However, a compromise was reached with the city's Planning Land Use and Management committee.
There, a working group was established to determine the best way to memorialize the internment camp. The group includes representatives from developer Snowball West, local stakeholders and Councilman Richard Alarcon, who initiated the application for historic designation.
Alarcon proposed starting the historic preservation evaluation process after a series of moves by local residents —— including attempts to rezone the property or purchase it — in an effort to stop the residential development on the golf course, which is considered a Crescenta Valley resource.
After the meeting, Krystee Clark, a member of the Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council, said she wished the cooperative solution could have been pursued from the outset.
However, she was glad the internment center will be memorialized even if the residential development on the site wasn't halted.
"Well, it's not really about the golf course," she said. "It's about making sure the area is preserved in a way that satisfies the Japanese American community."
Attorney Fred Gaines, who has represented the property owners in the process, said he was disappointed in the city's process, which he felt kept the developer in the dark.
He confirmed that work on the development will likely continue and added that the developer was already planning to set aside the oak grove for some sort of memorial.
Details about the memorial will be discussed at the next meeting of the working group on Wednesday.
Nancy Kyoko Oda of the San Fernando Valley Japanese American Community Center said she plans to attend the meeting to push for swift resolution of the issue so the site is commemorated quickly and can be seen by those who were impacted decades ago by the detention center.
"I believe that they need to make a decision so we can move forward, because many of the people who were affected by Tuna Canyon Detention Center are very old," she said. "Once it's firmed up, I can tell the ancestors of ours that they can rest in peace."
Follow Daniel Siegal on Google+ and on Twitter: @Daniel_Siegal.
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