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City thinks twice on annex

Councilman Ferry calls issue ‘divisive,’ cites strained relations

Posted: June 16, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: June 16, 2011 1:55 a.m.
 

Santa Clarita will consider dropping its efforts to annex part of Castaic after meeting unified opposition.

“It’s clear that the issue has been divisive,” City Councilman Frank Ferry said late Tuesday during a Santa Clarita City Council meeting. “Relations have been strained in relation to this one issue.”

Ferry proposed that a 2008 effort to annex three residential communities plus the Valencia Commerce Center be put on a future City Council agenda for reconsideration.

The city has an application before the Los Angeles County Local Agency Formation Commission to annex 2,000 acres, including about 1,500 homes and the Valencia Commerce Center.

Ferry’s proposal means the city will consider dropping the annexation application at a future meeting.

Santa Clarita has grown steadily through annexation since it was founded more than 25 years ago.

But this plan was met with opposition from the West Ranch Town Council, Castaic Town Council, Castaic Chamber of Commerce, Newhall Land Development Inc. and the Valencia Commerce Center Property Owners Association.

“I’m glad that he’s listening to the majority of the local voice,” Castaic Area Town Council member Robert Kelly said in reaction to Ferry’s proposal. “The city wanted to take in a piece of the pie, and it’s the best piece of the pie.”

Kelly was referring to the Valencia Commerce Center, which would be a boon to Santa Clarita, or any other westside city that might annex in the future.

Kelly said the commerce center would be the only way the westside could financially support itself if the Castaic community of about 24,000 residents, or some combination of Castaic and other west-side communities like Stevenson Ranch, decided to form its own city.

The city should instead focus its efforts on annexation plans already under way for the Vista Canyon, Jakes Way, Fair Oaks Ranch and Copperstone communities, Ferry said.

Ferry said dropping the annexation push would help the city strengthen its relationship with its westside neighbors.

The Castaic-area annexation application takes in Hasley Hills, North Bluffs and Live Oak.

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