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Developer calls for Palmdale, Lancaster to unite against Santa Clarita

Merger of two Antelope Valley cities proposed

Posted: February 24, 2012 6:04 p.m.
Updated: February 24, 2012 6:04 p.m.

LANCASTER - A prominent Antelope Valley developer called on Palmdale and Lancaster to merge into one city Friday and battle Santa Clarita for its jobs and industries.

Scott Ehrlich of InSite Development seized on Mayor Laurie Ender's comment that a relatively low income area of Canyon Country should become part of Palmdale as a unifying point for the Antelope Valley's two cities.

"The mayor of Santa Clarita had the audacity to say they should dump their Section 8 (housing) applicants in Palmdale," Ehrlich said during Friday's Antelope Valley Board of Trade conference.

Reached for a response Friday, Ender said her comment about cutting out Jakes Way and moving it to Palmdale had nothing to do with Section 8 housing and noted she had apologized for the Jan. 31 remark made during a candidates' debate.

"We have had a long and successful relationship with the Antelope Valley area in a number of aspects," she said of the city. "I really want to continue our positive relationship with them."

Ehrlich, whose Woodland Hills-based firm revitalized downtown Lancaster's "The BLVD." and was involved in other Antelope Valley developments, used his acceptance speech for a Board of Trade award to call on Antelope Valley business leaders and residents to unite and become the economic capital of Northern Los Angeles County.

"We should join forces to battle Santa Clarita and the likes for their jobs and other industries," Ehrlich told about 700 business leaders and others who attended the conference.

The developer complained the cities of Palmdale and Lancaster have wasted thousands of residents' dollars battling each other to lure companies such as Costco to the region - companies that would have located there anyway, he said.

He said he plans to put a referendum on the ballot in each city to let voters decide if the region would better benefit economically by merging the cities' resources and tax dollars.

"I'm not really against Santa Clarita," Ehrlich told The Signal after his speech. "I like Santa Clarita."
"But it should be all regions working together, not against each other."

The developer said he used Ender's slur as a rallying point to unite residents and business owners in the Antelope Valley in favor of a one-city plan.

"I believe it has a chance of passing in both cities," he said. "I'm doing this because I truly believe it's the right thing to do."





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