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Topanga Undergrounding Project
October 17, 2013 -
Thank you for your Oct. 3 article regarding the Undergrounding project. Although it captured the spirit of the meeting, I feel the need to clarify comments regarding the Chamber's position on the project.
As one of the community organizations leading the efforts to win a California Scenic Highway designation for TCB, which we feel will begin to change the relentless evolution of our main street into the sixth lane of the 405 freeway, I stated in the meeting that the Chamber is generally in favor of the project, yet, foremost, is in favor of supporting the concerns of Topanga businesses.
It was also unreported that at the meeting I proposed there should be: compensation to businesses for dollars lost, compensation to businesses for any direct construction damage, increased crews in order to expedite the work, extra policing to facilitate easy in and out access to businesses, notifications on the 101 to warn motorists away from traveling on TCB, no new removal of trees in the construction zone and, I further pointed out, that at least part of the shouting match could be attributed to the lack of thorough prior communication with the community regarding the project and the past history of disruption and unfulfilled promises during the library and water main construction.
Since the meeting, the proposal, not revealed until the meeting, to put a 70 ft. fake pine tree cell-tower smack in the center of town next to the Topanga Post Office where live healthy pine trees were removed for fire safety, has become an additional sticking point. This portion of the plan runs counter to the project's original purpose. If along with everything else, the project cant achieve its main purpose of beautifying the Canyon, then it seems pointless to proceed. Topangans who wish to particularly express their unhappiness with this portion of the project can reach Ryan Shields of Southern California Edison at firstname.lastname@example.org.