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| Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Associate Planner Hai Nguyen speaks to a crowd as he gives a tour of the site of the proposed Sand Canyon Country Club on Tuesday afternoon. | Photo: Cory Rubin/The Signal.
Associate Planner Hai Nguyen speaks to a crowd as he gives a tour of the site of the proposed Sand Canyon Country Club on Tuesday afternoon. | Photo: Cory Rubin/The Signal.

 

More than two dozen people had the opportunity Tuesday to tour the proposed Sand Canyon Resort project site, with the majority voicing concerns over open-space preservation.

The Santa Clarita Planning Commission and members of the public, mostly Sand Canyon residents, saw firsthand two portions of the would-be, 77-acre resort, which is proposed for the northeast corner of Sand Canyon Road and Robinson Ranch Road.

The group first stood on land designated for the suggested three-story main hotel, which is planned to have 240 rooms at 165,000 square feet. Adjacent to the ground-level area is a hill that would need to be graded for the project’s wing for ballrooms, as well as fitness and salon facilities. This portion of the property is proposed to change from open space to “community commercial” land, according to Hai Nguyen, associate planner with the city.

The 30-minute tour ended on the western part of the site, where attendees saw the area suggested for the project’s oak villas, which are nine, one-story villas at about 38,000 square feet and one 9,500–square-foot, two-story villa.

While the site visit was no hearing or formal presentation, participants had a lot to say.

Among them was Sandra Cattell, chair of the Santa Clarita Valley Group of the Sierra Club Angeles chapter, who said she was mostly concerned about what the project would mean to preserve the area’s special standards district.

“I’m really upset,” she said. “This is designated open space. This is wildlife habitat. Since when do we just give away 77 acres just so somebody can have some financial gain?”

Sand Canyon is a special standards district under Chapter 17.39 of the Santa Clarita Municipal Code, meaning the area is to “maintain, preserve and enhance the rural and equestrian character of Sand Canyon.”

With multistory buildings and outdoor recreation areas, site visitors said they’re worried the project could change the neighborhood’s quiet, rural lifestyle with increased traffic, street lights and noise.

David Hong, Sand Canyon resident and local attorney, said this project does not only affect Sand Canyon residents. “People will say, ‘This is a country club, and this doesn’t really affect me.’ But it does affect people, because people come here to escape the bustle of the city and enjoy the rural life.”

Steve Kim, CEO of Sand Canyon Country Club and applicant of the project, said after the tour in regard to the concerned residents’ comments: “More people support this; there’s only a few that don’t. This will add to the community and will bring amenities Sand Canyon doesn’t have.”

Supporters have said the resort will offer residents on the east side of the SCV more entertainment and dining options without having to travel across the valley to Valencia.

“Mr. Kim has the absolute right to develop his property, but within the confines of the law,” Hong said. “We hope the city and our elected leaders step up and protect us, and we are absolutely going to keep their feet to the fire on that.”

The Planning Commission said at its regular meeting after the tour that the body would like to see detailed project maps to get a better picture of the plan as several questions arose.

Nguyen said the next step is to release a draft of the project’s environmental impact report by the summer, followed by a Planning Commission review. A comment period will open after the EIR’s release.

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7 Comments

  1. waterwatcher says:

    Yes, they are all standing on the site of the illegal grading done by the developer before the EIR is even out. This is a terrible project. Open space was already lost with the conversion to the Robinson ranch golf course. That was allowed based on the rest remaining open space in perpetuity. We have zoning laws that must be followed along with grading regulations, but this owner doesn’t seem to think he has to obey any laws.

  2. Diane Wilson says:

    Mr. Kim is incorrect when he states that more people want the hotel. Rural and equestrian zoning protects property values and quality of life. Commercial uses are undesirable. As a real estate broker, I would advise those who live near the planned project to understand that your home would be more difficult to sell due to the noise and unwanted activity that a large hotel would bring. The nicest residential areas in California protect their zoning. The masterplan in Valencia was careful to cluster the commercial areas. The Open Space designation must be maintained.

  3. jim says:

    Short memories, lax enforcement by the city, friends in high places, money talks.

    What else is new?

  4. John Faulkner says:

    Can maps be included in all SCVNews.com articles that mention a specific location? Sure would have been nice to see a map along side of “Sand Canyon Road and Robinson Ranch Road”. Easy to do.

  5. GW says:

    Something of this nature and scale requires freeway and city access and zoning!

    Sand Canyon is quiet, quaint and special due to the current Rural, Equestrian, one acre minimum, residential zoning which is and has been in place since the city incorporated.

    Please stand with the residents that have invested in the unique qualities of peace for their homes.

    There are no benefits to losing open space zoning to enable business to overtake a residential community!

    Thanks…

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