Category: Traffic

December 5th, 2017 by scvpress

Overview of the Santa Clarita East Side Annexation

The City of Santa Clarita announced on Thursday its plan to annex approximately 2,694 acres of surrounding land in an effort to expand the city. According to the city’s website, the purpose of this annexation is to include previously purchased land and expand the City of Santa Clarita in a logical and organized manner.

This annexation is a part of the city’s overall General Plan, which complies with state laws stating that each city and town should have a long-term development plan in place. The General Plan for the City of Santa Clarita was created with the intention of maintaining high infrastructure standards and preserving the area’s natural resources.

The City Planning Department commented, “this process is literally drawing new lines around the city.” In other words, the annexed areas will be incorporated into the city, and the City of Santa Clarita will have complete jurisdiction over this land.

The previously purchased land that is set to be incorporated with the annexation includes the 412-acre Wagoner Property (purchased by the city on October 14th, 2003), the 493-acre CEMEX Property (purchased on February 6th, 2004), the 243-acre Rodda/Agua Dulces Partners Property (purchased on February 23rd, 2010), and the 13.36-acre Alfieri Property (purchased on June 14th, 2016).

The land to be annexed includes the 548-acre Spring Canyon land area, the 500-acre Tick Canyon land area, and the 210-acre Bee Canyon land area. Los Angeles County recently approved various development projects on these lots, and the annexation will give the City of Santa Clarita complete jurisdiction over these projects.

Tick Canyon, owned by Monterey Homes, LLC, will be home to Park Place—a residential development featuring 492 single-family homes, 37 open-space lots, and three parking lots. The project has been postponed multiple times and construction is currently set to begin on June 4th, 2019. Spring Canyon, owned by Pardee Homes, will also be designated as a residential area, with the construction of 542 single-family residential lots, a fire station, a Sheriff’s sub-station, and a school set to begin on August 8th, 2018.

Sand Canyon Plaza is replacing the mobile home park located on the corner of Soledad Canyon Road and Sand Canyon Road. It will include 580 units of residential living space, 60,000 square feet of retail space, and a 130-bed assisted living facility. The developers have stated their intention of maintaining the quaint and quiet character of the Sand Canyon community with the development of the new plaza.

A deal was made with the city in which the city approved the development of Sand Canyon Plaza with the condition that they are able to purchase 132 acres of land from Bee Canyon, LLC, which will likely be used for the city’s Open Space Program. Although the deal has been approved, the purchase amount has yet to be determined, as the appraisal and purchase of the land will take place independently from the annexation.

How will the annexation affect me?

Residents of the Spring Canyon, Bee Canyon, and Tick Canyon land area will be incorporated into the City of Santa Clarita—receiving access to the city’s schools, utilities, public protection services, and more.

The annexation will help the city expand in a logical and organized way, possibly preventing organizational issues in the future.

Naturally, the population of the City of Santa Clarita will also increase—raising concern about traffic conditions, the quality of public and safety services, and the potential spread of Valley Fever.

How will the annexation affect traffic in the area?

Traffic will increase with the annexation and developments, but developers are discussing solutions to the problem.

Some roads, such as Shadow Pines Boulevard, will also be extended in order to better incorporate the city’s new territory.

How will the annexation affect public safety services?

Public safety services should not be affected by the annexation. City officials plan to increase the number of public safety personnel and stations, including the addition of a fire station and a Sheriff’s sub-station in Spring Canyon.

Residents that are incorporated into the City of Santa Clarita will also be able to benefit from the city’s award-winning anti-drug and anti-gang programs.

How will the annexation affect public utilities?

The quality of public utility services, including waste collection, storm drainage, and drinkable water, is a major concern among residents. The Spring Canyon development has been delayed multiple times due to concerns regarding potable water.

According to the City of Santa Clarita’s Resident Service Center website, residents who are incorporated into the City of Santa Clarita with the annexation will be responsible for paying extra utility fees which will be added on to their yearly property tax bill. These fees include a $56 streetlight maintenance fee which is used for upkeep costs, a $57 citywide landscape maintenance fee, an approximately $24 stormwater fee used for stormwater cleanup, and a $26 fee that the city uses for its Open Space Program. (Source: http://user.govoutreach.com/santaclarita/faq.php?cmd=shell&goparms=cid%3D15988)

The Open Space Program is an effort to maintain and preserve green areas both in and around the city. The program creates more parks for resident use and helps to maintain the environmental sustainability standards of the city.

The Resident Service Center website also states that the cost of additional fees will be offset by a reduction in utility taxes. Currently, residents outside of the city pay a 4.5% utility tax. Upon incorporation into the city, residents will no longer be responsible for paying this tax. (Source: http://user.govoutreach.com/santaclarita/faq.php?cmd=shell&goparms=cid%3D15988)

How will the annexation affect schools?

