Santa Clarita City Councilmembers on Tuesday night will discuss how to respond to county planners’ request that developers consider a homeless shelter in Phase II of the proposed Tesoro del Valle housing project just north of city limits.
The Los Angeles County Planning Commission’s request of developer BLC Tesoro LLC has raised the concern of Fifth District Supervisor Kathryn Barger, and the opposition of Peggy Edwards, board president for Newhall-based Bridge to Home.
The nonprofit Bridge to Home has operated the Santa Clarita Valley emergency winter shelter for the homeless in the city for more than 20 years and is planning to open a permanent year-around facility soon.
Edwards spoke during the public comments period at the last City Council meeting Oct. 9, requesting the city join Bridge to Home in opposing to the Tesoro shelter proposal at the Planning Commission’s next hearing on the Tesoro project on Nov. 7.
“If a homeless shelter is required in that location, it would be a stunning blow to the short and long-term plans of Bridge to Home,” Edwards said.
“There are multiple reasons why this location will not work for the residents of the Santa Clarita Valley experiencing homelessness, as well as the staff and hundreds of community volunteers that serve with BTH,” she said.
Edwards went on to outline the three most critical reasons Bridge to Home opposes the idea. The Council agreed to consider a response at its next meeting Oct. 23. The reasons she stated are bulleted in the Oct. 23 agenda, which follows:
“Background: On August 1, 2018, the Los Angeles County Regional Planning Commission reviewed plans of the Phase II Tesoro Del Valle project. The LACRPC did not approve the project as presented and instead requested that the developer incorporate an onsite homeless shelter within the scope of the project and present the revised plan at the regular LACRPC meeting on November 7, 2018.
“Although the project has not been presented to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Supervisor Kathryn Barger has expressed concerns regarding the requested incorporation of an onsite homeless shelter.
“The Phase II Tesoro Del Valle project is located in the unincorporated area of Los Angeles County, north of Valencia and between West Creek and San Francisquito Canyon. The project size, as it was presented on August 1, 2018, to the LACRPC, is approximately 1,200 acres and includes 820 homes, associated public facilities and dedicated open space.
“At the October 9, 2018, regular City Council meeting, Bridge to Home President, Peggy Edwards, requested that the City Council support Bridge to Home in opposing the incorporation of an onsite homeless shelter at the Phase II Tesoro Del Valle project. Ms. Edwards expressed Bridge to Home’s concerns that a homeless shelter within the proposed project would be detrimental to the future expansion of homeless services at Bridge to Home.
“The following points were identified by Bridge to Home regarding the LACRPC request for an onsite homeless shelter at the Phase II Tesoro Del Valle project:
“* The Santa Clarita Valley community has conducted two studies by task forces, representing various stakeholders, to identify the best location for a homeless shelter in the Santa Clarita Valley. The studies identified the existing Bridge to Home homeless shelter as being centralized, easily accessible, and near City services and public transportation. Both studies recommended the current location of Bridge to Home’s homeless shelter on Drayton Street as the most beneficial location to provide homeless services in the Santa Clarita Valley.
“* Bridge to Home has 22 years of experience in homeless services and the current Emergency Winter shelter and family building, along with the planned year-round expansion of the homeless shelter, allocated by Measure H and Los Angeles County, provide exceptional services and account for the potential future growth of the Santa Clarita Valley.
“* On September 26, 2017, the City of Santa Clarita transferred property, worth more than $1 million, adjacent to the current location of the Bridge to Home homeless shelter on Drayton Street, in an effort to maximize Bridge to Home’s eligibility for Measure H funding. Bridge to Home has also been allocated more than $1 million in Measure H funding for elements of the expansion of their homeless shelter. These efforts and allocated funding to provide year-round service would be significantly diluted with the incorporation of a homeless shelter in the Phase II Tesoro Del Valle project.
“The City of Santa Clarita (City) has worked cooperatively with Bridge to Home and has met regularly with Bridge to Home staff to provide support for the expansion and growth of their facilities and services. In addition to the transfer of property, the City has collaborated with Bridge to Home in providing comprehensive assistance for the transfer of property, issuance of appropriate permits, and overall expansion of year-round services.
“Following comments made by Ms. Edwards, the City Council, at the October 9, 2018, regular City Council meeting, requested to discuss the motion made by the LACRPC related to the addition of a homeless shelter in the Phase II Tesoro Del Valle project at the October 23, 2018, regular City Council meeting.
“The recommended action is that the City Council discuss and provide direction to staff regarding the Los Angeles County Regional Planning Commission’s consideration of including a homeless shelter in the Phase II Tesoro Del Valle project.”