It looks like the Superior Court will have to stay in the Civic Center at Magic Mountain Parkway and Valencia Boulevard for the foreseeable future.
The Santa Clarita Valley won’t be getting a new courthouse after all.
That’s the word from Courthouse News Service, an independent news agency for jurists and attorneys that provided reportage of Friday’s meeting of the California judiciary’s court facilities working group in San Francisco.
According to CNS, the working group voted Friday to approve 23 courthouse construction projects and put seven new courthouses on hold indefinitely – one of them being the courthouse planned for the SCV.
The move shaves nearly $390 million off of the state’s courthouse construction budget – which is financed largely through court fees.
If you’ve been following the saga, you know Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich announced plans to move the courthouse to Castaic Junction – the west side of the valley for now, but closer to the population center once The Newhall Land and Farming Co. starts building the eventual 21,000-home Newhall Ranch community.
The new courthouse was to be built with the money that was in play Friday.
Antonovich and the city exchanged words earlier this year when the Board of Supervisors moved forward with plans to relocate the SCV Sheriff’s Station next to the future courthouse site. The city wanted to keep the sheriff’s station where it is, or if it must move, then move it closer to the current population center.
It’s too early to tell what impact Friday’s decision will have on the plans to move the sheriff’s station.
Plans for a new Santa Clarita courthouse didn’t go down without a fight.
CNS reports that Los Angeles Court Executive Officer John Clarke said he “could not, as some committee members suggested, move the caseload for Santa Clarita or Glendale to nearby courts.” (A new Glendale courthouse also got the ax.)
The state Legislature had instructed the working group to “reassess all courthouse projects” due to the “extraordinarily high courthouse construction costs,” according to the CNS report.