Cher Gilmore: More to expansion than just economic development

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor
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Re: “Newhall Ranch opportunities,” The Signal’s editorial published July 22, it’s true that the proposed Newhall Ranch project will provide economic opportunities – and every organization and business in Santa Clarita that will benefit financially came out in numbers to support the county’s approval on July 18. However, there’s more to the appeal of a city than economic growth.

What about the quality of life for people now living here? The newly approved, 30-year expansion of Chiquita Canyon Landfill will guarantee exacerbated truck traffic, toxic air near neighborhood schools and residences, possible contamination of our aquifer, and the dubious “honor” of being home to the biggest dump in the country.

Now the floodplain of Los Angeles’s last free-flowing river is to be paved over for what amounts to a complete new city – just across from the dump.

The developer did a good job on paper of showing how some of the climate-threatening carbon emissions will be offset – but many are on other continents and won’t help the air here.

Plus there’s no mechanism to ensure they’ll be enforceable, verifiable reductions that wouldn’t have occurred anyway.

And how will having electric chargers in every garage (although a good idea) guarantee that the homeowners will buy electric cars? And if they do, what portion of the electricity will be from renewable sources?

Last winter’s rains paused our six-year drought, but long-term projections for this area are for increasing heat, longer periods of drought, and water shortages.

How is it rational to build another 21,000 houses here, when we already have water issues? Where will our fresh water come from as climate change ratchets up?

Anything gained in economic activity by these two monstrous projects will be completely negated by the loss in quality of life for Santa Clarita residents – worsened air pollution, horrible traffic and congestion, probable water rationing, and fewer natural green areas to enjoy.

Cher Gilmore

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