Local teen wants to build new trail where 37-home Pico Canyon project would go

The Los Angeles County Regional Planning Commission will conduct a public hearing to consider this project shown on the map. Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning

A local teen is seeking to build a new trail that would allow hikers and mountain bikers to travel directly from Stevenson Ranch into the Towsley Canyon trail network, in place of a proposed housing development currently under review by the Los Angeles County.

To do that, however, the city of Santa Clarita would have to pursue the unincorporated land and preserve it as open space, should the project not get approved. 

Lance Lintereur, 16, stood before the Santa Clarita City Council on Tuesday to pitch his idea — and it seemed to gain some traction with city leaders. 

“As I live next to the land and I’m an avid mountain biker, I am here to encourage you to pursue this land to be set aside as open space,” he said. “I would be willing to volunteer all summer long.” 

The teen, who said he is interested in maps and topography, presented council members with a map depicting his suggestion to the area that currently has an informal trail network: 

“I figured out a way to connect those trails to the Lyons Ranch trail, which is accessed currently off The Old Road, between Towsley Canyon and Sagecrest Circle,” he said. “A connector would allow riders to get directly from Stevenson Ranch into the Towsley trail network, avoiding a dangerous stretch in The Old Road. I would like to ask that you consider allowing me to help build a trail from Pico Canyon and Stevenson Ranch Parkway that would go between Sunset Pointe in Southern Oaks Drive over to Lyons Ranch in the Towsley network.” 

His suggestion comes after Los Angeles County Regional Planning commissioners tabled on Feb. 5 the proposed 37-home development, which would create 37 single-family dwellings, two open space lots and six public-facility lots in an undeveloped property located west of Interstate 5 and southwest of Pico Canyon Road, according to a project summary report by the county Planning Department.  

Commissioners postponed the matter for a future meeting to allow for further environmental studies after hearing from several nearby residents who voiced concerns about the development’s location in a high-fire-hazard zone. 

They also received a letter from the city of Santa Clarita, in which the city reiterated its willingness to receive open space land, according to Marie Pavlovic, a county senior regional planning assistant. 

Impressed by Lintereur’s presentation Tuesday, which was followed by a briefing on the proposed development by his mother Claire, the city considered his “extensive” suggestion. 

“We’re always looking for opportunities to acquire new open space and obviously the trail network that has been put together is extensive and we’re always looking to expand that, particularly when you have volunteers that are willing to help out with that,” said City Manager Ken Striplin. “So, we will get in contact with them to see what we can come up with.”  

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