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Commission Greenlights Annexation

Hasley Hills request moves to Santa Clarita City Council.

Posted: March 5, 2008 5:48 p.m.
Updated: May 6, 2008 5:02 a.m.
 
Nearly 5,000 Castaic residents got a little closer to becoming Santa Clarita residents Tuesday night when the city's Planning Commission voted to send an annexation request on to the City Council for review.

As early as April, the council will consider asking the county Local Agency Formation Commission to annex the Hasley Hills, Live Oak and North Bluffs residential communities, along with the Valencia Commerce Center.

The 1,400-acre area consists of more than 1,500 homes and 6 million square feet of industrial buildings.
Members of a citizens-based support group known as the Castaic Annexation Support Team spent the last three years collecting signatures of support from 72 percent of residents and business owners, exceeding the city's requirement of 60 percent to consider the annexation request.

Members of the west side town councils have opposed the city's efforts to annex the communities and have asked the city to wait until the public is able to view the results of two studies that will help determine the feasibility in either incorporating into one west side city or annexing into the city of Santa Clarita.

"There is no reason to rush this," Castaic Area Town Councilman Steve Teeman told commissioners Tuesday. "This action will prevent incorporation. Furthermore, this action would be detrimental to the entire community should they seek annexation themselves. It must be all of the community, not the part that best benefits the city at expense of 22,000 other (Castaic) residents."

Neil Gereb, a member of the annexation support team, said it is clear the Hasley Hills residents want to annex. "When the city said we needed 60 percent, we got 72 percent," he said. "This was the voice of the people."

The west side feasibility studies are expected to be available for public review in February 2009 and it is expected that LAFCO will be finished processing the application between January and June 2009.

"I think the timeline makes it possible to do this simultaneously," said Planning Commissioner Diane Trautman. "Why not get it all out there on the table so that the decision can be made?"

Sharon Sorensen, an associate planner with the city, said if LAFCO is given both an application to incorporate into a city and an application to annex into Santa Clarita, LAFCO would then decide which application it would process.

Sorensen added that before LAFCO's decision is final, the agency would conduct a protest hearing, during which any registered voter living in the proposed annexation area could give their input.

If 15 percent of the registered voters oppose the annexation, LAFCO would conduct an election and the majority vote would determine the outcome.

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