The Santa Clarita City Council members voted 5-0 Tuesday evening to a plan that will bring a bigger Senior Center and a bigger YMCA building to the Five Knolls community now under development in Saugus, along with 154 additional 3- and 4-bedroom age-restricted detached condominiums.
The Planning Commision voted unanimously Jun 2 to recommend the revision to the Five Knolls development plan, which called for 494 homes on 247 acres between Bouquet Canyon Road on the north and Soledad Canyon Road on the south.
Rick Doremus, president of Synergy, presented the proposed revision at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.
Doremus said the approximately 12,000-square-foot Senior Center in Newhall is too small and inadequate; the new Senior Center at Five Knolls, at 30,000-plus square feet, would replace it. He said the new Senior Center and the YMCA are compatible.
They will separate buildings but will share a parking lot.
“This will be a new social gathering place for seniors and people of all ages for the YMCA in the future,” Doremus said.
City Council committed $3 million to support construction of a new SCV Senior Center on Nov. 25, 2014, according to Tuesday’s agenda. Doremus said his company’s contribution matches that amount.
Council member TimBen Boydston was concerned about enough parking, traffic impacts, and whether there was enough water.
Dan Masnada, general manager of the Castaic Lake Water Agency, confirmed the Santa Clarita Water District will be supplying the water for the project. He said the revised project has lower water demand, and that there will be sufficient water for the long-term project. He said the SCV has a four-year supply of water banked, and that Gov. Jerry Brown’s order for individuals to reduce water consumption by 25 percent is unrelated to that fact.
Stantec Consulting Services, Inc. analyzed the parking demand to ensure the parking will be sufficient.
The analysis found that the YMCA and the SCV Senior Center have peak hours and different times throughout the day, with a maximum parking demand of approximately 374 parking spaces at the peak for both.
Officials said 404 parking spaces will be provided for the YMCA and the SCV Senior Center which will exceed the code requirement of 391 parking spaces, 248 for the YMCA and 143 for the SCV Senior Center, by 13 spaces.
The codd requires single-family detached condominium projects to provide a two-car garage for each unit, as well as guest parking stalls — 1 stall for every 2 units — evenly distributed throughout the development, according to Tuesday’s agenda.
Each proposed residential unit has a two-car garage, and the project site provides 82 guest parking stalls, in excess of the 77 code-required guest parking stalls, distributed throughout the project site, according to Tuesday’s agenda.
Mayor Marsha McLean raised concerns that the drawing of the proposed YMCA “looks like a warehouse. It doesn’t denote Canyon Country at all.” She said her vote on the development project would depend on a revision to the architectural design.
Doremus said his company would take another look at the design and that if McLean’s vote depended on it, “we will absolutely take another look.”
Councilwoman Laurene Weste, who favored the project, raised concerns about handicap accessibility issues for the age-restricted housing, such as hinges and guard rails that would be used in bathrooms.
“It’s past time for a new Senior Center,” said Weste. “I can’t think of anything that’s more deserving than our kids and our elderly, and it has my vote 100 percent.”
Councilman Dante Acosta questioned the size of the proposed age-restricted housing. Acosta wondered if there was a need for 2-story, 2,000-square-foot homes with two or three upstairs bedrooms, but he also supported the project.
Said Councilman Bob Kellar: This will make Santa Clarita great. What an opportunity for the Santa Clarita Valley.”
Most of the speakers during public participation supported the proposed changes to the project and urged the council to approve the new Senior Center.
“The Senior Center is something that a lot of us appreciate,” said Acosta, “and someday we’ll be using it in the near future.”