City Council Round Up: Ducks, Bucks, And A Hero
“I know the community has been very excited about the purchases so far,” said City Council Member Laurene Weste as she and the other members unanimously approved a grant application to acquire 1,141 acres of open space in the Agua Dulce Canyon.
Weste said the purchase is one more step in realizing the dream of having a greenbelt around the city.
The state of California is accepting applications for a total of $1,047,489 in funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund to preserve the biological diversity of Southern California land and create opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation.
The maximum grant amount is $250,000.
Projects will be evaluated based on the proposed recreation facilities to be developed on the property, with priority given to projects that will create future public trails for hiking, picnicking, and wildlife viewing in the natural open space.
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City staff is interested in seeking out this grant opportunity to leverage funds from the Open Space Preservation District to purchase the acreage adjacent to over 1,100 acres of already protected, city-owned open space.
According to the city, this property, located east of Highway 14 along Agua Dulce Canyon Road, is significant for the connection of the two sections of the Angeles National Forest east of the City of Santa Clarita in an area identified in the Angeles Linkage Conceptual Area Protection Plan.
The property is also adjacent to the controversial Cemex property which could be used for a mega-mining project. U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer has been trying to work a deal to swap the Cemex mineing company land with equally profitable land in a less densely populated area.
For more on the grant application click here.
A bright yellow duck made an appearance at the City Council meeting to remind residents of the upcoming Samuel Dixon Family Health Centers, Inc.’s Rubber Ducky Regatta.
The event takes place at Castaic Lake, Saturday, October 22, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
This year marks the ninth annual Rubber Ducky Regatta fundraiser and festival. All proceeds from this fundraiser by the Samuel Dixon Family Health Centers along with co-sponsor Providence Holy Cross, benefit underinsured and uninsured residents of the Santa Clarita Valley.
Mayor Marsha McLean say people who’ve never attended the regatta are really missing something.
“It is so much fun to see people egging on their little rubber duckies,” McLean said.
The City Council encourage all residents to buy a rubber duckie and help a good cause.
City Council Member Laurene Weste reminded residents of the upcoming SCV Homes for Heroes community event on November 5.
On that day, scores of volunteers from The Gas Company, Home Depot, KHTS and local residents will descend upon the home of Iraq War veteran Joshua Murphy and his wife Windie to repair and beautify their home.
Carl Goldman, KHTS-AM radio co-owner, who along with his wife Jeri Seratti Goldman head the SCV Homes for Heroes advisory board.
“We’re going to make this a community event that will become an annual event on the Saturday before Veterans Day,” Carl Goldman said.
“Our great appreciation and thanks and kudos to Carl and Jeri Goldman for helping to spread this important program to our community. I know we at the city here are very excited about it so I’m excited to be a part of that and look forward to it growing,” said Weste
For more information on the Murphy family click here.
For more information about SCV Homes for Heroes, co-sponsored by The Gas Company, Home Depot and KHTS, go to www.HabitatSCV.org, or call (818) 884-8808.
The City of Santa Clarita was awarded $125,000 from Compass Blueprint. The city’s winning grant project is the City of Santa Clarita Rail Station Needs Assessment and Area Plan.
These grant funds will help finance the plan’s goals to maximize utilization of rail service within the Santa Clarita Valley, evaluate the potential for an additional station, enhance commuter shuttle and intercity services and identify operational scenarios to meet future station needs.
“I’m also happy to report these grant funds will facilitate public participation to identify our community’s goals and develop planning principals to maximize economic benefits while implementing transit and rail line improvements,” said Marsh McLean.
The following items were passed unanimously as part of the Consent Calendar:
Agenda Item 3
A second reading of and adoption of an ordinance entitled: "AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SANTA CLARITA, CALIFORNIA AMENDING A PERSONNEL SYSTEM OF THE CITY OF SANTA CLARITA."
The introduction and first reading of this ordinance occurred at the regular City Council meeting on September 27, 2011. The Personnel Ordinance establishes the personnel system and is needed in order to create an equitable and uniform system for dealing with personnel matters and to comply with applicable laws relating to the administration of the personnel process. The Personnel Ordinance provides definitions for key personnel matters and terms.
Agenda Item 4
City Council accepted a grant from the Office of Traffic Safety's Selective Traffic Enforcement Program in the amount of $150,000.
Through a competitive process, the City of Santa Clarita has been awarded a grant from the State of California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) in the amount of $150,000. The Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) aims to reduce the number of persons killed and injured in crashes involving alcohol, speeding, red light running, and other primary collision factors.
This grant will be used to fund strategies including 8 DUI/driver license checkpoints to deter potential drunk drivers and to educate the public, and 12 DUI saturation patrols to apprehend drunk drivers. The increased number of saturation patrols will allow for a more effective strategy to reduce DUI's. These programs are designed to earn media attention, thus, enhancing the overall deterrent effect.
Additional programs funded by this grant are operations targeting motorcycle safety, red light enforcement, intersections with disproportionate traffic collisions, court stings, and warrant service. The grant will also fund a DUI trailer, checkpoint supplies, and training for public safety personnel.
