional Planning at:
>Please submit written comments on the Draft EIR to Ms. Carolina Blengini of the Department of Regional Planning at the
>above address or via email at:
> you can also contact Ms. Blengini by phone at 213-974-1522.
>You can view the documents at the link below.
>Mission Village (Newhall Ranch 2nd Phase)
>Lynne Plambeck

To see SCOPE’s comment letter, follow the planning link and download “Supplemental Information.” SCOPE has also identified potential impacts -including cumulative ones – that the County needs to ascertain before approving this development. Follow the link anyway and drive home to our County officials that development must be sustainable and sensible. The Santa Clara River is one beseiged waterway. If we can preserve it and its watershed, our grandchildren won’t be paying a billion dollars to restore it to a less functional state 50 years from now.


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§ One Response to More landfill design stylin’ in the Santa Clara River watershed

  • charlie says:

    great, more suburban sprawl in areas that are already collapsing economically because there are more jobs there. The habitat will be ruined, and the houses probably won’t even be bought… or they will turn into slums.

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