City Using Resources To Give Rundown Neighborhoods A Facelift
City’s new program uses teamwork between City and homeowners.
In an effort to better assist neighborhoods improve their property values and instill community pride, the City is beginning the new “Extreme Neighborhood Makeover” program, starting in the Canyon Country area of the city, off Whites Canyon Road and Stillmore Street.
The program involves a unique and bold step by the City and the community working together to help resolve neighborhood beautification and safety issues proactively. The goal is to help maximize property values throughout Santa Clarita neighborhoods and best assist individual property owners with challenges they face in complying with the law.
“A recurring issue we have heard quite a lot about at City Hall is one that involves neighborhoods. Residents have let their local government know that they are deeply concerned with issues in their neighborhoods that impact their property values and their quality of life. They have told us that they would like to see their neighbors embrace a strong sense of pride in their neighborhoods and have that reflected in how they care for their property. Issues including lack of landscaping, trash and clutter in plain sight, graffiti, inoperable vehicles on the front lawn, abandoned shopping carts in the neighborhood, illegal dumping and poor maintenance of houses have a cumulative, negative impact on the entire neighborhood,” explained Mayor Bob Kellar.
Over the past two decades, the City’s “reactive code enforcement” policies have slowly grown to encompass a more “proactive approach,” enabling the City to better interact with individual neighbors at an early stage in the process. The City’s dedicated Community Preservation Officers work with homeowners to help bring them into compliance with City codes and most importantly, improve their properties.
Many homeowners are actually surprised to learn that their practices, such as storing inoperable vehicles on the front lawn, paving the entire front yard with asphalt or concrete, or converting a garage without a permit are illegal in the City of Santa Clarita. During any given month, it is not unusual for the Community Preservation Office to have several hundred active files on-going. In fact, this small team responds to over 1,700 cases per year City-wide.
The program will begin with an invitation-only Neighborhood Block Party for all residents of nearly 130 homes in the first Extreme Neighborhood Makeover area. The Block Party is sponsored by the City, Sheriff’s Department, Fire Department, Canyon Country Advisory Committee and Cowboy Cantina who is providing the food. KHTS AM-1220 will be at the party with an Antique Fire Truck helping to spread the word about the program.
While not all of the homes in the area have these types of issues, it will take the combined efforts of the entire neighborhood to succeed in transforming these blocks through the Extreme Neighborhood Makeover program.
At the Block Party, the plan is to discuss with residents how the new program can best benefit the entire neighborhood.
The City has also invited local, licensed contractors, willing to provide residents with discounts for goods and services that will assist them in improving their individual properties as part of the new program. At the same time, the City will be doing whatever it can to provide improvements to the neighborhood in the public rights of way, including community tree planting, graffiti removal, working with other agencies, and even helping secure volunteers who can provide help individual residents who need it.
“We see the Extreme Neighborhood Makeover program as a clearing house of resources that the City will help to bring to the neighborhood. We have access to licensed contractors and vendors, we regularly receive calls from church groups and scout troops seeking meaningful volunteer work in the community and we all have a desire to improve our neighborhoods,” added Mayor Kellar.
For more information about the City’s Extreme Neighborhood Makeover, please contact Cruz Caldera at 661-255-4322 or email him at email@example.com.