Council OKs Affordable Housing Project, Wildwood Canyon Acquisition
At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, the members took steps toward developing approximately 35 residential units on Newhall Avenue for low-and-moderate income families.
The first of this two-phase project will utilize $2.8 million in redevelopment funds and will help the City meet its state-mandated quota for providing affordable housing to all income groups.
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If approved, Phase I of the development would overtake an underutilized Park and Ride lot on Newhall Avenue, and contain recreation areas in addition to the housing. Phase II is expected to contain a mix of commercial and residential development, and would occupy a small, adjacent parcel.
The project is beginning to make strides amid Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to eliminate redevelopment agencies, a move he believes will save California $1.7 billion.
The legality of the Governor's proposal remains a point of contention, however, considering the recently-approved Proposition 22 which bans state legislators from taking local government funds.
“People keep telling us we need to as a city provide affordable housing,” said Mayor Marsha McLean. “That’s exactly what we’re doing. We’re making sure that money is spent on affordable housing and doesn’t get confiscated by the state.”
On Tuesday, the Council also voted to acquire 90 acres of Wildwood Canyon from Los Angeles County. The oak-tree laden woodland southeast of Calgrove Boulevard and north of Gateway Ranch in Newhall will be part of the City’s Open Space Preservation District.
Council will make its final decision on the purchase at a forthcoming Council meeting.