The Ad Hoc Land Use Committee Sub-Committee to oppose the SB 1818 Samoa Affordable Housing Project met for the first time tonight. Do not for a minute think you as a stakeholder cannot attend or participate and give your input. If this is a project that concerns you (and it should) then be bold: get involved and show your support for these dedicated volunteers vs. the Goliath housing project.
Despite some contentious beginnings the group managed to get through an entire list of nine Discussion Points. Bill Skiles has been elected as Committee Chair. Volunteer committee members Dean Sherer, Elaine Brown, Cindy Cleghorn and Stakeholder Kathleen Travers were assigned research projects of considerable magnitude while shared information from several knowledgeable members benefited the committee as a whole. Proceedings will be reported here in greater detail as the members begin to act upon them (the opposition is likely to prepare a defense by previewing this report so detailed information will be described when the committee has implemented it.)
The SB 1818 Samoa Project intends to build a massive 4 story complex of “affordable housing” on Samoa Street in Tujunga just 200 yards from historic Bolton Hall, a stone building that is priceless to the community and requires protection from the impact of increased traffic, parking, and land use that the proposed project would bring to the neighborhood. Of major concern to the committee is the impact of the Samoa Project on this historic resource.
Other impacts to the neighborhood include changing the flow of rainwater runoff which is already a problem, the magnitude of a four story building in a two story neighborhood, increased population (64 3-4 bedroom apartments or 200+ people but less than half the required parking spaces) increased vehicular traffic in a single lane roadway, failure to address fire truck access to the back of the structure, and numerous other issues.
What constitutes “affordable housing” was also discussed as it is reported the local residents in need may not necessarily qualify for residency in the project and of special concern are the veterans in need for whom no apparent provision appears in the project description.
The project is inconsistent with the Foothill Boulevard Corridor Specific Plan which allows a maximum density of 55 multi-family units in this location. Although SB 1818 overrides the Los Angeles Municipal Code according to Dean Sherer, SB 1818 vs. the FBCSP is another issue, as Councilman Krekorian approved the Samoa Project with a letter of recommendation that it adhere to the FBCSP.
There is a probability there will be an attempt to push this project through without a public hearing but this Ad Hoc Committee will work to thwart that action and bring it to public review. Of special note is the appeal process; the Sunland Tujunga Alliance cannot file an appeal as they have done with other projects. A Planning Directors administrative decision on an SB 1818 project can only be appealed by an adjoining property owner.
The next meeting of the Ad Hoc Land Use Committee’s Sub-Committee will be on August 30th at 7:30 pm in the
North Valley City Hall.