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A Long Journey to Today – History of the La Cañada Flintridge “Territory”
1871 Col. Theodore Pickens settled on a homestead in the foothills north of Rancho La Cañada, west of a canyon later named after him
1874 Col. Thomas Hall acquired the land north of Rancho La Cañada east of Pickens Canyon and named it Alta Canyada
1875 Dr. Jacob Lanterman and Col. Adolphus Williams bought Rancho La Cañada consisting of 5,830 acres for $10,000. Soon thereafter lots were drawn in checkerboard-like fashion ignoring the natural barrier of Pickens Canyon to save the expense of a survey. At that time, there were no families living on Territory land, just chaparral.
1882 Benjamin Briggs, MD acquired all of the holdings from Lanterman and heirs of Williams west of Pickens Canyon to the Tujunga border and Briggs named it La Crescenta; soon thereafter, what was formerly the La Cañada Valley became known as the Crescenta-Cañada Valley
1882 Formation of the now-defunct Sepulveda School District (Glendale) that included all of the former Rancho San Rafael boundaries
1882 Petition to form the first school district in La Cañada was filed with the Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools
1885 Formation of the La Cañada Elementary School District for K-8 students
1886 Formation of the La Crescenta Elementary School District
1906 Formation of the City of Glendale
1920 La Cañada students in grades 9-12 attend John Muir High School in Pasadena; previously the high school students attended Glendale schools.
1920 Only nine households were enumerated with the address of “Crescenta Canada Foothills” as part of Enumeration District 16, La Canada Precinct, Burbank TWP in the 1920 U.S. Census. One of the nine families was headed by Frank R. Strong who owned the property built by Lieutenant Governor Wallace and was known as “Strong’s Castle” and later “the Pink Castle”. This property was east of Rosebank Drive and within La Cañada Elementary School District boundaries, which highlights the fact that there were very few households residing in the Territory at this time.
1931 La Crescenta Elementary School District joined the Glendale schools
1936 Formation of the Glendale Unified School District (GUSD)
1940 Enumeration District 19-246 of the 1940 U.S. Census, which included the northwest portion of La Cañada was divided along Rosebank Drive between state Assembly Districts 42 and 48 consistent with the lot lines drawn in the 1870s. Just 45 households were identified by the census enumerator within AD 42, which closely approximates today’s Territory.
1946 La Cañada’s students in grades 7-8 came under Pasadena Unified School District’s (PUSD) domain
1950 PUSD built the junior high school at Foothill Blvd. and Cornishon in La Cañada for students in grades 7-10 while 11th and 12th grade students attended John Muir High School in Pasadena
1950s Fearing annexation to Glendale, Territory residents petitioned for their post office address to be changed from Montrose to La Cañada, which was accomplished
1951 City of Glendale annexes six square miles of La Crescenta.
1952 First effort to form La Cañada Unified School District (LCUSD) fails
1956 La Cañada Elementary School District opened Palm Crest Elementary
1960 Residents in the La Cañada and Flintridge areas (prior to the formation of the City of La Cañada Flintridge) approved a measure to establish a K-12 school district after GUSD indicated that it was not interested in annexing La Cañada schools due to its own building space and transportation problems
1961 La Cañada Unified School District forms and begins jurisdiction. The unification proposal vote was 3,977 to 1,771. Only July 1, the County Board of Supervisors increased the area of the new school district by adding to it 134 square miles of the Angeles National Forest, because the chief access road to that area began in La Cañada.
1961 Formation of LCUSD (Territory not included); first petition from citizens of Territory to be part of the newly-formed LCUSD was not successful
1962 Residents in the La Cañada and Flintridge areas voted to approve a bond measure to finance an extensive building program including a new high school.
1964 First attempt to approve cityhood failed. La Canada built its own high school on Spaulding Field, also known as “Skunk Hollow.” The children who lived in the residential neighborhoods of Alta Canyada and Flintridge, whose boundaries had always been loosely defined, went to La Cañada public schools or private ones.
1967 GUSD opened Mountain Avenue Elementary in La Crescenta (unincorporated Los Angeles County)
1969 Second attempt to approve cityhood failed
1976 Incorporation of the City La Cañada Flintridge (the City) including the Territory was accomplished. The November 2 vote was 7,355 in favor, 2,849 opposed.
