Castaic resident Flo Lawrence addresses the board.
Residents have turned out en masse whenever the Hart School Board has discussed its proposed high school in Castaic, so Wednesday’s meeting was a departure from the norm.
Fewer than two dozen residents attended the first official hearing on the newly revised environmental report for the future school.
Most residents who addressed the board shared one desire for the proposed campus: two ways in and out.
“We need to have two points of access for the school,” said resident Flo Lawrence of Castaic. “We need one from the north and one from the south and we need to do it from the beginning.”
“Please put in two access roads,” said resident Lance Vaughn. “If you are a resident of Castaic, you know the traffic nightmares that occur there when the I-5 is closed due to snow in Gorman, the place is a parking lot.”
The draft environmental impact report was made available for review July 24. It describes the impacts associated with the project such as traffic, air quality and noise , as well as mitigation measures to reduce the impacts.
Dwayne Mears of The Planning Center, which drafted the document, said the report identifies seven categories of impacts that would be significant and unavoidable, even after mitigation. Those nclude the substantially altered visual character, nighttime lighting, air quality, traffic and temporary construction.
Dwayne Mears discusses the report his company prepared.
To read the draft EIR, click here. It is also available for review at the Hart School District Office, Castaic Public Library, Stevenson Ranch Express Library and Sloan Canyon Christian Academy.
Written comments will be accepted through Sept. 6, 2012 and can be mailed or dropped off to the William S. Hart Union High School District, Attn: Tom Cole, 21515 Centre Pointe Pkwy., Santa Clarita, CA 91350. Comments can also be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include “Castaic area high school” in the subject line.
All comments will be collected and responded to in writing, said Mears. Responses to public comments will be included in the final EIR, which is slated to be circulated Sept. 21.
The Hart School Board will consider certificating the final EIR at a public meeting Oct. 3.
Plans call for the new school to open to ninth graders only in August 2015. One grade would be added each year until grades 9-12 are on campus.
Local voters overwhelmingly approved a $300 million bond measure in 2008, some of which money is being used to purchase property and build the new high school.