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Community News Focus

LAGUNA HILLS : $197,000 Asked for Tollway Exit Changes

November 29, 1994|LYNN FRANEY

The City Council has asked the county Transportation Corridor Agencies for $197,000 to narrow Greenfield Drive where it intersects the San Joaquin Hills tollway, as well as adding trees and fences there to give the appearance of a gated community.

The changes were proposed last week to discourage drivers who leave the tollway from mistakenly entering the Nellie Gail Ranch neighborhood.

Residents of the community were angry when the agency planned on- and off-ramps at Greenfield Drive, which serves as the southern entrance to Nellie Gail. They are worried that drivers may turn into their neighborhood instead of heading south toward Crown Valley Parkway and the cities of Mission Viejo and Laguna Niguel.

The council wants the agency to pay for enlarging the Greenfield Drive center median and possibly adorning it with an unstaffed guard shack or monument sign to give the impression of a private community.

The city also wants to add more landscaping at the intersection and to put in patterned pavement that would signal drivers that they're entering a residential neighborhood.

Councilman Randal J. Bressette warned against demanding such amenities as a small guard shack because the transportation agency might feel it was being asked to fund a neighborhood enhancement unrelated to the tollway.

But council members Melody Carruth and L. Allan Songstad Jr. said the city deserves the most money possible from an agency that ignored residents' opposition to a tollway interchange at Greenfield Drive.

"I feel no compunction whatever about throwing in everything and the kitchen sink and asking the agency to do what's right," said Songstad, at his last council meeting before Councilwoman-elect Cindy Greengold succeeds him. "They need to mitigate a bad, bad situation they've created."

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