Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council Land-Use Committee Debate New Street Lights

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The Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council Land Use Committee met on November 1 with the main conversation centered on a motion that has been previously passed regarding Historical Post lights in the community. Similar lights were installed on Commerce Avenue, and near the Elk’s Lodge in recent years. This installation will be on Valmont and Silverton near Pinewood Elementary School. Opponents of these lights argued that they have been used as a tool to increase property taxes within the neighborhood.

Committee Co-Chairs Patti Potter and Cindy Cleghorn shared that other cities in the past have started increasing property taxes in relation to these types of lights from 60 dollars and have gone up to as much as an additional $236.19 annually. The street lights help with the security surrounding the new apartments and townhouses, which were recently built. Essentially new properties mean more residents and the lights help protect the vacant lots nearby.

These beaming lights do help the community, but some people have the right to not want them in their neighborhood. The lights can affect neighbors on busy streets who have to get up to work early.

In addition, there appeared to be some confusion whether or not neighborhoods are supposed to get notices of impending property tax increases, committee members were unsure if notices were sent out.

One community member, who wished to remain anonymous, did confirm to the Foothill Telegram that they had just received a letter from the Los Angeles County Assessor's Office stating that their property tax was being reassessed.

There have been other cities in the past who have received the option to vote if they wanted the lights or not and they put them through anyways. Now according to the quorums there are also different types of parcels, and each one could face varying property tax increases depending on the property type.

Even if the committee disapproves of the lights, there is a majority that appear to want them, and that is what is taken into account and the assessments for the street lights will pass. If the community does have an issue with paying for those lights, it's up to everyone to reach out and get their vote in, before the city adds on historical extravagant lights. Ultimately, the discussion on the street lights on Valmont and Silverton might not make a difference in their installation.

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