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SCVNews.com | City Eyes Tax-Defaulted Land in Placerita Canyon | 01-05-2012
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1946 - Pioneering Placerita Canyon movie producer Trem Carr dies in San Diego [story]
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The city of Santa Clarita is looking to add 50 vacant acres in Placerita Canyon to its growing inventory of open-space parkland.

The City Council will consider a staff proposal Tuesday that would eventually see the property transferred from the county to the city. The county foreclosed on the property due to unpaid taxes.

The land is located on Placerita Canyon Road on the city-county border east of the 14 Freeway, just west of Pacy Street, close to Sand Canyon Road. Under city ownership it would be preserved as permanent open space and would connect directly with the Golden Valley open space to the northwest.

The city doesn’t run the risk of losing out on the real-estate deal by discussing it because under the county tax code, local government agencies have priority status when it comes to acquiring tax-defaulted land for public purposes.

Normally, the tax assessor holds two auctions per year to unload foreclosed properties, but a government agency can step in and declare its intent before or during the auction.

Assessor records show the 50-acre parcel went into default in 2007. It was assessed in 2005 at $328,685, and its annual tax obligation is $4,148.99.

That said, the city’s ultimate purchase price is not yet known. If the City Council votes to execute the agreement Tuesday, the county could take up to a year to complete the process, after which time it will tell the city how much it wants.

Then the matter would go back to the City Council for a final up-or-down vote.

“Acquisition of additional properties provides important trail linkages, enhances wildlife connections, and expands the city’s greenbelt buffer,” the staff report states. The city owns more than 6,100 acres of open space.

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