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Council Approves School for Juvenile Probationers

June 02, 1999|PATRICK McGREEVY

The Los Angeles City Council approved an agreement Tuesday that allows Los Angeles County schools to open a new campus in Canoga Park for juvenile offenders on probation.

The agreement with the county Office of Education sets conditions for operating a 51-student Community Education Center in a commercial section of Sherman Way.

Under state law, the county office could open the school even though it conflicts with city zoning laws for the site at 22142 Sherman Way, but Councilwoman Laura Chick was able to negotiate some conditions to ensure it does not adversely affect nearby businesses.

Although some San Fernando Valley business leaders, including Planning Commissioner Robert Scott, felt the site was inappropriate because it might scare away shoppers, Chick said the facility is needed to serve young people in Canoga Park.

"I wish that there was not a need for such schools, but the fact is there is such a need," Chick said. "These are all young people who live in the immediate area, and I would much prefer them to be in this kind of tightly supervised school . . . rather than loitering and wandering the neighborhood without supervision."

Students who would attend the special high school have just moved back home after time in the county juvenile justice system.

The school aims to provide a transition between county probation camps and Canoga Park High School, according to Margo Minecki, a spokeswoman for the county office.

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