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Council grants property request

City approves step in appealing Planning Commision’s denial

Posted: November 28, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: November 28, 2012 2:00 a.m.

After a lengthy public hearing Tuesday night, members of the Santa Clarita City Council moved one step closer to granting an appeal and allowing a controversial Placerita Canyon property subdivision to move forward.

In a unanimous vote, council members directed city staff to draw up a document granting the appeal to overturn an earlier decision from the city’s Planning Commission — which ruled the proposed subdivision of the property at 24837 Quigley Canyon Road to create two, smaller parcels — would violate the city’s oak tree ordinance and the special standards district for Placerita Canyon.

The Placerita Canyon special standards district restricts some development to maintain the area’s rural and equestrian characteristics.

The appellate, Michael Hairell, has alleged the Planning Commission’s decision to deny the project was unduly influenced by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Ann I. Jones, who lives adjacent to the property and was among the vocal opponents of the land split.

During public comment on the issue, Hairell asked all those who were in attendance and supported his efforts to stand. Around 15 individuals did so.

“I wanted to show you I’m not in this alone,” Hairell said.

The project’s original applicant, Hairell’s son Curtis, died in September. Hairell has previously said the project was meant to build his son’s dream home, and he is continuing the project in his son’s memory.

Stanley W. Lamport, an attorney who attended the meeting to represent Jones, said the original Planning Commission decision was the correct one.

“Your Planning Commission was very thoughtful in its deliberations on this and came to the right decisions for the right reasons,” Lamport told the council.

Councilman Bob Kellar said he made his decision based on the project meeting all the necessary legal requirements, as determined by city staff.

“I will assure you, staff does not make those kinds of recommendations if there is any kind of violation of the law,” Kellar said.

Kellar also echoed earlier comments and said the issue came down to private property rights.

“You know, (property rights are) mom and apple pie,” Kellar said. “This is America.”

Staff will draw up a resolution officially granting an appeal to be presented at next meeting of the City Council. Council members will then decide whether to officially grant the appeal.



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