Mayor Laurene Weste re-emphasized her opposition on Monday to the reopening of Camp Scott to house the county’s most violent, male juvenile offenders — a statement coming just days before a county meeting on the subject.
The L.A. County Juvenile Justice Realignment Block Grant (JJRBG) Subcommittee is set to hold a meeting on Wednesday and the agenda lists an update on the site location to permanently house juvenile male serious offenders. It is anticipated that this will include a presentation on Camp Scott in Santa Clarita, according to city officials.
In her statement, Weste highlighted Santa Clarita’s argument that the litigation filed by the city earlier this year regarding the California Environmental Quality Act should be completed before any work is done to transform Camp Scott into a permanent facility for juvenile serious offenders.
“Per the lawsuit filed by the city, no work should be taking place on that site,” Weste said in the statement. “We know maintenance has been happening at Camp Scott, and now this week’s subcommittee meeting lists agenda items on how to adapt Camp Scott for the proposed use, as well as discussions on funding recommendations.”
“This discussion is blatantly premature and it also contradicts the county’s public pronouncements that no decision has been made about Camp Scott,” Weste added. “We intend to uphold the letter of the law and make sure that a proper CEQA review is completed, including the county’s obligation to consider more appropriate alternative locations.”
The argument from Weste stems from the county Board of Supervisors approving a motion earlier this year authorizing the transition of the county’s male youth population of violent offenders to Camp Scott — located on Bouquet Canyon Road — without a CEQA study having been completed.
Although county officials were instructed to complete and return with the finalized environmental report in the coming months, the Santa Clarita lawsuit would force the Department of Juvenile Justice to complete a CEQA compliance report before any “alternative facilities are dismissed.”
Weste has said in the past that the city will fight to show the danger in housing the DJJ population downstream from the 100-year-old Bouquet Canyon Reservoir and in an area known to be at high risk for wildfires.
“The dilapidated Camp Scott is located in a severe fire hazard area on a road with only one way in and one way out,” Weste said. “It is not a safe or suitable location for this use.”
The JJRBG Subcommittee meeting is slated to go from 3 to 4:30 p.m. For more information on the agenda item or on how to attend the meeting, visit bit.ly/3zJvOAj.