Another Development Bites The Dust
City Council wrap-up: “The Avenue” asks to suspend project proposal, Cemex progress reportedly very good.
Two weeks ago, a massive group of residents spoke in front of the Santa Clarita City Council opposing a potential development called “The Avenue.”
The development proposed a 13 story building and other commercial and residential units totaling 2.5 million square feet on the former Smiser Ranch property, located between Wiley Canyon Rd., the I-5 and Calgrove Blvd.
After the resident uprising, Mayor Bob Kellar suggested that a copy of the video footage from the meeting be forwarded to the owners of the Smiser Ranch property, Jay and Joyce Rodgers.
At Tuesday’s Council meeting, organized, outspoken residents scored their second consecutive victory against large scale development. “We are in receipt of a letter from Jay and Joyce Rogers, indicating that they have officially requested the suspension of the Avenue project,” City Manager Ken Pulskamp told KHTS.
While the suspension is not a formal abandonment of the plan, it does indicate a success for the resident group.
A few months ago, another organized group successfully prompted Burrtec to abolish plans to build a Materials Recovery Facility near homes along Sierra Highway. Like “The Avenue,” Burrtec’s MRF plan had not even proceeded far enough in the planning stage to be agenized by the City Council.
In other City Council news, new appointments for some of the City’s commissions are forthcoming. Click here to read that story.
And some good news came from City staff involving the Cemex fight. Bob Kellar asked the City’s Governmental Relations head Mike Murphy to comment on their recent trip to Washington DC.
They were there last week to follow up on a letter Congressman Buck McKeon had sent to all Congressional members from California asking for their support of a legislation he has introduced that would end the City’s battle against the Cemex.
The bill will revoke the mineral rights for a piece of land very near homes in Santa Clarita where Cemex had planned to establish a sand and gravel mine. In exchange, Cemex will receive a quantity of land near Victorville from the Bureau of Land Management which can then be sold to the City of Victorville.
The plan was hailed as a “win-win-win” and currently has the support of Santa Clarita, Victorville and Cemex.
However, it still needs to be passed by congress, a task that could prove arduous.
However, Murphy reported positive news from the DC trip. He said that they have received indications from some that their legislation will be supported, and several others have requested more information, but weren’t opposed. “They generally indicated that they were conceptually supportive of what Mr. McKeon is attempting to do through his legislation,” Murphy told the Council.
The group will return to Washington to meet with more Congressional members and, specifically, members and staff of the House Resources Committee, which will be the first to consider the legislation this summer.