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Open seats on advisory committee

Twelve people vie for seven positions

Posted: March 11, 2009 1:23 a.m.
Updated: March 11, 2009 4:30 a.m.
 
As the face of downtown Newhall changes, so too may that of its advisory committee.

Twelve people are vying for seven open positions on the 13-seat Newhall Redevelopment Committee, Santa Clarita City Clerk Sharon Dawson said Tuesday.

Of those, five people are seeking to retain their seats.

Up for consideration are Larry Bird of Newhall; Anthony Campbell of Saugus; Phil Ellis of Valencia; Leslie Frazier of Valencia; Diane Goddard of Valencia; John Grannis of Saugus; Kevin Korenthal of Canyon Country; Jeannie Rutherford of Newhall; Dennis Verner of Agua Dulce; Vladimir Victorio of Valencia; Deering Volkmann Viola of Agua Dulce; and Stephanie Weier of Newhall.

Bird, Ellis, Grannis, Korenthal and Verner currently serve on the committee.

In the next two to four years, Grannis said, one of the most vital redevelopment issues to be dealt with is the planned connection of Lyons Avenue with Placerita Canyon, making downtown Newhall more accessible to canyon residents.

That project is held up by the necessary at-grade railroad crossing, which must be approved by the Public Utilities Commission.
"That's very, very important for downtown Newhall," Grannis said. "There has to be something that synergizes Newhall."

Regarding the "streetscaping" that starting Monday, will tear up and replace the sidewalks of downtown Newhall over several months, Grannis said: "There's a lot of benefit that goes with a little bit of burden."

The committee serves as an advisory group to the Redevelopment Agency, which consists of the City Council, on redevelopment matters in the Newhall area.

The applications will be reviewed by the city's economic development subcommittee, which will in turn make its recommendations to the City Council, Dawson said Tuesday.

The council will likely be asked to decide on the committee applicants during its March 24 meeting, she said.

"They need to have an interest in redevelopment issues," Dawson said of candidates.

The city is in the early stages of what's expected to be a years-long revitalization of downtown Newhall from a tired bedrock community to a mixed-use, arts-friendly neighborhood.

There is, Dawson said, some flexibility for applicants. They are not required to live in Santa Clarita proper or own property or businesses in Newhall.

The application period opened in early January and closed March 2.

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