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citylogo_sealThe Santa Clarita City Council unanimously approved several items Tuesday including traffic safety measures, an extended moratorium on mobile home park conversions, and a much anticipated Arts Master Plan.

 

Traffic-Calming Measures on Dorothy Street and Ermine Street

One of the conditions imposed on the Five Knolls community developer was a requirement to complete Golden Valley Road between Newhall Ranch Road and Dorothy Street as well as to provide “traffic-calming features” on Dorothy Street and Ermine Street.

The area of Dorothy Street is located in unincorporated county territory, and the measures must meet the the satisfaction of the city’s public works director, according to a staff report.

A longtime resident of Dorothy Street who had spoken at previous council meetings described how traffic safety measures on Dorothy Street were in “pretty deplorable conditions.”

“Since the passage of time, conditions have not gotten any better,” the resident said. “In fact, I would say they’ve even got worse, because the word is out that Dorothy is the most viable shortcut to Golden Valley. … We just ask that you at least take some kind of step that’s going to bring us some kind of relief up there.”

After the Golden Valley Road extension was completed last year, traffic in the area doubled on Dorothy Street, reaching 3,250 vehicles per day, and increased six-fold on Ermine Street, reaching 1,260 vehicles per day.

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The “traffic calming features” in the plan include four new multi-way stop-controlled intersections and the installation of 12 sets of speed cushions.

Of the $100,000 in traffic fees collected from the Five Knolls developer, $70,000 will be used to cover the costs of materials and $30,000 will be used to cover the costs of additional equipment needed to implement the traffic-calming plan, according to the report. Installation of the devices is planned to be implemented by the end of May.

 

Mobile Home Park Conversions

All five Santa Clarita City Council members voted to extend a moratorium on mobile home park conversions from “seniors only” to “family.” The moratorium runs through Jan. 25, 2017, and applies to all mobile home parks within city limits.

During the extended time, city staff members are expected to draft a Senior Mobilehome Park Overlay Zone.

“I’m here in support of the obviously adopting this and extending it again,” said Ruth Abejon, a resident of Park Sierra Apartments. “We’re not renting apartments; we’re renting the ground that our homes are sitting on.”

granadavillaAnother resident of a different mobile home park, Douglas Frazier, also commented on the ordinance and mobile home park issues.

“Residents of Granada Villa want to thank you for the putting in the effort,” he said. “They have told me that there are 179 homes in the park, according to the city’s public records, and there are 11 that are still month-to-month (leases).”

The moratorium wouldn’t apply to leases with a term of 12 months or longer.

“The manager is in the process in getting people into long-term contracts when their (short-term) contracts end,” Frazier said. “It used to be a senior park and now is being converted to a family park.

Residents also requested that any new contracts be provided with a Spanish translation, he said.

Others spoke about the ordinance as well as other issues surrounding mobile homes in the Santa Clarita Valley, but city officials said there’s only so far their jurisdiction can reach.

“As the council has heard before, Granada Villa Mobile Home park is a park that has long-term leases, and those leases are not subject to our ordinance,” said City Attorney Joseph Montes. “And in terms of maintenance issues inside the park, those are governed by the state, and we know that the state’s office does not have many resources, but city staff continues to provide what assistance we can and to assist in finding the appropriate offices that may be able to resolve the issues that are being raised.”

City Councilwoman Laurene Weste spoke in an effort to help some of the mobile home park residents whom the city is unable to help.

“I just can’t buy into the fact that these people are being gouged this way, and I think it’s time that we send a letter articulating some of the grievances that we are seeing,” Weste said, adding a suggestion to send a letter to all elected officials in state Legislature about the issue. “I recognize that it’s a black hole, but when you look at this kind of abuse, they have two choices: They can pay it, or they can lose the little they have in a mobile home. That’s all they have. They have nothing else.”

 

Arts Master Plan

The City Council green-lighted the Arts Master Plan after months of planning and consultation. The plan builds upon the earlier Cultural Arts Master Plan and Arts Blueprint; it is a priority under the “Santa Clarita 2020” initiative and provides a 10- to 15-year roadmap.

arts_logo-graphic_genericAfter several meetings and public comment, the vision statement for the plan states, “The City of Santa Clarita will be recognized as a ‘city of the arts’ where the lives of residents, artists and visitors are enriched through artistic and cultural experiences.”

The plan includes several themes to enhance cultural vitality, strengthen cultural support systems and foster greater diversity and inclusion.

Key findings of the plan include: People leave Santa Clarita more often than they stay to attend cultural activities; the community is generally satisfied with the current arts and cultural offerings; Old Town Newhall is the cultural heart of the city, but there is a desire for arts in other locations; residents express interest in celebrating history and cultural heritage; children are very involved in the arts; there is a demand for more arts classes; and there is large support for the city to take a leadership role in arts and cultural development.

Residents spoke in support of the plan, including Joseph Jasik.

“You know I’m an artist, and I really support what we are doing, and I still don’t think we’re doing enough,” Jasik said.

Michael Miller, vice chairman of the city’s Arts Commission, also spoke in support of the plan.

“This has just worked extremely well, and we’re looking forward on the Arts Commission to taking this master plan and doing some great work with it,” Miller said.

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1 Comment

  1. Desiree says:

    The Seniors parks should be protected

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