My name is Robert McSweeney. I am a 60-year resident of Newhall. I am commenting on the proposed development on Wiley Canyon.
City Council members boasted being enthusiastic advocates for open spaces in Santa Clarita in recent elections. The proposed development in Wiley Canyon, however, contradicts these pledges for open spaces.
City Council take note. The voices of your constituents are not heard. The information kick-off meeting for the project was well-attended. To say there was considerable opposition would be an understatement. Speakers were only given a minute to speak because there were so many people voicing opposition.
The developer then decided to have his own informational meeting, trying to reach out to the local community. The reaction was the same. Considerable opposition due to same reasons: parking, traffic, destruction of a floodplain, destruction of areas adjacent to the tributary to the Santa Clara River that runs through this property, and destruction of the wildlife migration corridor servicing Towsley Canyon with the back side of the Wildwood ridgeline.
The city response? A meeting held in City Hall that was nothing more than propaganda for the developer trying to tell the local residents why this poorly conceived plan was so good for them. This was so transparent that it was offensive.
This land is a floodplain. The developer says he is going to fix it. It doesn’t need fixing. The floodplain serves many purposes, including being a spreading grounds for aquifer recharging.
The Santa Monica Mountain Conservancy provided a response to the notice of preparation. Ironically, the city of Santa Clarita representative was the only person in the Santa Monica Conservancy to abstain from supporting this position paper.
I call on the City Council to affirm their commitment to open space and consider the Wiley Canyon area as the open space that it truly is.