"A lead agency is required to recirculate an EIR when significant new information is added to the EIR after public notice is given of the availability of the draft EIR for public review under Section 15087 but before certification.
As used in this section, the term "information" can include changes in the project or environmental setting as well as additional data or other information.
New information added to an EIR is not "significant" unless the EIR is changed in a way that deprives the public of a meaningful opportunity to comment upon a substantial adverse environmental effect of the project or a feasible way to mitigate or avoid such an effect (including a feasible project alternative) that the project's proponents have declined to implement."
Grab your clubs, a couple of friends, and head on over to the VHGC for 9 or 18 holes of golf, or make a little time for some practice on the driving range. The VHGC is open evenings.
Visit Play VHGC! for basic information about the course, including prices, phone number and even an indepth review of the course.
AB 212 & the Verdugo Hills Golf Course
"This was a truly bad bill, in every sense of the word."
Los Angeles Daily News Editorial, June 9, 2008
A 2008 state zoning ordinance bill tailored to benefit MWH Development, could have provided the developer the zoning changes necessary for the proposed 229 unit housing development.
The Los Angeles City Council, led by Councilmember Wendy Greuel, opposed the bill, which was eventually pulled by its sponsor, State Assemblymember Felipe Fuentes.
Read on for information about how this bill evolved and how it was stopped.
When the City Council unanimously passed the Tuna Canyon Detention Station motion,
it also directed the Department of City Planning to convene a Working Group to
explore appropriate ways to commemorate the site and to present recommendations
to the Council. Ken Bernstein from the City’s Planning Department convened a group
made up of representatives of the Japanese-American community, local community
stakeholders and historians, the property owner/developer, and staff from Council
District 7. This group met four times during the last two months.
At the first meeting, representatives of the developer, Snowball West
Investments, LP, revealed there would be no public access to the designated monument
site. The proposed residential development was planned as a gated
community and the general public would not be permitted inside. We were told
that relatives of those interned at Tuna Canyon might be given permission to visit
the site if they telephoned ahead of time and arranged a visit. Otherwise the area
designated in the City Council motion would be available only to those who lived
within the development.
This came as a shock to all those who felt public access was absolutely essential to
a meaningful commemorative site and that the monument should be placed where the
Camp had actually existed. Being shut out was a surprise because during the series
of hearings at City Hall, the developer’s representative repeatedly said that the
designated area had already been set aside by the owner and there was no need for
the City to grant Historic-Cultural Monument status. The representative never
mentioned that the site would be closed to the public.
Ironically lack of public access reminds us that some seventy years ago the Tuna
Canyon Detention Station was fenced and gated, its prisoners locked inside. Now the
developer was proposing to fence a portion of the site, this time with people locked
In early July, a Coalition of community members, including many from the
Japanese-American, Italian-American, and German-American communities, Little Landers
Historical Society, Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council, Crescenta-Glendale
V.O.I.C.E. [Volunteers Organized in Conserving the Environment], Save the Golf
Course Committee, Sunland-Tujunga Alliance, and other local community members met
to work on developing a vision for the memorial that included public access.
Members of V.O.I.C.E., who were serving as part of the Coalition, came to believe
that if the proposed housing development would not provide public access to the
monument, then the 2008 Regional Park Plan developed by V.O.I.C.E.
President, Richard Toyon, certainly could. That plan featured a 58-acre regional
park that included the golf course and driving range, and added such amenities as
tennis courts, a banquet hall, stormwater infrastructure, and recognition of the
site’s historic significance including the Tongva village of Wiqanga and the Tuna
Canyon Detention Station. V.O.I.C.E. also understood that such a project would
require purchasing the property from the owner. We were told at the time, and on
several occasions since then, that the owner is a willing seller.
In 2011, the city's Bureau of Sanitation/Watershed Protection Division adapted
Toyon’s original regional park design by enhancing the infrastructure for storm
water capture, recharge, and storage, including a state-of-the-art Aqua Driving
Range. The Verdugo Hills Storm Water Project was
approved in 2012 and added to the queue for Prop. O funding.
For those unfamiliar with Proposition
O, it is a water bond measure approved by City of Los Angeles voters in
2004. Projects approved for implementation address water quality issues, provide
flood protection, and increase water conservation, habitat protection, and open
Earlier this summer after reviewing the Tuna Canyon Detention Station
Coalition's Vision & Mission Statement, Toyon revised and updated his original
design, including an expanded and publicly accessible Historic-Cultural Monument.
