What has riled up the residents in Signal Hill? Residents filled up the City Council Chambers on September 9th, 2014 with over 80 people and over 85 people showed up for a previous meeting regarding the same issue on August 26th. This issue is whether to issue a conditional use permit to the Conservation Corps to allow a new school to open up on 1982 Obispo. Scott Charney, Signal Hill’s Director of Community Development said he has never seen such big crowds show up regarding a new development.
The Conservation School is geared towards at risk young adults. They have two requirements for their students:
1. They can not have a High School Diploma
2. They must be 18-25 years old
Over 15% of their male students are on probation or on parole and the proposed school would be across the street from American Gymnastics.
Conservation Corps wants 175 at risk students at this location, even though there are only 62 parking spaces, which will also be used by staff, faculty, and buses.
Numerous residents went to the dais to speak out against the proposed new school. Here are some of the highlights:
Peter: I’m concerned about the school, parking, and graffiti. This is two points away from a check cashing or pawn shop.
Tripina: The problem is the location and impact in our neighborhood & community. ALL the other CUP’s which Signal Issued were beneficial to Signal Hill, this is not.
Ms. I didn’t catch her name (but she was a great speaker): She is concerned with loitering, 15% are on probation & parole, we are busing in other people’s problems, the parking overflow from 175 students and 62 spaces is going to impact the neighborhood. And we don’t know the impact from the Browning School yet, so how can we approve this?
Diane Kern: I visited the facility on Atlantic and was impressed.
Dianne Beret: This is not a good location, because it will impact traffic. Obispo is a 2 lane road and is not suitable for a school.
Gloria Nava: [She went over the 3 minutes alloted to each speaker, but came very well prepared, had her notes written down and touched upon a lot of great points] Why are we talking about this? The traffic & police studies are incomplete. The studies should be done BEFORE the community workshops.
I moved to Signal Hill because it was safe. This development would change the composition of the neighborhood. There is only one handicapped space for all 175 students and staff, that is not inclusive. What type of crimes did the 15% of the student population commit? Were they violent crimes, sexual, etc.
Mark: The Browning School was dumped on us. We have a great City on top of a hill and it is slowly getting chipped away. There are only 2 people in the entire room that are in favor of this, the rest of the room is vehemently against this.
Linda Heeb: Why would we import problems into our City? This makes no sense.
Robin: What are the benefits to Signal Hill, not society at large? I am very concerned about the safety of my children in regards to this school.