Despite two polls that reflect majority support for it, City property owners choose not to form a new Open Space and Parkland Preservation District that would have brought millions of dollars to the City, exclusively for open space and parkland projects.
A total of 49, 500 ballots were mailed six weeks ago to City property owners. Just one-third returned their completed ballots by the November 22, 2005 deadline. The City Clerk’s office began tabulating the returned ballots the next day.
Because the ballots were weighted according to the amount of property owned, the weighted support for the formation of the District is actually about 40%, while those opposed was 60%. The City received 17,257 ballots back. Of those, 8,103 parcels were marked yes, while 9,154 parcels were marked no.
“The City will continue to make parkland and open space a high priority. It will just take longer to achieve the goals we’ve set forth for adding more open space and parkland to the City. Not having the Open Space and Parkland Preservation District will make it tougher for the City to successfully compete for grants, which almost always require a matching commitment,” commented Gail Ortiz, Public Information Officer for the City of Santa Clarita.