Work is underway on the County of Los Angeles’ planned lighting and guardrail project at Camp Scott in Bouquet Canyon. Contract construction crews are onsite installing lighting and replacing guardrails along the entry road to the Camp. These actions do not impact the city’s continued lawsuit against the county regarding the repurposing of Camp Scott.
The city was concerned that this current project at the Camp site is an incremental step towards re-populating Camp Scott with high-risk juvenile offenders. The city argued that the county is attempting to piecemeal the Camp Scott project without going through the necessary California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review, as required by state law.
In November 2022, the City of Santa Clarita’s legal counsel appeared in court to seek a preliminary injunction to prohibit the work in question. The court disagreed—relying on the county’s records showing that the lighting and guardrail project had been in the works since 2015, well before the issue of where to place juveniles arose, and was therefore an independent project – separate from the decision of whether or not to repurpose Camp Scott for high-risk juvenile offenders.
The court further noted that county staff believed the lighting and guardrails were necessary safety elements regardless of the future use of the site. Based upon that, the court denied the city’s request to stop the lighting and guardrail project from moving forward.
The court’s denial does not impact the city’s continued challenge to the county’s decisions concerning the use of Camp Scott for high-risk juvenile offenders.
The city of Santa Clarita filed a lawsuit back in April, asserting that the county had selected Camp Scott as one of its two new sites to house juvenile offenders without first complying with CEQA. CEQA is required by state law before decisions like this are made in order to inform both the public and the decision-makers about the potential risks and impacts of proposed projects. The city has highlighted that Camp Scott is located in a flood and high-fire hazard zone.
On March 15, 2022, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to approve Camp Scott (which is located in the city of Santa Clarita, on County-owned property) as the permanent location for juvenile serious offenders. Fifth District Supervisor Kathryn Barger was the one opposing vote.
The city of Santa Clarita will continue to keep the community informed of this crucial issue. For more information, visit santa-clarita.com/city-hall/camp-joseph-scott.