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Piece of Mind: How should LCF grow?

November 16, 2011|By Carol Cormaci

La Cañada’s school board and administrators have certainly been in the spotlight, or is it the hot seat, for the past few months. We’ve been asked to decide who to elect to the board. We’ve learned that one sitting board member lives out of town and we’ve watched as another board member has taken up the baton for more reluctant parents, filing a formal complaint against a high school teacher for alleged egregious behavior. Parents of teens who benefit from courses taken at Hillside Learning Center braced to see if the district would stop accepting credits from that school (as of Tuesday night’s school board meeting, it looks like their concerns can be allayed, at least for the time being) and there have been rumblings that another parcel tax proposal could be in the offing.

All the school-related conversation has certainly been interesting — and yes, some of it downright dispiriting. But there are other things happening in town that are unrelated to the schools. One of the most important of those matters is decidedly unsexy, but nonetheless important to our future: the updating of the city’s general plan.

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My prediction is that the topic won’t generate nearly the number of letters to the editor that schools issues have, probably won’t be tweeted or even shared on Facebook, but if we care about the future of the community, we do need to pay attention. Active participation in the process would be even better.

In whatever leisure moments you manage to eke out, do you sometimes reflect on how pleasant a city this is? We have some attractive parks, a fantastic trails system, good-looking neighborhoods, only occasionally awful traffic (7:30-8:00 weekday mornings on the east side of town come to mind) and a respectable commercial district that sees updates and improvements each year.

The elements that make this or any other city a desirable place to live are in no way accidental. The state mandates that every city have such a plan and recommends that it is updated every 10 years. The general plan includes sections on land use, transportation, housing, conservation, open space, noise and safety. It also lays the ground rules, you might say, for development.

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