The above map is posted on the website SaveTheKnolls.com. To see a larger version click on the image.
In the comments section of another entry I asked local community activist Gary Selvaggio to post a map for all of us that aren't familiar with the proposed project in The Knolls that will help us understand the issue more. Thanks Gary for sending it in. I am glad that an open forum exists for us to exchange ideas and ask questions.
On the same topic local Santa Susana resident ( Santa Susana is sometimes called The Knolls, which is in unincorporated county land.) Susan Wells sent me an email to publish detailing me her frustration with the county government, a local developer, and Supervisor Peter Foy. I haven't investigated all the claims but I know this issue has simmered for years and has caused bad relations between different sides in the debate over the development. Here is her letter:
I am outraged, distressed, and deeply terrified at the news that the State of California wants to rezone our rural Santa Susana Knolls Horse Ranch to accommodate 471 housing units!! And other areas that are being proposed are on the Susan Pass Road...and area that BURNS nearly every year!!
Did the state learn nothing from the recent fires that destroyed high-density housing in fire zones? The Mobile home park that burned should have been a wakeup call...high-density housing does not belong in fire zones!
This is simply wrong. Misguided. And deadly.
First of all, we are in a high-fire zone, with a dangerous railroad track at our doorstep and no infrastructure to take care of a high-density development.
Second of all, we don't have enough water for the current residents, let alone 1,000-plus more!
And, why wasn't anyone in the Knolls notified of this before Tuesday's Board of Supervisor's meeting? What happened to notification protocol? Our Supervisor Peter Foy said nothing to us. We had to read about this in the newspaper. This is wrong.
The threat of Colton Lee Communities current proposal for 100+ manufactured home units on the site of the Knolls Horse Ranch was scary enough: Basically a fancy trailer park complete with a pool, clubhouse, and only one road in and out. Potential residents would purchase a manufactured home, choose a site in the park, and then pay rent to Colton Lee Development, oblivious to the fact that they are living on borrowed time in a high fire zone. Couple that with developer Colton Lee Communities' proposal for an ill-conceived and destructive road-widening project, and that the soil is within the contamination zone of Rocketdyne!! Why is this project even in any sort of consideration?
It doesn't take much imagination to extrapolate how much more devastating and dangerous 471 units and the resulting traffic would have on this rural neighborhood. As many as 1,200 more cars could be coming and going into the Knolls, across a very busy railroad track. A very dangerous railroad track, complete with Metrolink trains and very long and noisy freight trains, day and night, seven days a week.
Now, add a catastrophic fire in the hills like the one we survived in 2005. A VERY LONG train was stopped on the tracks, because fire was surrounding the track to the east, blocking escape on Katherine Road. Susana Pass Road was shut down because of the fire blazing on the pass. In essence, Katherine Road was completely shut down on the north and the south.
Can you picture the panic? Can you picture the bottleneck of 1.200 cars trying to exit onto Katherine road from a 471-unit development? Can you picture the casualties? The body bags?
Susan L. Wells
Susana Knolls, CA 93063