On Dec. 1 the City of Santa Clarita’s exclusive option to acquire one of the liens against the Whittaker-Bermite property and advance potential acquisition of the land by the city passed. There was no effort made by the city to extend it.
“There was an extension clause in there. It was more or less in case everybody was knocking on the door wanting to buy the property, and of course these times aren’t exactly ideal so there was no one really knocking on the door,” said Jeff Hogan, senior planner for the city of Santa Clarita.
Despite the window closing, Hogan says the city is still trying to work on an agreement with their business partner Lewis Operating Corporation and all the parties involved including Whittaker-Bermite, the Department of Toxic Substance Control and local water agencies.
The Whittaker-Bermite property is an undeveloped 996-acre site located in the center of the City of Santa Clarita. The former munitions testing and manufacturing site has contamination issues, which include perchlorate, volatile organic compounds, and both soil and groundwater contamination.
One of the top issues for the city to resolve is liability.
“The city doesn’t want to carry any of the liability of the property nor does Lewis, so we’re trying to work that out, that’s the biggest issue we’re working out right now,” Hogan said.
A multi-jurisdictional meeting is to be held Wednesday, Dec. 7.
That evening, the Whittaker-Bermite Citizens Advisory Group will meet at the Santa Clarita United Methodist Church, 26640 Bouquet Canyon Road at 6:30 p.m. to update the public.
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