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Mesmerized by a mirage

Posted: March 23, 2008 1:46 a.m.
Updated: May 24, 2008 5:02 a.m.
 
One the one hand, we owe the Los Angeles City Council a handshake.

Last Tuesday the council voted 10-5 to halt annexation proceedings on Dan S. Palmer's Las Lomas proposal, which would have stuck some 5,500 homes on a hill overlooking the Highway 14 and Interstate 5 interchange.

The developers like to call it an "urban village" with "mixed-use" neighborhoods. Spanish-inspired architecture, water features - maybe even a streetcar to whisk residents to the corner market.

Sounds like a great idea. Until one looks at the location.

To build Las Lomas, Palmer would have had to hack off the top of a mountain and, within a few years, shove in several thousand homes on top of a fault line, next to two major freeways that are already clogged with traffic.

The council's decision doesn't mean nothing will ever be developed atop that hill.

But for the time being, we extend a hand and say "thank you" to L.A. City Council members Ed Reyes, Wendy Greuel, Dennis Zine, Tom LaBonge, Jack Weiss, Tony Cardenas, Jan Perry, Bill Rosendahl, Greig Smith and Janice Hahn, for voting against Las Lomas.

On the other hand, we can only ask: What the heck were those other five council members thinking?

The property proposed for Las Lomas doesn't adjoin Los Angeles city property.

It isn't in the San Fernando Valley.

In fact, it's just a stone's throw from the Santa Clarita city limits.

And it is, most definitely, within the geographic boundaries of the Santa Clarita Valley.

A mobile home park surrounded by the proposed Los Lomas project has a Newhall address.

To annex the land, Los Angeles would have had to leap its property lines across the two major freeways, through the Newhall Pass and into the Santa Clarita Valley.

We ask those five Los Angeles City Council members: Were they trying to move through the Newhall Pass and make part of the SCV part of Los Angeles?

What sort of glittering, tax-generating mirage were they pursuing in those rugged, dusty Newhall hills?

Santa Clarita had already rejected the project. County officials also had the smarts to turn thumbs-down.
We're glad reason also prevailed with the majority of Los Angeles City Council members.

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