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Frank Ferry: Creekside improvements add shine to our city

Life from City Hall

Posted: February 12, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: February 12, 2011 1:55 a.m.
 

Beautiful landscapes are a highlight of living in Santa Clarita’s Southern California climate.

If you drive around our city, you can’t help but notice the nicely manicured medians, decorative lighting and graffiti-free public areas.

The city of Santa Clarita and our residents place a high priority on supporting numerous quality-of-life attributes, including these well-maintained amenities that enhance our entire community.

Healthy and well-designed landscapes can also contribute to our safety and economic vitality.

 As part of this philosophy, a project is currently underway that will provide enhancement of the streetscape along Creekside Road to create a sense of place, provide better ornamental directional signage along the street, as well as encourage consumer visits.

The new Creekside Road improvements include three new pedestrian crossings with “bulb-outs” along Creekside Road, between Auto Center Drive and Valencia Boulevard. The bulb-outs include amenities such as pavers along the sidewalk area, drought-tolerant planting and irrigation, garden/seat walls with stone veneer, trash receptacles and easy-to-read way-finding and pedestrian signage. The existing painted median along Creekside Road will be treated with stamped and colored asphalt from approximately 900 feet east of McBean Parkway to Valencia Boulevard.

The work also includes gateway and directional signs, signage and striping, and improvements at the intersection of Creekside Road and Auto Center Drive, which consist of sidewalk pavers, landscaping, bollards and stone veneer seating walls at each corner.

Planned improvements along Creekside Road will be funded in part by contributions by Santa Clarita’s numerous auto dealers and the Westfield Valencia Town Center.

Each of these property and business owners financially contributes his or her proportional annual share toward funding capital and operational costs associated with Landscape Maintenance District Zone 18, which have an impact on all businesses located throughout the zone.

On multiple occasions, Santa Clarita voters have approved the creation of special assessment districts throughout the city to pay for improvements such as landscaped medians and other aesthetic enhancements. Zone 18 was approved in 2008 by 81 percent of property owners casting a ballot in this process and provides for the construction and maintenance of landscape and other ornamental improvements for this area.

This zone is responsible for maintaining landscape improvements that provide both benefits to numerous property owners within an area encompassing the major roadway corridors of Valencia Boulevard, McBean Parkway, Magic Mountain Parkway and Creekside Road.

Specific to Creekside Road, district revenues allow the city to fund these quality-of-life amenities that will ultimately directly enhance and increase sales-tax revenue generated by the Santa Clarita auto dealers.

Sales tax derived through auto sales represents the largest percentage of the city’s general fund, which in turn supports valuable community services such as roads, parks, and public safety personnel.

It should also be noted that the city maintains numerous landscape maintenance districts utilizing special district funds throughout Santa Clarita to support improvements such as the city’s major landscaped median programs.

This citywide zone is responsible for the construction and ongoing landscaped median amenities in Newhall, Saugus and Canyon Country.

Further, a significant investment in streetscape and beautification improvements are currently under construction in downtown Newhall as part of the city’s redevelopment agency’s efforts to revitalize this area.

The city has also just completed improvements along a significant portion of Railroad Avenue adjacent to the river, replacing the existing chain-link fencing with a more aesthetically pleasing split-rail fence. 

Each of these projects, along with the Creekside beautification project, serves to create an enhanced sense of place and increase the number of patrons visiting the area, which ultimately benefits our entire community.

Frank Ferry is city councilmember of Santa Clarita. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal. “Live from City Hall” is a column provided to The Signal by the city of Santa Clarita.

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