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SCV residents weigh in on road extension

Posted: August 22, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: August 22, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Attendees view a map of a proposed project to expand Dockweiler Drive during a meeting at Santa Clarita City Hall Wednesday night. Photo by Luke Money.


Santa Clarita Valley residents turned out in force Wednesday night for an open-house-style forum to discuss, learn about and in some cases criticize a city proposal to link Dockweiler Drive with Lyons Avenue.

The project will include an extension of Lyons Avenue from Railroad Avenue to the future connection with Dockweiler Drive near the site of The Master’s College, according to city officials.

Wednesday’s meeting, held in Santa Clarita City Hall, provided an opportunity for the city to gather public input on the project and begin to examine how to move forward, Mike Hennawy, the project’s manager.

“Most people want to know why we’re doing this,” Hennawy saidWednesday. “This meeting is part of that input process.”

City officials say the project would improve circulation and access in Placerita Canyon and the Newhall area.
But details of the project remained a mystery to some.

“We are still trying to figure out where this road is going and how it helps the city,” said Rob Hall, president of the Placerita Canyon Property Owners Association. “It’s like the bridge to nowhere, only this is the road to nowhere.”
Kelly Phen said she has lived in the Placerita Canyon area, near the site of the project, for more than 50 years and that she wants to see the area keep its smaller, more wide-open feel.

“We want the canyon to stay rural,” she said.

Others said the project could snarl local traffic, make it difficult for emergency personnel to make it into Placerita Canyon and potentially increase flooding in the area.

Along with an area where attendees could submit written comments, the meeting featured several different stations set up with at least one person close by to answer questions.

But some criticized the format of the meeting.

“I feel betrayed,” said local resident Julie Visner. “The city tricked us into coming with this lack of a presentation.”

Hennawy said the format provided better opportunity for attendees to ask questions and get answers.

From here, the city will look to craft an environmental impact report for the project that will examine how the project would affect the surrounding area.

Hennawy said that report will likely take at least a year to complete.
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