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GROVE COULD BE FREE TO GROW RESIDENTS TRYING TO SAVE ORCHARD.

Byline: PATRICIA FARRELL AIDEM Staff Writer

AGUA DULCE -- Residents of a small enclave along Sierra Highway took on the big-city government to save a cluster of some 30 trees -- and their collective voice has been heard.

The Los Angeles County Public Works Department is looking at the counterplan by Sleepy Valley residents to change a traffic pattern rather than destroy the meandering orchard that blocks visibility for some motorists.

The alternative will be open for public comment tonight at a meeting in Agua Dulce. The session is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the Agua Dulce Women's Club, 33210 Agua Dulce Canyon Road.

Public Works spokesman Kurjon Lee said the plan now is to prohibit turns from Spring Street onto Sierra.

``This alternative is a result of concerns expressed by the Agua Dulce community,'' Lee said.

Signs will direct motorists to other access roads from the neighborhood to the highway.

The trees loosely follow Spring and another side street that shelter this haven from the highway. The Public Works plan was to build a large retaining wall to replace the leafy trees in a move to improve visibility for traffic turning from Spring onto Sierra.

The concern is viewed as a serious one as traffic whizzes along Sierra Highway, a freeway alternative for commuters traveling between the Antelope and Santa Clarita valleys. The locals say the 55 mph speed limit is rarely heeded.

Nevertheless, residents began a letter-writing campaign, suggesting that traffic be restricted on Spring, a move that would improve safety while saving the grove.

The original plan set for review last June by the county Board of Supervisors called for cutting down 27 to 32 trees, including three protected oaks, between Center and Spring streets.

A final decision is expected later this year.

pat.aidem(at)dailynews.com

(661) 257-5251
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Oct 13, 2006
Words:302
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