A land war may be brewing between giant Los Angeles and the recently approved city of Santa Clarita over a piece of property north of the San Fernando Valley that Los Angeles wants for a garbage dump.
The first shot was fired Tuesday by Los Angeles City Councilman Hal Bernson, who introduced a proposal he said would preserve Elsmere Canyon as a potential landfill.
Bernson proposed that the City Council petition the Local Agency Formation Commission to include Sunshine and Elsmere canyons within the "sphere of influence" of the City of Los Angeles. Both canyons are just outside the city's boundaries, north of the San Fernando Valley.
Bernson's proposal is expected to be considered by the City Council late this week or early next week.
Jo Anne Darcy, a city councilwoman from the recently approved city of Santa Clarita, criticized Bernson for introducing his proposal without talking to Santa Clarita officials.
Darcy accused the Los Angeles councilman of "trying to pull the rug out" from under Santa Clarita by introducing his proposal before the city becomes officially established on Dec. 15.
She said that many Santa Clarita residents are concerned about Los Angeles' proposal for a landfill in Elsmere Canyon, which borders the future city. Darcy said that Elsmere Canyon better fits within Santa Clarita's sphere of influence.
Indeed, Bernson said his proposal was triggered by reports that Santa Clarita officials plan to seek inclusion of Elsmere Canyon in Santa Clarita's sphere of influence. If that happened, he said, the canyon might be eliminated as a potential landfill.
"This is to protect the city's interests," Bernson said, referring to Los Angeles.
Sphere of Influence
The sphere-of-influence designation Bernson is seeking would give Los Angeles a voice in development of the outlying land and a chance to eventually annex it, the councilman said.
Bernson said he does not favor the proposed expansion of Sunshine Canyon Landfill above Granada Hills, which is part of his district. The expansion has been opposed by many of his constituents.
Los Angeles, running out of places to dump its trash, has been seeking to open a landfill in remote Elsmere Canyon near Interstate 5 and California 14.