(By Dave Bossert) It appears that Halloween has arrived early in the form of a landscape horror story in the Stevenson Ranch community. If you drive along Stevenson Ranch Parkway you will immediately notice the visual terror that has descended upon this once beautiful roadway; the landscape is dead and overgrown. But the story goes beyond that if you start to look around at the slopes and other common areas within Stevenson Ranch which are suppose to be maintained by the L.A. County Landscape Maintenance District (LMD).

Yes, we are in a drought and watering has been cut back leaving grass to brown and die around the community. Yet, if you drive across the freeway into the City of Santa Clarita you will see center mediums that have brown, dry grass as well, but which are also well groomed. On the mediums along Stevenson Ranch Parkway there are patches of dirt, weeds, and overgrown spots of grass; unkempt and looking more abandoned than anything else.

The LMD has been working on the center mediums for months removing much of the irrigation and replacing just enough sprinkler heads to water the trees. This work is moving along at a snail’s pace and in the meantime the community is suffering on a number of levels. At the very least, the LMD could rip out all the weeds and dead grass leaving only dirt. That would at least appear much better then what is currently there, which looks more like neglect than a work in progress.

Several residents have complained to me asking what is going on and all I can tell them is that LMD is a bloated bureaucracy that uses at least 40% of the money we pay in for administrative expenses. The LMD is just not working at an acceptable pace nor doing the job that they were created to handle. But that is no solace for those that are trying to sell their homes or who are having guests come to visit for the first time. The curb appeal of our community has slid into complete embarrassment; Stevenson Ranch looks visually terrible and it is having a negative impact on home prices.

Read more here: Commentary: The Stevenson Ranch Landscape Horror