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2013 - COC breaks ground on Culinary Arts Education building in Valencia [story]
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| Wednesday, Jun 30, 2021
Los Angeles County
Old Town Newhall Specific Plan Update staff member Hai Nguyen, center, right, welcomes attendees at the check in station in the Old Town Newhall Library parking lot on Saturday, 062621. Dan Watson/The Signal.

A new tent at the Old Town Newhall Farmers Market drew the public’s attention Saturday morning.

The city of Santa Clarita Planning Division popped up in the parking lot adjacent to the Old Town Newhall Library to ask residents to provide input on the future growth, development and revitalization of Old Town Newhall.

This outreach marks the city’s first major update to the area’s specific plan — a regulatory document to provide a vision for the city’s historic core and oldest neighborhood — since the city created the document in 2005, according to Hai Nguyen, a city planner.

Old Town Newhall Specific Plan staff member Mikaela Manion, right, directs attendees to the next check point on the self guided walking tour of Old Town Newhall on Saturday, 062621. Dan Watson/The Signal

“We have a questionnaire, we have a photo booth and we are having a self-guided walking tour to gain input from people,” Nguyen said of the morning’s outreach.

Nguyen said the city wants to know more about the things that residents would like to see in Old Town Newhall, which is also the city’s arts and entertainment district.

The city hoped that its presence at the Farmers Market would boost public participation in the plan update.

“The goal of being at the Farmers Market instead of being at City Hall (is) we are talking to different people who are here, know about this space and also probably are here because they like Old Town Newhall,” said Jenna Tourjé, a public outreach coordinator with Kearns & West, one of the city’s consultants supporting the specific plan update effort.

Joseph Eines, who has lived in Newhall for one year, said he would have a recent trip to Nevada in mind as he picked up a flyer and headed out on the self-guided walking tour to observe Old Town.

Participants, right, stop at checkpoint number 2 on Main Street as they follow the map during the self guided walking tour of the Old Town Newhall Specific Update Plan in Old Town Newhall on Saturday, 062621. Dan Watson/The Signal

“At night, if it could be more colorful,” he said, noting bright lights provided “friendly vibes.” “If it was inviting to walk outside at night. If they can make it like that, it’d be a cool place to take a date to.”

Alison King, of Stevenson Ranch, and Jeannie Rutherford, of Newhall, were talking with city planner Ben Jarvis at the 1-mile walking tour’s first checkpoint, on the corner of Main and 9th streets.

“Everything just looks like it’s had a facelift and it’s so welcoming,” said King, who grew up in Newhall. “There are a lot of neat things here, especially at night, you know, there’s good shows and different things.”

The tour path was a loop that rounded near the Main Street roundabout, went past Veterans Memorial Park and ended at the Newhall Library.

Rutherford agreed with King, who said Newhall has now become a draw for residents.

Attendees walk down Main Street on the self guided walking tour of the Old Town Newhall Specific Update Plan in Old Town Newhall on Saturday, 062621. Dan Watson/The Signal

“I like the neighborhood feel to it,” Rutherford said. “It gives you that charm that you’re looking for and that sense of belonging, especially with what we’re all kind of seeking right now.”

Jarvis said the residents he had spoken to said they’d like to see more opportunities to live and dine in Old Town Newhall.

“That’s come up with pretty much everybody,” Jarvis said of the request for more dining options in Newhall. “They love the outdoor dining and the want to see more of it.”

Nguyen said the city plans to have the Old Town Newhall Specific Plan updated by the end of 2021.

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