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City Council back in session

Initial discussion focuses on summer vacation activities

Posted: August 26, 2008 8:18 p.m.
Updated: October 28, 2008 5:01 a.m.

The first meeting of Santa Clarita City Council was a collective “How I spent my summer vacation.”

Items raised in the public presentation portion of the public meeting Tuesday night reflecting on the summer spent in Santa Clarita Valley included: a request for council to comment on the ongoing Lyons Canyon Ranch project even though the senior citizens project is a county concern; a special tribute by Mayor  Bob Kellar for 23-month-old Jack Winchester who was found dead this summer in a car seat and accolades for our local Olympians who competed at the Olympics in Beijing, China.

Topping the list of concerns, however, was the plight of Belcaro retirement village residents who rallied earlier in the day to express their opposition to 200-foot black latticed hydro towers erected by Southern California Edison through their neighborhood.

Residents who voiced their concerns for the media in the morning, echoed their concerns at night before council.

Kellar asked that copies be made of photos depicting the towers so that the full house of the attending public could judge the structures independently.

At that point, an audience member held up a poster of the tower for all to see.

Alex Hernandez outlined for council with a slide show of historic local sites how the city plans to protect more than 60 historic sites including obvious items such as the Pioneer Oil Refinery on Pine Street which is a State Historic Landmark and not so common items such as the Jauregui House on 13th Street.

Hernandez outlined a three-year plan recommending that council endorse the temporary plan to protect local heritage until a permanent plan is put in place.

One of the sensitive historic landmarks discussed was the preservation of Mentryville.

“We are losing so much of our history,” said Duane Hart, representing the group Friends of Mentryville.
Hart urged council to adopt the recommendation put forward by Hernandez, calling for penalties for those who destroy local history. “A slap on the hand is not going to do it,” Hart said.

In June 2007,  Santa Clarita City Council’s Economic Development/redevelopment Subcommittee set up a temporary review process to evaluate the demolition and inappropriate alteration of the city’s historic resources and its potential historic resources.

The process was drawn up in two phases, the first of which calls for a review of requests to alter a historic resource.

The second phase is expected to be a more comprehensive historic preservation ordinance that would include: establishment of historic designation criteria; historic survey of sites; and financial incentives for continued preservation of the City’s historic resources.

At this time, no funding is available to begin the second phase.

Last month, the Planning Commission held a public hearing on amendments proposed for the historic preservation review.

It then upheld the amendments and sent them to City Council for approval.

A couple of weeks ago, the Newhall Redevelopment Committee approved the amendments.

The committee also voted in favor of the Planning Commission’s recommendations.



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