Agenda Item 6
The City Council approved the plans and specifications for the Alta Madera Pedestrian Over Crossing (POC) Replacement project. The construction contract was awarded to Encorre Services, Inc., in the amount of $287,178 with a contingency in the amount of $57,435, for a total contract amount not to exceed $344,613.
The City's Landscape Maintenance District (LMD) is responsible for the maintenance of all pedestrian bridges connecting the paseo system.
This project will replace the existing pedestrian bridge crossing Alta Madera Drive in the South Valley Valencia neighborhood. The existing timber bridge will be replaced with a new prefabricated steel truss bridge due to its deteriorated condition.
The substructure and superstructure require replacement as recommended in Los Angeles County's bridge inspection report. The project scope will include removal and replacement of the existing foundation, abutments, and a reconstruction of a portion of each of the approaches.
Agenda Item 7
The City Council accepted the completion of the Safe Routes to School Infrastructure project.
The project consisted of the construction of physical improvements at crossings near Old Orchard Elementary School, Leona Cox Elementary School, and Rio Vista Elementary School.
The goal of the project was to enhance student safety by constructing physical improvements that will reduce the speed of vehicles near school grounds and increase the visibility of school crossings.
Work under this project included restriping crosswalks, replacing existing school signs with oversized more visible fluorescent yellow-green signs, construction of access curb ramps, sidewalk improvements, school driveway widening, and constructing bulb-outs at selected school crossings.
Bulb-outs are traffic-calming measures that narrow the street by widening the sidewalk, thereby reducing traffic speeds and shortening the crossing distance.
Agenda Item 8
The City Council accepted completion of the Interstate 5/Magic Mountain Parkway Interchange Phase II Improvements project.
The construction commenced in July 2006 for the proposed work within the city, Caltrans, and County jurisdictions on Wayne Mills Road, Tourney Road, Magic Mountain Parkway including freeway ramps, and The Old Road.
The improvements consisted of:
- Converting Wayne Mills Road to a cul-de-sac
- Signal modification on Magic Mountain Parkway at Tourney Road
- Widening of Magic Mountain Parkway from The Old Road to Tourney Road
- Realignment and widening of The Old Road from approximately 1800 feet south of Magic Mountain Parkway to approximately 1500 feet north of Magic Mountain Parkway
- Reconstruction and widening of all four freeway ramps at Magic Mountain Parkway and a new auxiliary lane in advance of the northbound off-ramp
- Various utility relocations and new installation by the affected utility companies
Agenda Item 9
SECOND READING AND ADOPTION OF AN ORDINANCE CREATING SECTION 2.80 OF THE SANTA CLARITA MUNICIPAL CODE TO COMPLY WITH THE VOLUNTARY ALTERNATIVE REDEVELOPMENT PROGRAM PURSUANT TO PART 1.9 OF DIVISION 24 OF THE CALIFORNIA HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE
City Attorney Joe Montes described the proposed Voluntary Alternative Redevelopment Program Resolution of Intent a “just in case” item.
Governor Brown’s signing of AB X1 26 and AB X1 27 in order to “back fill” a $1.7 million dollar shortfall in the state’s budget, has thrown the future of redevelopment districts into a “state of ambiguity.”
Montes dubbed AB X1 26 the “Dissolution Legislation” that eliminates a city’s right to have a redevelopment agency beginning October 1.
AB X1 27, or the “Pay to Play Legislation” as Montes calls it, provides for cities to “opt-in” and continue to have their redevelopment agencies function if the city adopts an ordinance by October 1.
If a city is not able to adopt its ordinance by October 1, it may adopt a non-binding resolution of intent and would then have until November 1 to adopt an “opt-in” ordinance.
On July 18, the California Redevelopment Association and League of California Cities filed suit with the California Supreme Court to invalidate AB X1 26 and 27. Their lawsuit includes the City of Santa Clarita.
On August 11 the court stayed the effectiveness of both laws but less than a week later modified its stay. However the court did not rule on what would happen to cities and agencies that missed a key statutory deadline that passed on August 15.
Further lack of clarity has left and open question as to what the court might order when it issues its final decision in the matter in December 2011 or January 2012.
Because of the lack of clarity Montes has been reviewing the city’s options and advised that if the City wishes to extend the life of the Redevelopment Agency, then prudence dictates that the City adopt its AB X1 27 “opt-in” ordinance now rather than waiting for a final determination in the litigation.
Agenda Item 10
SECOND READING AND ADOPTION OF AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SANTA CLARITA, CALIFORNIA APPROVING MASTER CASE 11-120, UNIFIED DEVELOPMENT CODE AMENDMENT 11-003, TO AMEND THE UNIFIED DEVELOPMENT CODE SECTION 17.03.145 REGARDING HISTORIC PRESERVATION AND ADOPTING A NEGATIVE DECLARATION
At their regularly scheduled meeting on September 27, 2011, the City Council introduced and passed an ordinance modifying the current Historic Preservation Ordinance on to a Second Reading.
The proposed amendment would modify the Definitions portion of the existing Historic Preservation Ordinance. Specifically, the amendment would remove the property located at 24322 Main Street, better known as Newhall Hardware, from the definition of a “Potential Historic Resource.”