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UPDATE: Rivendale Park moving forward

Posted: September 11, 2013 11:56 a.m.
Updated: September 11, 2013 4:45 p.m.

A direlict structure sits on land recently acquired by the city in Towsley Canyon in Newhall. Signal photo by Dan Watson

SANTA CLARITA - New trails, parking and a long-awaited amphitheater could be among the new additions to the Santa Clarita-held Rivendale property in Newhall after members of the City Council voted this week to move forward with conceptual plans for the area.

Tuesday’s unanimous vote to approve a conceptual master plan for the area provides a general blueprint for the 60-acre property near Towsley Canyon, which the city acquired in 1995.

As proposed, the conceptual master plan for the Rivendale Park and Open Space area calls for improvements on 14 acres of the 60-acre property, including adding more than 2.5 miles of trails, increasing parking spaces from 100 to approximately 310, adding a cultural and educational use area reflecting Native American culture and adding an amphitheater with 300 to 400 fixed seats.

The amphitheater is what generated the most discussion at Tuesday’s meeting.

“I will tell you, this community has been waiting for an amphitheater for a long time,” said Mayor Bob Kellar.
Councilman TimBen Boydston said he thought the amphitheater was the “most exciting part of the plan.”

But some said additional light, noise and traffic of an amphitheater could negatively impact wildlife in the area.

“I am very concerned about the effects on nocturnal wildlife,” said Councilwoman Marsha McLean of the plan. “The rest I just love.”

McLean insisted that the council put an asterisk next to the issue of the amphitheater to ensure that its effects are thoroughly studied.

That request was noted and approved in the council vote on the item.

Lynne Plambeck, president of the environmental advocacy group Santa Clarita Organization for Planning and the Environment, echoed concerns about the amphitheater and also said the amount of parking proposed in the plan should be reduced.

The council’s vote authorizes the city to move forward with the planning process for the property, but further study, including developing an environmental impact report and obtaining permits from regulatory agencies, is still required.
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