The annexation will not have any effect on current school districts, and students will continue to attend the same schools.

Valley Fever

Another major concern with the upcoming construction projects is the spread of Valley Fever (Coccidioidomycosis)—a common fungal disease spread by the Coccidioides immitis spores carried in dust.

The disease is known to spread more quickly when the soil is disturbed, such as with gardening or construction, and has been spreading more rapidly with each year. In 2016, 714 non-threatening cases were reported in the area.

Many people infected with the disease show no symptoms or only mild respiratory illnesses. In severe cases, Valley Fever can lead to more severe illnesses like pneumonia, meningitis, and dissemination.

Public Hearing

A public hearing regarding the annexation is scheduled tonight, in the evening on Tuesday, December 5th, 2017.

Posted in Developments, Traffic Tagged with: , , , ,

October 16th, 2017 by SCV Press

With Santa Clarita already experiencing grid-lock, construction on the 5 freeway is officially underway. Santa Clarita Valley (SCV) residents should be prepared for more traffic.

5 FREEWAY CONSTRUCTION PROJECT

The construction covers a distance of 15.8 miles in northern Los Angeles County in and by Santa Clarita. It starts from 0.5 miles south of Interstate 5 / State Route 14 separation to 1.7 miles north of the I-5 Lake Hughes Road under-crossing.

To begin, the split lanes on the southbound side will be replaced with temporary lanes. The changes will start Monday night on October 16th. Caltrans will be painting new lanes on Interstate 5 until the summer of 2019. 

However, “Caltrans plans to keep at least two freeway lanes open for traffic in the construction zone, except between midnight and 4 a.m. when at least one lane will be kept open for traffic,” as stated on Caltrans District 7 website.

Residents of Santa Clarita need to allow for extra travel time no matter what time of day it is, especially in the area with lower speed limits.

To the 200,000 motorists who ride over these interstates daily, the Mayor of Santa Clarita, Cameron Smyth, suggests, “Exercise patience, it’s going to be a couple years out.”

The next step will be carpool lanes. The construction of these roads is expected to start following the completion of this project in 2019.

What does our Santa Clarita Manager Ken Striplin say about Santa Clarita’s traffic issues?

Stephen Daniels from The Talk of Santa Clarita recently interviewed Striplin and brought up the many concerns Santa Clarita residents have. One of the top concerns for Santa Clarita is traffic. “People say we have a speeding problem. People say we have a traffic problem. I don’t know what the answer is for that.” responds Striplin.

In another interview on SCV 101, Bill Miranda covered traffic with Ken Striplin as well.

“Traffic, traffic. There’s too much traffic. How do we address those issues?” asks Miranda. “Traffic always comes up as an issue. What people don’t realize is we’ve spent tens of millions of dollars on traffic synchronization improvements,” said Striplin.

Bill Miranda dives further into the traffic issues. He states how people don’t realize synchronizing lights is what we currently have in place and is maximizing traffic flow.

If that is true, then the city believes they are already doing everything they can for traffic. In the end, the residents of Santa Clarita need to prepare for traffic for the next few years.

 

Resident’s of Santa Clarita took to Social Media and expressed their frustrations over traffic.

“The development is out of control, development without infrastructure continues to put the burden on our community while lining the pockets of a certain few. Our current city leaders do not represent the next generation. Lack of accountability is everywhere.” states Justin Hill.

Anthony Gellis,  “That is what comes from years of overdevelopment for profit and not enough planning.” and “the roads have and always been an after thought.” Matt Denny replied, “Lol” … “They should have been developing for a loss.”

Patricia Runyan, “Serenity was over after Mr. Newhall passed away and left the land to his sons.”

Cynthia Perla, “I left at 5:30am from Val Verde arrived at 3rd and Alvarado at 8:35 am.”

Keltie Cole, “It’s far worse than the valley. Bottleneck of doom.”

Gemma Rae, “It already is turning into the North San Fernando Valley. Just wait until they start building on Sand Canyon. It shouldn’t take me 45 minutes to drive 6 miles” and “I work 9 miles away from home, and it can take me up to an hr to get to work some days.”

Shirley Hernandez, “We do not have the roads to support our existing traffic, and they want to keep building.”

Justin Hill, “Yep only gonna get worse.” 

Bartie Stromberg, “If there’s another major fire. Your all screwed. All because of greed!”

 

Traffic for the Foreseeable Future

In any event, the residents of Santa Clarita have already spoken on traffic issues. Traffic is the number 1 topic of concern for area residents. Imagine how their views will change after the new construction plans starts with narrowing of the 5 freeway down until 2019. With the nearby construction starting on the newly approved 21,500-unit Newhall Ranch development and the expanding Chiquita landfill the area will be congested for the foreseeable future.

 

Author – Lauren Van Sloten, Santa Clarita, CA (SCV Press)

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