Two agenda items dominated Tuesday’s City Council meeting, one concerning the naming of a bridge on the Cross Valley Connector, and the other a development project off Sierra Highway, just before entering Newhall.
Before the meeting, City staff had recommended naming the bridge on Golden Valley Road – that crosses over the Santa Clara River – in honor of military members from the Santa Clarita Valley who lost their lives serving in the Middle East.
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However, the proposed name, “Soldiers Bridge,” was met with speculation and criticism by several speakers. Many of the comments made were by military veterans, most of whom stated the word “soldier” only related to the Army, not other military branches such as the Marine Corps, Air Force or Navy.
“For me, serving in the military was a great honor,” said Bill Reynolds, a Vietnam veteran. “If you want to be all-inclusive, may I suggest naming it ‘Heroes Memorial Bridge’?”
Others, such as Ed Colley, a veteran of both the Army and Air Force, simply were proud of, and supported, the idea.
“I just can’t say enough positive of this idea,” he said. “I hope that that name does not become a stumbling block. I would suggest that you table the decision tonight.”
Council agreed with the suggestion, voting 5-0 to continue the item to a later date in hopes of finding a name that honors all recently deceased military members from the Santa Clarita Valley.
Nearly an hour of the meeting was devoted to the property commonly know as the Newhall Gateway.
Back in February 2008, SFXS Partners submitted an application to build the Sierra Crossing shopping center in the area, totaling nearly 100,000 square feet.
After the Planning Commission had approved the application, City Council stalled construction in light of environmental and aesthetics issues in June 2009.
Further complicating matters is the developer's desire to build on the adjacent property, which is owned by the University of Southern California.
As of Tuesday’s meeting, the fair market value of the property is unknown.
At Councilmember Frank Ferry’s suggestion, the members voted to continue the item so the property could be appraised by a third party.