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Historic Newhall Schoolhouse Left Off Santa Clarita Historic List, Razed

A 101-year-old Newhall schoolhouse was purchased and recently demolished because nothing protected it, a Santa Clarita planning official said Monday.


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The Newhall school building originally was built in 1913, but razed recently to build an apartment complex at 21514 Kansas Street, according to officials.Santa Clarita Mayor Laurene Weste stands at the former site of the Newhall School Building (Photo courtesy of SCVNews.com)

“There’s no Planning Commission nor was their City Council action required for that approval,” said Tom Cole, Santa Clarita community development director and Planning Department leader. “It’s basically staff review.”

Related: City Officials Take Another Look At Historic Preservation

Under “One Valley, One Vision,” a lengthy development plan for the Santa Clarita Valley created in conjunction with Los Angeles County, a housing development such as the one proposed for the Kansas Street site is deemed an acceptable use, Cole said.

The demolition permit was requested by Kansas Street Partners LLC, a company registered to Jim Backer, president of JSB Development.

Backer is also president of the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce and the SCV Education Foundation.

He did not return a call seeking comment for this story.

JSB Development was started by Backer, a former Newhall Land & Farming executive, in 2000. JSB is the developer planningVista Canyon for Canyon Country.

Santa Clarita residents and Newhall preservationists expressed anger at news of the demolition, but there was little city officials could have done to prevent the construction plans, according to Cole.

“So what basically the general plan represents is it allows for a multi-family development like this (proposed structure) to be developed on that site,” Cole said.

He was aware of a plan proposed for the site, but the city has not received any other permit requests for the site aside from the demolition permit needed to level the school house, he added.

The city’s Historic Preservation Ordinance identifies 11 properties as historic, compared to a 2008 list identifying 43 sites.

The 2012 list includes The Newhall Ice Co. building, Tom Mix Cottages and the American Legion Hall, among others.

 A demolition permit dated June 3 allowed for Jimmie D Foster Grading to raze the historic structure, which had been listed in a survey of properties that were evaluated when the city was starting to draft its latest historic preservation ordinance.

A demolition permit dated allowed for to raze the historic structure, which previously had been identified by a city survey as a historic property, according toSCVHistory.com.

Los Angeles County Assessor records show the structure was built in 1913 and expanded in 1919.

More from an SCVHistory story by Leon Worden:

Curiously, the property does not seem to have been included in any formal city list of "protected" historical properties. It's not cited as a protected cultural resource in the city's original 1991 General Plan or in the subsequent One Valley One Vision plan; nor is it on the "short list" of properties protected under a more recent City Council ordinance. (The 2009 historical survey referenced above has no efficacy.)

It was Newhall's third formal schoolhouse, consecutively. While modern Santa Clarita history and the 2009 survey give 1914 as the first year the building was used as a school, a history of Newhall compiled in 1940 puts it a bit earlier. The 1940 history claims it was first used in 1911 after the tiny town outgrew the previous (second) Newhall School, which had been erected in 1890 at Walnut and 9th Street after the first one (from 1879) burned down.


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Historic Newhall Schoolhouse Left Off Santa Clarita Historic List, RazedKHTS AM 1220 - Santa Clarita News - Santa Clarita Radio


Article: Historic Newhall Schoolhouse Left Off Santa Clarita Historic List, Razed
Source: Santa Clarita News
Author: Perry Smith


A 101-year-old Newhall schoolhouse was purchased and recently demolished because nothing protected it, a Santa Clarita planning official said Monday.