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Annexation of portion of Castaic on hold

State law forces city to withdraw application

Posted: August 12, 2008 7:32 p.m.
Updated: October 14, 2008 5:02 a.m.

It could be another four months before the county considers annexing a portion of Castaic into the city of Santa Clarita, after the application hit a snag with a technicality in state law, a city planner said Tuesday.

Santa Clarita city officials have withdrawn the application and will resubmit it in January when the provision in the law will no longer be in effect, said city Associate Planner David Koontz.

A request to annex 1,500 homes in Castaic was approved by the Santa Clarita City Council last spring, and in June city planners filed the application with the county commission that authorizes boundary changes.

The boundary change would turn about 5,000 Castaic residents into Santa Clarita residents.

The application, however, hit a barrier in the form of a state provision that prevents the county from processing the city's Sphere of Influence amendment application along with the annexation application.

City officials withdrew the application on July 29.

Due to a change in that law, however, the rule will no longer be in effect after Jan. 1, at which time city officials plan to resubmit the request.

City planners had estimated it would take six months to a year for the county to process the application when it was filed in June.

Resubmitting the application next January doesn't mean it's back to square one, Koontz said.

He said the county Local Agency Formation Commission had already assigned it a case number and distributed the application to 14 public agencies for comment.

"But ultimately the processing time will depend upon LAFCO's workload in January," he said. "It could still require six months or more upon resubmittal."

The 1,400-acre area in the southeast portion of Castaic includes the Hasley Hills, North Bluffs and Live Oak communities and 6 million square-feet of commercial space in the Valencia Commerce Center.

In 2007, members of citizens group Castaic Annexation Support Team presented the city with a list of signatures of support from 72 percent of the residents and business owners in those communities.

The delay in processing the annexation application means more time for the west side communities to weigh in on the results of separate studies that are being drafted to outline the three governance options for the west side.

The studies are expected to be available for public review in February.

Members of the westside town councils had asked the city to hold off on filing the application until the westside communities had a chance to review options of incorporating into one westside city, remaining unincorporated or annexing into Santa Clarita.


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