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Citizens for Castaic may sue Hart

Posted: December 23, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: December 23, 2012 2:00 a.m.
 

Representatives from the William S. Hart Union High School District and a local advocacy group have held a series of meetings recently trying to avoid a lawsuit the group has threatened to file over the proposed high school in Castaic, according to district officials.

The Citizens for Castaic group filed a petition against the project in Los Angeles Superior Court on Nov. 5, according to group President Richard Landy.

While the petition is not itself a lawsuit, it puts the Hart district on notice that it may face litigation over the Castaic high school project, according to district spokeswoman Gail Pinsker.

Pinsker said any lawsuit filed against the district could delay the project by a year.

To avoid such a delay, representatives from Citizens for Castaic and the Hart district have met several times over the past month to try and reach an agreement that will satisfy both sides.

“We very much want to see if there is something we can work out for to address their concerns and represent their interests,” Pinsker said.

The group’s major complaint against the project, according to Landy, is that the proposal approved by the Hart district board in October does not require completion of a secondary access route to the site before the school is allowed to open.

This presents a safety hazard to the school and would clog traffic in the area, Landy said.

“Even though the district claims to have approved dual access, there is no guarantee of this secondary access route … happening in a timely manner and the (environmental impact report) even provides many ‘opt-outs’ from this route ever happening,” Landy wrote in an email.

The district’s approved site plan for the school includes northern access from Sloan Canyon Road and Canyon Hill Road with a secondary public southern access point using Barringer, Sloan Canyon, Romero Canyon, Valley Creek and Sloan Canyon roads.

District officials have said the language of the proposal, which requires secondary access to be constructed at some point, gives the district flexibility so the opening of the school is not delayed if that route is not completed.

Landy did not respond to requests for additional comment this week.

The Citizens for Castaic is an advocacy group with the goal of maintaining Castaic’s rural character and “advancing a safe, well-planned, promptly-built high school,” according to the group’s website.

lmoney@signalscv.com

661-287-5525

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