1. Where is the project site located?
The project site for ‘Canyon Hills’ is located in the Verdugo Mountains in Sunland-Tujunga. The entrance to the proposed gated community will exist at 7000 La Tuna Canyon Road (the La Tuna Canyon exit of the 210 Freeway). Residents of Verdugo Crestline Drive, Reverie Way, Inspiration Way, and surrounding neighborhoods will be most directly impacted.

2. How large is the project site?

The current vesting tentative tract map for ‘Canyon Hills’ occupies 306.5 acres. More than 155 acres will see immense cut-fill grading activity. Grading means cutting down the mountain to reduce and smooth hillside peaks. Valleys will be filled in with dirt. Thousands of native plants, shrubs and trees will be destroyed as a part of this process, which seeks to flatten the mountain terrain and ready the ground for construction.

3. How many lots are proposed?

The total lot quantity is 221 luxury single-family homes, with 55 additional large lot structures for ammenities and HOA infrastructure. The total lots equal 276, with an average residential lot size of 16,000 Sq.Ft.

4. What is the wildfire hazard at the project site?

The project site falls within a “Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone”, as classified by the L.A. City Fire Department. This means the site is prone to frequent, hazardous wildfire activity. In 2017, the La Tuna Canyon fire blazed directly through the project site.


NCH is a community coalition and non-profit project formed in February 2023 in urgent response to ‘Canyon Hills’ and its pending grading-permit approval. NCH builds on a previous generation of activism resisting luxury development in the Verdugos. NCH is an inclusive community organization and does not tolerate racism, homophobia, or xenophobia of any kind.

6. Do you have legal counsel?

Yes. We are represented by Carstens, Black and Minteer LLP: a public interest-oriented law firm specializing in environmental and land use law. We are also working closely with a local CEQA attorney, who is supporting NCH pro bono as an independent consultant.

7. Are my donations tax deductible?

NCH is moving toward 501(c)3 status. In the meantime, our GoFundMe is linked to our fiscal sponsor, so your donations are fully tax deductible.

8. Have you met #LaTunaPuma and is he really that cute?

La Tuna Puma keeps unsociable hours, but we’ve glimpsed him on camera and he’s confirmed dashing. Help us preserve his home and donate today!

If you have other questions, please write to us at

Download our Fact Sheet.

A Narrative Timeline of NO CANYON HILLS

In 2005, a proposal for a 200+ luxury gated housing development called 'Canyon Hills' was approved by L.A. City Council, based on an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) conducted in 2003. Even back then, the project was controversial for its sweeping destruction of the Verdugo Mountains in Tujunga. Local residents rallied hard in opposition, but the project was greenlit and the developer (Whitebird, Inc.) given two decades to break ground.

January 2023
Now, almost 20 years later, the developer wants to begin construction before his Development Agreement expires. Last month, residents learned that Whitebird, Inc. had recently pulled a Grading Permit to begin gutting the mountain. This process entails grading the scenic hillsides, cutting some ridge-lines down 80 feet, paving over ecologically important mountain streams and ripping out hundreds of coast live oak trees.

The permit could be approved any day now.

But the botanists are mobilizing.

A small but mighty group of plant and wildlife advocates have joined forces online and launched a campaign to protect this important wildland habitat. In less than two weeks, our petition to oppose the development has garnered more than 5000 signatures — and counting.* Local residents have found the campaign and signed on to help. We are gaining momentum, and we plan to grow this effort all the way to the top.

February 2023
We argue that the events of the last 20 years have rendered the original Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and Mitigation Plan for this project problematic, to say the least. The outdated EIR denies the existence of mountain lions (now a protected species) and other large mammals like bears and bobcats in the development area of the Verdugos — we know this is false. As part of our organizing efforts, we have spoken with residents on the hillside who have witnessed both mountain lions and bears at the site. We have exchanged emails with scientists tracking a young male lion in this zone. As L.A. moves to build Wildlife Corridors in the Santa Monica range to minimize vehicle collision fatalities for wildlife in Urban-Wildland interface zones, we cannot stand by as an antiquated development proposal pushes already threatened wildlife down to the 210 freeway, as this plan proposes.

What’s more, three major fires have swept through this landscape since the project was originally initiated and approved, including the devastating 2017 La Tuna Canyon Fire. Charred remnants of structures burned in this fire are a grim indicator of the absurdity of the ‘Canyon Hills’ proposal.

La Tuna Fire, Kevin Cooley, 2017

We want to Preserve the Verdugos: unceded Fernandeño Tataviam and Gabrieleno Tongva land. Native plants thrive here. Important ecosystems support diverse life here. Tujunga is a historically working-class community with rural characteristics, and a development like this accelerates gentrification without addressing L.A.’s need for affordable housing. A responsible housing development plan that meets today’s needs and anticipates those of the future would infill already urbanized areas, building communities that connect to public transport systems, utilizing green building initiatives. As a progressive city with a dire housing crisis, we cannot condone the construction of new, “luxury” gated developments in extreme fire-hazard wilderness zones.

March 2023
The clock is ticking. L.A. City inspectors will move to approve the grading permit imminently. As a group of botanists, plant lovers, wildlife advocates, rural land stewards, preservationists, civic scientists, local residents and concerned citizens, we are joining forces to gather and archive evidence that proves there are new and significant considerations at this site which must be taken into account before any construction can proceed. The project needs review and a new EIR. We pledge to oppose this at every level and we need your voice. Please help us spread the word and Show Up for the Verdugos.  

*Four months later (June 2023), our petition has reached almost 170,000 signatures.