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SCVNews.com | Council Returns from Summer Break Tuesday | 08-26-2013
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1961 - CalArts grad (MFA '92) and marine biologist Stephen Hillenburg, creator of Spongebob SquarePants, born in Oklahoma; developed prototype for Spongebob while studying at CalArts in 1989. Estimated net worth in 2012: $90 million [story]


citycouncil2013cropSanta Clarita City Council members will return from a seven-week summer break Tuesday to get back to city business.

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The agenda includes a vote on $5 million in redevelopment money from the state, plans for new fields and an increase of its building inspection budget.

All information pertaining to the Santa Clarita City Council agenda may be found on the city’s website, which was the source for this preview.

 

Redevelopment

The city formed a redevelopment agency in 1997, which was dissolved by the state’s Legislature in 2011, according to city documents.

As required by California Redevelopment Law, 20 percent of the tax increment the agency collected was set aside in a Low- and Moderate-Income Housing Fund (LMHF) to “increase, improve, and preserve” the supply of affordable housing for the low- and moderate-income community.

The remaining 80 percent of the tax increment collected (non-housing funds) was available to be used for a variety of allowable economic development benefitting the Newhall Redevelopment Project Area.

Agencies were also authorized to issue bonds to fund future activities.

In 2008, the agency issued $8.85 million in housing bonds and $29.8 million in nonhousing bonds.

City officials, if they follow steps laid out by AB 1484, may use the money as the “successor agency, and “these funds are anticipated to be used toward an affordable housing development in the previous Redevelopment Project Area,” according to the city’s agenda.

 

Central Park

Based on a 2011 study, city officials will vote on an approval recommendation for multipurpose fields on an 11-acre plot at Central Park in Saugus.

The vote calls for a contract not to exceed $1.9 million

The 2008 Parks, Recreation and Open Space Master Plan cites a need for more multiuse sports fields to serve recreational demands within the city, according to city documents.

Based on feedback, the sports fields are expected to remain in critical supply over the next five to 10 years.

The Interim Master Plan seeks to address the lack of sports fields by constructing two full-size, lighted, multiuse sports fields on an 11-acre area at Central Park that was previously set aside for development of a recreation center and pool complex, according to the City Council’s agenda.

Other aspects of the original Development Plan including space for additional basketball courts and a tennis center, remain unchanged.

 

Building Inspection

In a sign that Santa Clarita’s economy is on the rebound, “construction activity in Santa Clarita has increased significantly,” over the last year.

As a result of the increase, staff has been inundated with plan review and inspections, increasing the turn-around time for both.

Citing a growing need, city officials could approve about $1.5 million to the Building & Safety Division if a staff recommendation is followed.

The Building & Safety Division uses contractual services on an as-needed basis to assist staff with plan reviews and inspections of buildings during periods of high construction activity. Contractual support for plan review and/or inspection services helps supplement staff’s effort to reduce plan check turn-around time and manage the inspection workload as demand fluctuates.

During Fiscal Year 2012-13, the number of permits issued and inspection requests exceeded the previous five years. In an effort to provide excellent customer service and reduce the wait time for our customers, Building & Safety needs additional resources in the form of contract plan check and inspection services beyond the current $175,000 limit to meet the City’s high customer service standards.

Hourly rates for these services range from $55 to $125 per hour.

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