Santa Clarita To Consider Buying Tax-Defaulted Land
By LEON WORDEN FOR SCVNEWS.COM
The Santa Clarita City Council will consider notifying the county of its intent to purchase 62 acres of vacant land, to be added to the city’s 7,200 acres of open space, when the council meets Tuesday.
Two of the parcels, totaling 52 acres, are adjacent to the city’s Golden Valley Open Space east of the 14 Freeway in Placerita Canyon. The third parcel is a 10-acre sliver in Pico Canyon that sits between Stevenson Ranch and an area of protected open space west of Interstate 5.
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The parcels went into default in 2008 for nonpayment of property taxes. The tax on each parcel is less than $200 a year.
The county assessor’s office has designated the parcels to be auctioned off to recover the delinquent taxes, but county codes allow public agencies – like the city – to circumvent the auction process and pick up parcels if they’re willing to pay the back taxes.
According to a city staff report, the process can take up to a year, at which time the final purchase price would be set.
“Acquisition of additional properties provides important trail linkages, enhances wildlife connections, and expands the city’s greenbelt buffer,” the staff report states. The 52-acre addition in Placerita Canyon would “increase trail opportunities for hikers, cyclists and equestrians,” it says.
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