1978 Legislation proposed by Assemblyman Frank Lanterman, AB 3240, setting forth procedures for resident petitions and area elections in school boundary disputes; AB 3240 is defeated in the Assembly Education Committee on May 25th. Second petition from Territory citizens seeking to transfer to LCUSD;
1979 The County Committee recommended approval of the petition. GUSD filed written opposition to the transfers, which by the rules at that time moved the process into requiring an election of all voters in GUSD.
1980 The LA County Board of Supervisors denied the petition, specifically to avoid the costs of an election covering the entirety of both districts. This ended the second petition process.
1991 Third petition from Territory citizens asking LA County to transfer to the LCUSD following the passage of CA SB 1927, which modified procedures used by county committees regarding school district territory transfers
1992 Public hearings held March 9th and March 16th. The County Committee approved petition in May and in June decided the voting area would comprise of the homes which feed the two local elementary schools most affected by the transfer of territory. GUSD opposed the proposed reorganization and filed two appeals with the State Board, one on procedural gounds and another that argued concerns about racial and ethnic concerns; LCUSD (Res. 14-91-92) and City Council (Res. 92-10) pass resolutions in support of the territory transfer
1993 Despite DOE staff recommendation to reject GUSD’s appeal, CA Board of Education granted the GUSD appeal thereby reversing the LA County Board of Education call for a territory transfer election
1994 Legislation proposed by State Assemblyman Bill Hoge to allow all residents of the City to attend LCUSD died in Assembly Education Committee
1995 Territory citizens filed suit against CA Board of Education
1996 Legislation proposed by State Senator Newt Russell was withdrawn following Russell’s heart attack and retirement
1997 CA Superior Court denied the petition of Territory citizens seeking to overturn the CA Board of Education decision in 1993, which granted GUSD’s appeal thereby reversing the LA County Board of Education call for a territory election
2013 The City of La Cañada Flintridge city council unanimously approved a resolution in support of a fourth effort from Territory citizens calling for the transfer of the Territory to the LCUSD; LCUSD unanimously approved its resolution in support of the transfer of the Territory. GUSD and LCUSD entered into conversations and preliminary negotiations regarding the transfer of the Territory to LCUSD and jointly engaged School Services of California, Inc. to issue an investigative report.
2013-14 Negotiations continued between GUSD and LCUSD.
2013 August, UniteLCF! launches a website and Facebook pages for outreach into the impacted communities.
2013 GUSD met w/ Mountain Avenue Elementary School PTA to discuss the potential transfer of Sagebrush territory
2014 LCUSD readopted its resolution in support of the transfer of the Territory into LCUSD boundaries following the election of three new board members in December
2014 Town Hall Meeting, CV High School, March 25, 2014. LCUSD sent an invitation to all Sagebrush residents to address give feedback to both GUSD and LCUSD on the negotiations and planning down to date between the two districts
2014 May 13, 2016, GUSD hired True North Research to survey registered votes in Sagebrush on proposed territory transfer and the impact on property taxes. The company reported a record 45% response rate and overwhelming support for the transfer (85% ‘Definitely support’ and 5% “Probably support).
2014 October 8, GUSD Board of Education appointed Sandra Russell to fill the vacancy on the Board created by the resignation of Mary Boger.
2015 November 23, 2015, LACOE received a request for a petition pursuant to EC §35700, to transfer certain territory from the Glendale USD to the La Canada USD. The request was submitted by chief petitioners Ms. Nalini Lasiewicz, Mr. Thomas G. Smith, and Mr. Nick P. Karapetian.
2016 January – Residents launch a signature drive so that the formal fourth petition can be filed with the County Committee on School District Organization (County Committee.) The petition was presented to the County Committee on September 7, 2016. The County Committee held two public hearings (October 26, 2016, in the La Canada USD, and November 2, 2016, in the Glendale USD).
2017 A feasibility study was presented to the County Committee at the May 3, 2017 meeting, after which the Committee gave a preliminary approval to the proposal. Staff directed to undertake a CEQA review of the proposed petition.