Residents near the eastern edge of the city are voicing concern about plans to alter a 30-foot-high rock at the entrance of the Santa Susana Pass.
The local landmark, on Kuehner Road across from Smith Road, may be reduced in size to allow a two-lane portion of Kuehner Road to be widened to make one corner safer.
Rocky Peak LLC and Keller Equities want to develop 26 homes near the intersection, which could also mean moving other boulders to prevent them from tumbling into the new subdivision.
Neighborhood residents oppose any plans to diminish the size or stature of the massive rock.
"Those rock formations provide identity to the community," said George Bowman, president of the Susana Woods Homeowners Assn., one of several people who spoke on the issue at this week's Simi Valley City Council meeting.
"This developer, does he have the right to take our heritage?" asked resident Dawn Kowalski.
Charlie Cooke, a spokesman for a local Chumash tribe, said the site may be of archeological significance. "There's too much disregard for the taking of sites," he said. "We would like to see these sites preserved."
The project is part of a proposed General Plan amendment to allow medium-density residential building on 12.9 acres near Kuehner and Smith roads now zoned for mobile homes.
The council unanimously approved the amendment, but Councilman Paul Miller advised the property owner not to disfigure the large rock or the smaller ones around it, unless those that need removal are of minor significance.
Other amendments to the General Plan include changing the zoning of a site on Tierra Rejada Road east of Stargaze Place to make way for 51 new single-family homes. And the land-use designation of the old police station and courthouse at Galena Avenue and Cochran Street was changed to allow a 23,000-square-foot YMCA facility.