Sand Canyon homeowners focus on safety, building projects

A car drives along a muddy road on Josel Drive after a December 2016 storm caused mudslides in the Sand Canyon area. Samie Gebers/ The Signal

The Sand Canyon Homeowners Association is expecting a number of political officials at meetings this year as they discuss safety in the canyon, as well as several development projects.

City officials had to post the agenda Monday for the association’s meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday at Sand Canyon Country Club, 27734 Sand Canyon Road, in order to comply with state law because three or more members of the city council are expected to be in attendance.

“This year, we’re going to focus on canyon safety and security,” Homeowners Association President Ruthann Levison said.

Levison, who is also a member of the city’s parks commission, said the popularity of traffic apps like Waze has led to increased traffic on Sand Canyon Road as people use it to connect to Placerita Canyon Road and attempt to bypass traffic on the 14 Freeway.

“During commute hours, people can’t get out of their driveways,” Levison said. “The traffic has increased dramatically.”

The city purchased the southwest corner of Lost Canyon and Sand Canyon roads as a staging area for the Sand Canyon trail, a planned multipurpose trail that would help with emergency access, Levison said. She recalled her and her neighbors having difficulty trying to get out of the canyon during the 2016 Sand Fire due to lack of access, taking two hours to get from Sand Canyon and Placerita Canyon roads to Sand Canyon and the 14 Freeway. The fire claimed the life of one man, burned more than 41,000 acres and evacuated about 900 residents.

Areas near the Sand Fire are still susceptible to potential mudslides in inclement weather due to the rain water not being absorbed into the soil.

Levison also said developers from Vista Canyon and Sand Canyon Plaza are expected to give presentations during the meeting Thursday.

Vista Canyon is an 185-acre project with nearly a million square feet in commercial space and more than 1,000 homes expected to be built.

In September, the city council approved Sand Canyon Plaza, a mixed-use project on the northeast corner of Sand Canyon Road and Soledad Canyon Road that will include 580 residential units, 60,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space and an 85,000 square-foot assisted living facility with up to 140 beds.

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