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City OKs purchase of land

Posted: June 12, 2012 10:12 p.m.
Updated: June 12, 2012 10:12 p.m.
 

Santa Clarita’s dedicated open space will grow by 1,030 acres, with City Council members’ approval of a Soledad Canyon land purchase Tuesday night.

The land — a previously proposed development of 20 parcels east of Agua Dulce Canyon Road and south of Highway 14 — is adjacent to other city-owned open space areas. The property is in an area considered a wildlife corridor between northern Angeles National Forest and southern Angeles National Forest.

The City Council unanimously approved the property’s purchase as part of its consent calendar after one member of the public asked if the project would still be developed. City Manager Ken Pulskamp said part of the reason the property was under consideration for purchase was so that the land would never be developed and serve as a greenbelt around the city.

While the entire cost of the property has been appraised at $4.47 million — $4,340 per acre — the city will only spend about half that amount thanks to two grants, according to a city staff report.

The City Council approved $2.2 million in open space preservation district funds for the property’s purchase Tuesday night and is expected to have $715,000 in grants from Los Angeles County Prop A and Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority reimbursed after its expected approval in August, said Rick Gould, parks, recreation and community services director. The total cost to the city would be $1.29 million after the other funds are approved.

In May, the state’s Natural Resource Agency’s Wildlife Conservation Board granted $2.47 million to the city of Santa Clarita and the Riverside Land Conservancy — a nonprofit land trust that works to ensure that natural lands and wildlife habitat are preserved for future generations, according to a city staff report.

Open space lands cannot be used for development and serve as a greenbelt around the city. The open space preservation district was founded in 2007 and currently has 6,114 acres of land in and around the city, with much of it available for use by residents.

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