A judge has denied a request by the city of Santa Clarita for a preliminary injunction stopping Los Angeles County from going ahead with lighting and guardrail improvements on the road leading to Camp Scott while the city’s environmental challenge to plans for the juvenile camp are played out in court.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James Chalfant ruled Thursday that the guardrail project is unrelated to the county’s potential proposed future uses of the camp and that the overall balance of harms does not favor issuing a preliminary injunction.
The city filed the petition on April 18, calling for the county to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act to make sure it follows state law and conducts a proper review of what the city believes is the county’s plan to make Camp Scott a permanent secure youth treatment facility for male juvenile serious offenders, based on a 4-1 vote by the Board of Supervisors.
Fifth District Supervisor Kathryn Barger was the lone dissenter during the March 15 vote.
Attorneys for the city argued that the improvements appeared to be an effort by the county to implement, in piecemeal fashion, its plans to make Camp Scott a SYTF, the subject of the city’s legal challenge.
The record demonstrates that the Board of Supervisors approved only Camp Scott and Campus Kilpatrick to serve as permanent juvenile facilities for serious male offenders and eliminated all remaining alternatives from consideration, all without any review under CEQA, the city’s lawyers maintained in their court papers.
But lawyers for the county countered in their court papers that the lighting and guardrail projects will improve visibility and safety on the road leading into both Camp Joseph Scott and Camp Kenyon Scudder.
“The project involves maintenance to address a public safety hazard,” the county lawyers stated.
In addition, the county has not made any decision to use Camp Scott as an SYTF, has not authorized any renovations at Camp Scott for that purpose and is still working to identify a permanent SYTF location, the county attorneys stated in their court papers.