The fight to save Glendora open space Mod: The following was sent to me by the San Gabriel Valley Task Force of the Sierra Club. Theirs is an important fight, and not much different from what is going on in Sierra Madre and Arcadia. The article was written by Joan Licari.
Little undeveloped open space remains, making even small areas valuable as habitat for wildlife and urban residents. The Gordon-Mull property is adjacent to Glendora Wilderness Park, which is in turn adjacent to the new San Gabriel Mountains National Monument and the Angeles National Forest. This parcel would be an extension of the preserved parkland to which it connects and gives access.
A recent biological study claims the property has “very high biological value.” The springs and oak woodland attract wildlife. Construction will require removal of 176 mature oak trees along with other tree and scrub species. There are three federal or state listed species present in the area — the coastal California gnatcatcher, cactus wren and three-leaved brodiacea. Bobcats, mountain lions (one even seen dragging off a deer), female bears with their cubs, ring-tailed cats and foxes have been observed on the property or near it.
The owner faces problems in approvals for the development. The biologically significant species on the property may prevent development of some lots. The Sierra Madre fault zone could prevent use of some and threat of landslides from possible seismic shaking exists on others. Only one access route is present. Access to water will be expensive, and concerns exist about necessity of waivers from Glendora’s slope-development regulations. Hillside-development codes could potentially affect several proposed lots. Residents have registered concerns about increased traffic congestion, air pollution, noise and cumulative impacts of this development because of other previously approved foothill projects.
The San Gabriel Valley Task Force hopes these issues will convince the owner to sell the property to one or a coalition of conservancies. The Trust for Public Land, Rivers and Mountain Conservancy, and the Glendora Community Conservancy have indicated interest in purchasing the property if the owner will sell at current market value.
The Draft Environmental Report is expected in late April or May. The goal of the San Gabriel Valley Task Force is to preserve this area of San Gabriel Mountain foothills to connect to already preserved open space for preservation of habitat and recreation, not only for the local residents of Glendora but for the several million inhabitants of the greater Los Angeles area.
We hope that the presence of the Sierra Club involvement in this fight will create awareness of and interest in the Sierra Club to the extent that a new East San Gabriel Group can be created.
To build these 19 homes on the Gordon-Mull property would destroy recreational opportunities for residents and for growing populations in the wider Los Angeles area. And it would eliminate its value for wildlife forever. For many visitors, our mountains are their first time in the tranquility of unspoiled wilderness If kept as open space — the goal of the San Gabriel Valley Task Force — the region would increase an area of contiguous, protected open space for people and wildlife.