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GRANADA HILLS : Judge Allows Group to Videotape Landfill

July 07, 1994|ERIC SLATER

A citizens' group was given court approval Wednesday to videotape the Sunshine Canyon Landfill site to assess the destruction at a forest the group is fighting to preserve.

A judge granted the North Valley Coalition of Concerned Citizens a court order allowing its members to videotape and photograph the forested area north of Granada Hills, where an estimated 1,000 California live oak trees were cut down recently to prepare for the dump's expansion.

Terry du Soleil and another coalition member were kept from videotaping at the site Friday by employees of landfill operator Browning-Ferris Industries, du Soleil said. In response, the group sought a court order allowing members to enter and make a visual record, coalition attorney Rosemary Woodlock said.

A forester from the group and du Soleil, a professional filmmaker, are scheduled to visit the landfill with cameras Saturday.

The same Los Angeles Superior Court judge who made the ruling on the videotaping also halted the tree-cutting last week at the landfill, just four days after it began.

In preparation for a long-sought expansion of the landfill, crews immediately began leveling the trees after a Los Angeles County Regional Planning Commission panel gave approval to the plan June 23. The coalition quickly filed suit and Judge Diane Wayne issued a temporary injunction. The judge will decide Tuesday whether to leave that injunction in place or lift it and allow the deforestation to resume.

Although BFI argued against allowing the group to videotape the site, BFI spokesman Arnie Berghoff said Wednesday's ruling was not a major setback for the landfill.

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