Toyon's 2013 Tuna Canyon
Regional Park focuses on a variety of the possibilities that could be
achieved if sufficient funding could be identified.
The new plan provided for parking, public access,a commemorative wall, and even a
reproduction of the historic barracks and guard tower, as well as the infrastructure
that had been proposed in the Proposition O Verdugo Hills Storm Water Project.
The Vision & Mission Statement and the revised Regional Park Plan were shared with
the Working Group on July 24. Two weeks later, on August 7, the Working Group met
for what was to be their final meeting. The TCDS Coalition was pleasantly
surprised when the developer’s representative indicated public access would be
available and that some parking would be provided, along with a trail and
interpretive signage. It appeared that the developer was demonstrating a
genuine willingness to work with the Coalition group to achieve something positive
However, before the meeting concluded, the developer’s attorney announced that he
had filed a
lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles claiming that the City Council’s
designation of Historic-Cultural Monument status for Tuna Canyon was illegal.
Members of the Working Group and other community members were taken aback by this
announcement after so much work had been done in good faith.
"We were stunned," said Lloyd Hitt, a local historian who, along with Paul
Tsuneishi, Asian-American researchers and others, have spent years researching and
documenting the history of the TCDS. “Everything had been going so well. It was a
V.O.I.C.E. is disappointed that the developer would resort to such an action and
calls upon him to drop the lawsuit and continue to meet with members of the Working
Group to ensure that a meaningful commemoration is achieved. Rest assured the
Coalition is continuing to work on behalf of the Tuna Canyon Detention Station.
Thank you for your past support - and we ask that you bring that same furor as we
move forward. Your participation will make the difference.
Visit Little Landers Historical Society's "Tuna Canyon Detention Station" Facebook page,
which provides a gathering place for all things related to Tuna Canyon
Detention Station, including photos, articles, and video clips. Stop by and 'LIKE'
Little Landers' Tuna Canyon Detention Station page on Facebook.
June 25, 2013
Tuna Canyon Detention Station Added to City's List of Historical-Cultural Monuments
On Tuesday, June 25th, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously (10 to 0) to designate a grove of historic oaks in memory of those incarcerated at Tuna Canyon Detention Station, 1941-1943. Approximately an acre of the ten acre Tuna Canyon Detention Station site has been set aside as one of our city's Historic-Cultural Monuments. While this does not slow or stop the development, and is not as large a designation as we had hoped, we are very pleased that Historic-Cultural Monument status has been designated.
On behalf of the Historic Tuna Canyon Detention Station Coalition we extend our thanks to City Councilmember Richard Alarcon for taking the initiative on behalf of TCDS and his steadfast support throughout the process. We thank Gerald Gubatan and the Sunland-Tujunga Council District 7 Staff for working tirelessly with community members to secure Historic-Cultural Monument status for TCDS.
None of this could have been accomplished without the broad base support of so many communities throughout the City of Los Angeles. Without YOUR HELP, and the HELP of EACH Tuna Canyon Detention Station SUPPORTER the outcome could have been vastly different. The letters you wrote, the phone calls you made, the emails you shared, the meetings you attended made all the difference. THANK YOU! We will continue to keep you up to date as this process moves forward.
PRESS RELEASE: L.A. City Council Unanimously Supports MOTION to DECLARE the Location of the TUNA CANYON DETENTION Station a HISTORICAL-CULTURAL MONUMENT
Los Angeles, CA – Today, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously supported an amending motion introduced by Councilmember Richard Alarcon and seconded by Councilmember Mitch Englander to declare an approximately one acre size oak grove on the location of the former WWII Tuna Canyon Detention Facility as a Historical-Cultural Monument. This location was used as an internment camp for Japanese-, German- and Italian-Americans during World War II.
“The Tuna Canyon Detention Station is an important piece of our history in the Northeast San Fernando Valley and a reminder of some of our darkest times as a community, nation and world,” said Councilmember Richard Alarcon. “Declaring the Tuna Canyon Detention Station as a Historic-Cultural Monument allows us to protect this important piece of our history, and give us the opportunity to continue to learn from our past mistakes and preserve this lesson for generations to come. I thank the City Council for their support of my motion and the community for their strong activism to support this designation.”
The City Council approved several actions today including the declaration of the oak grove as a Historic-Cultural Monument, adopting findings regarding this designation and the historical significance of the location and instructing the Department of Planning to convene the Historic Tuna Canyon Detention Station Working Group, to be chaired by the Councilmember of the Seventh District, and consisting of the property owner and representative, experts or historians from the Japanese-American community and community stakeholders. This Working Group is tasked with exploring appropriate ways to commemorate the historical and cultural significance of the site and strategies to secure resources for display/signage, with a request to present findings and recommendations to the City Council within 60 days.
