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Santa Clarita Concerns

July 08, 1990

I enjoyed reading Sharon Rose's article on the Santa Clarita Valley (At Home, July 1). I too chose this area a few years ago as a terrific place to put down roots.

I would like to add a little to the picture Rose paints of this area, because many of us believe that things aren't quite so rosy. The article correctly notes the concern residents feel about the traffic congestion throughout the SCV. However, as Jerry Reynolds and Ruth Newhall's comments point out, the real villain is uncontrolled development.

This unplanned growth (which includes 28,000 county-approved, but as yet unbuilt housing units) has also adversely affected the local school systems. Besides overcrowding, this has caused the creation of "portable" schools using the commercial equivalent of mobile homes as classrooms and offices.

Another situation that Rose does not touch upon is that the city of L.A., together with the county, plans to create a 190-million-ton dump in the southeast corner of the valley. This canyon empties into the Santa Clara River Wash, the source of 60% of the valley's drinking water.

There are already three "landfills" and the dump at the county prison at Pitchess Honor Rancho.

Don't get me wrong. I like living in the Santa Clarita Valley. We have less smog, quiet neighborhoods, high-quality education (so far!), and lower-priced housing.

We also have a major traffic problem, crowded schools, few local jobs and a threatened water supply. All of us who purchase houses to live in rather resell soon learn that there's more to the neighborhood than the realtor's dog and pony show lets on. Consider this letter a peek behind the curtain.

JIM VAN SICKLE

Canyon Country

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