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VALLEY ROUNDUP | Granada Hills

Hearing on Expansion of Landfill Scheduled

October 26, 1998|HOLLY EDWARDS

A public hearing on a proposal to expand the county-regulated Sunshine Canyon Landfill onto 194 acres of city property will be held Thursday.

The hearing will be from 4 to 9 p.m. at the Kennedy High School Auditorium, 11254 Gothic Ave., Granada Hills.

Browning-Ferris Industries of California Inc., owner-operator of the landfill, is seeking city approval for a zone change to heavy industrial use. The area is currently zoned for agricultural use and open space.

The landfill, which straddles city and county property, covers 215 acres and has a capacity of 17 million tons of trash. BFI has received approval to expand onto 42 acres of county land.

The expansion onto city property would enlarge the landfill to 451 acres and a capacity of 90 million tons, said BFI spokesman Arnie Berghoff.

Total permitted daily tonnage would increase from 6,000 to 11,000, but Berghoff said it would probably be years before the landfill reached that level. Currently, he said, about 4,400 tons are dumped daily at the landfill.

Thursday's public hearing is the first of a series of steps required for the expansion, Berghoff said. The company must receive approval from the city Planning Commission, the City Council's planning and land-use committee and, ultimately, the City Council.

"It's a very lengthy process," he said, adding that the earliest date for final approval by the City Council is July 1.

Berghoff said the city property in question is part of a former landfill operated in the 1950s.

"It's all disturbed property," he said. "The total number of trees on the land is less than 500. But if we don't get city approval, we'll have to look to the county side, and then we could lose thousands of trees."

BFI is required to replace all trees it destroys on a 3 to 1 basis, he said.

But a spokesman for Councilman Hal Bernson said he would rather the landfill expand into a wooded area than into an area closer to neighborhoods.

"It's a tough choice, but the landfill really is in a bad spot," Bernson spokesman Greg Smith said. "We've had hundreds of complaints about the landfill, and it's been a long-standing community problem."

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