Lloyd Hitt, Past President of the Little Landers Historical Society and a Sunland-Tujunga resident since 1946, said, “I absolutely support Councilmember Alarcon’s effort to protect the site of the Tuna Canyon Detention Station as a historic monument. The historic significance of this site cannot be overstated and preserving the area would be a positive statement that reflects both our community and the families of those whose fathers passed through the Tuna Canyon Detention Station.”
The historical significance of the Tuna Canyon location came to light with a recent release of records at the National Archives and Records Center at Laguna Niguel, which revealed for the first time that there were two detention located Los Angeles-area centers following the attack on Pearl Harbor.
At the outset of World War II, the U. S. Immigration and Naturalization Service took over the former Civilian Conservation Corps camp, which opened in 1933 at 6330 Tujunga Canyon Boulevard, and transformed it into the Tuna Canyon Detention Station – a barbed wire enclosure with lights and armed troops to receive individuals considered “enemy aliens” who had been taken into custody by the FBI on December 16, 1941.
Thereafter, the Tuna Canyon Detention Station operated as a gateway to internment for civilians of Japanese, Japanese-Peruvian, Italian and German descent. From its opening until May, 1942, 1,490 Japanese males passed through the camp and were transferred to other internment camps in Fort Missoula, Montana, Fort Lincoln, North Dakota and Santa Fe, New Mexico. The camp, which included seven barracks, an infirmary, mess hall, and office buildings, could hold up to 300 people at once and processed more than 2,500 individuals in total. Today’s vote to support the historic designation allows this history to be remembered and the Working Group to determine an appropriate display to commemorate this unfortunate piece of our history.
History neglected, is history lost.
Photo used with the permission of David Scott, the Scott Family and the Little Landers Historical Society
What is 'Recirculation' and WHY is it important to the VHGC?
The California Environmental Quality Act [CEQA] requires that a lead agency, in this case the City of Los Angeles, must 'recirculate' an EIR when significant new information is added to the Environmental Impact Report after the public has concluded its public comments on the original document. Note: Public comment for the VHGC EIR ended in August 2009.
The purpose of recirculation is to make sure the public is not deprived of the opportunity to comment upon significant changes/additions to the EIR.
The city is not recirculating TRAFFIC. The foothill communities contend that TRAFFIC is a section that must be recirculated. Traffic studies conducted in 2008-2009 are out of date. In addition the activation of 210 Freeway onramp timers was not vetted in the original EIR and must be considered now because of its impact on surface streets, in addition to freeway traffic.
While we await the release of the recirculated portions you can view public responses to the original document. We thank the STNC for making this available online.
MORE TO FOLLOW!
Preservation Efforts: Councilman Richard Alarcon focuses on environmental and historic concerns
Takei's words, in his interview as well as his production of 'Allegiance', emphasize the importance of never forgetting what happened post-December 7, 1941.
On October 29, 2012 Los Angeles City Councilmember Richard Alarcon met with community members voicing his support for preservation of the Verdugo Hills Golf Course as well as the importance of saving the historical record of the Tuna Dentention Center.
Alarcon has introduced a motion to the Los Angeles City Council calling for the Verdugo Hills Golf Course be placed on the city's list of historic monuments to preserve for future generations the significance of the Tuna Detention Center.
Lloyd Hitt, former president of the Little Landers Historical Society, described the impact of the assault on Pearl Harbor and the United State's retaliation and incarceraton of Japanese, German, and Italian heritage, many of whom were American citizens. The majority of detainees at Tuna Detention Center were Japanese or Japanese-Americans. John Newcombe's documentary "Rancho La Canada" includes a segment about the local detention and incarceration of Japanese, German and Italian during World War II.
A scene from John Newcombe's documentary "Rancho La Canada" depicting the incarceration of Japanese at what is now the Verdugo Hills Golf Course.
At Councilmember Alarcon's request Ken Berstein, manager of the Los Angeles Office of Historic Resources, spoke at the meeting detailing the process for historic designation. Berstein said the site has "tremendous historical significance," however that does not automatically qualify the site. A series of criteria must be met and that will be addressed during the evaluation process.
October 10, 2012 Community Meeting Recirculation &
How You Can Help the VHGC
It was standing room only at the October 10th Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council [STNC] Meeting, which focused on the City of Los Angeles' plan to recirculate some parts of the Verdugo Hills Golf Course Environmental Impact Report [EIR]. This is the first we have heard about the DEIR since the public comment period concluded in August 2009.
