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Group Calls for Limits on Hillside Tracts

Times Staff Writer

A Sunland-Tujunga group said Monday it will ask residents to sign petitions calling for Los Angeles to limit the amount of housing allowed on hillsides.

Sylvia Gross, a director of the Sunland-Tujunga Assn. of Residents, said the group hopes to collect at least 4,000 signatures by March 1 from people who want to preserve undeveloped hillsides in and around Sunland-Tujunga, Lake View Terrace and Shadow Hills.

Increased density on the steep hillsides could result in flooding, rockslides and mudslides, Gross said.

The organization hopes to get enough signatures to demonstrate that the largely rural area’s district plan, a guide for development, should be amended to include controls on hillside residential development.

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Los Angeles zoning laws allow two to nine homes per acre of hillside, Gross said. The residents want the density limited to one home per hillside acre.

“This is the last open land in the whole city,” Gross said. “We’re trying to stop here what’s happened in Woodland Hills and Glendale. You look at the hillsides there and you see nothing but bad. We can’t let that happen here.”

Gross added that the controls would stop pollution of water and air and prevent extensive grading of the hillsides.

The group is sponsoring a kickoff meeting for the drive at 7 tonight at the Sunland-Tujunga Municipal Building at 7747 Foothill Blvd. If the group obtains at least 2,000 signatures, petitions would eventually be presented to Los Angeles City Councilman Joel Wachs, who represents the area.

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Arline De Sanctis, Wachs’ chief deputy, said the councilman would welcome such petitions. But she said Wachs already has initiated studies on how to limit hillside development on slopes of 15% or more. Those studies, being done by the community plans division of the city Planning Department, are almost completed, De Sanctis said. She said they probably will be presented to the City Council in a few months.

The petition drive was partially inspired by a planned 44-acre, 125-home development in the hills of northeast Tujunga. Some of the single-family homes are planned for grades of more than 50%, De Sanctis said.

Officials of Dale Poe Development, which is preparing an environmental impact report on the proposed development, could not be reached for comment.


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