Below are the handouts that were distributed on October 10. They provide detailed information for VHGC supporters, enabling you to contact your elected officials as well as the City of Los Angeles City Planning Department.
Once the recirculated documents are made public,time will be critical. we will only have 45 days in which to review the material and submit comments.
On Wednesday, April 18th, Mark Gold, Chair of the Citizens Oversight Administrative Committee [COAC] thanked the Bureau of Sanitation and its Watershed Protection Division for developing the Verdugo Hills Storm Water project, praising their efforts.
City Councilmembers Paul Krekorian and Richard Alarcon attended the meeting and spoke eloquently about the significance of the storm water project and its recreational and water quality benefits. Krekorian and Alarcon also acknowledged the strong community support for the project and the dedicated efforts of so many to preserve the Verdugo Hills Golf Course and expand its use. Your voices are being heard.
Since last year, when Krekorian recommended the VHGC for Prop O consideration, the COAC has begun setting aside potential surpluses for a contingency fund, thereby assuring all current projects will have the funds necessary to be completed. Gold indicated that as current projects reach completion, committee members would have more definitive numbers to consider for new projects.
Gold, former president of Heal the Bay, emphasized the critical need for water projects such as the VHSWP and the funding needed to implement such projects. He referred several times to a clean water bond measure that is being considered by L.A. County, perhaps as early as November 2012. There was also discussion regarding state water bonds and the dearth of water projects designated for Southern California.
The good news is Gold said that the Verdugo Hills Storm Water Project meets the necessary criteria for Prop O funding. The COAC was unable to vote on Wednesday as they lacked a quorum. However, based on Gold’s comments it appears that an eventual vote will simply be a formality. Then it comes down to availability of funding.
One of the most important exchanges of the meeting was a discussion between Paul Krekorian and COAC Chair, Mark Gold.
You can view the transcript which Krekorian's office released.
First off, we will be arranging a public presentation of the Verdugo Hills Storm Water Project to showcase the beauty and practicality of the plan. It’s important for the foothill communities to see first-hand what the Verdugo Hills Golf Course could become.
Next, we will heed Mark Gold’s advice and scour funding sources at the state and federal levels, as well as non-profit entities. We expect our elected representatives to do the same. We ask all supporters of the VHGC to join us in this effort of search out additional funding.
Finally, if the Final Environmental Impact Report [FEIR] is released and does not adequately address the significant negative environmental impacts we detailed in our Draft EIR public comments, we will challenge its conclusions.
We thank the City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation and their Watershed Protection Team for developing the Verdugo Hills Storm Water Project. The project offers an innovative storm water solution aimed at both generating revenue for sustainability as well as providing water conservation and stormwater benefits.
View of "Verdugo Hills Golf Course & Regional Park" Designed by
Richard Toyon, 2008
Verdugo Hills Storm Water Project, which is being
evaluated for Prop O funding, builds upon the Regional Park Plan with additional
water elements to enhance storm water recapture and reduction of pollutants.
For example, the Storm Water Project would include sub-surface storage capacity while retaining important recreational
benefits such as the golf course/driving range and hiking trails.
Proposition O is the bond measure passed by the voters of Los Angeles
in 2004 that funds projects to clean up pollution in the City’s
watercourses, beaches, and the ocean. Councilmember Krekorian proposed two potential new projects
for Proposition O funding: the Verdugo Hills Golf Course and the
Studio City Golf and Tennis Center.
While nothing is certain at this point, this is a small positive step
in the fight to save the Verdugo Hills Golf Course. We thank
Councilmember Krekorian for his continued support for preserving
this historic recreational resource and we ask him and our new Councilmember Richard Alarcon, who also supports this project, to continue their efforts to accomplish that task.
Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy Letter of Support
"The Verdugo Hills Storm Water Plan would acquire the 25-acre Verdugo Hills Golf Course and the adjacent 33-acres of hillside open space, maintain the golf course as a public recreational facility, and construct significant water-related infrastructure designed to improve water quality and increase capacity for storm water capture and ground water recharge. In addition, it would enhance open space, improve habitat, and provide new opportunities for outdoor recreation in a park-poor section of Los Angeles. This is wholly consistent with the intent of Prop O."
~ Excerpt from SMMC Letter in Support of Prop O Funding
We thank the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy [SMMC] for their support for the Verdugo Hills Storm Water Project.
The letter is available for viewing on the SaveTheGolfCourse.Org website.