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City welcomes Copperstone

Santa Clarita completes annexation after several years’ preparation

Posted: July 17, 2012 2:30 a.m.
Updated: July 17, 2012 2:30 a.m.
 

The Copperstone neighborhood in north Valencia may be relatively small in terms of the city of Santa Clarita’s population, but its recent annexation was a big step for the city as it moves closer to becoming the third largest city in Los Angeles County.

The area north of Decoro Drive and east of Copper Hill Drive was officially annexed into the city in June after three to four years of preparation, said associate planner Patrick Leclair. The neighborhood has 1,284 residents on 68.86 acres of land.

The city has completed a number of annexations throughout its nearly 25-year history, said city spokeswoman Gail Ortiz. “The Copperstone annexation is the 29th annexation that the city has done,” she said.

For populated areas being considered for annexation, Santa Clarita requires a survey of residents’ opinions before it proceeds.

In Copperstone’s case, 91 percent of those surveyed approved of the annexation, Leclair said. The survey was sent to 428 units and prompted 154 responses.

Copperstone is considered one of the city’s smaller annexations this year, Ortiz said. The Los Angeles County Local Agency Formation Commission, a state agency and independent body overseen by a nine-member commission, is still processing applications to annex four other areas of land.

In June, the Copperstone, Elsmere Canyon and Soledad Commons areas were all annexed into the city. The city is expecting to annex North Copper Hill, Norland Road, South Sand Canyon and Vista Canyon/Fair Oaks Ranch/Jakes Way/Sand Canyon by Dec. 1.

Including the four pending annexations, the city would add an estimated 25,870 people to its population — bringing the population to about 200,000, according to city officials.

That would top Glendale’s population of 191,719 people, according to 2010 U.S. Census numbers. Glendale is currently the third largest city in Los Angeles County.

The Copperstone area is just outside current city boundaries. Certain areas adjoining the city make sense to annex, especially those east of Interstate 5 and south of Castaic, Ortiz said.

When the city completes annexations, it wants the areas to either generate revenue for the city or at least be revenue-neutral since the city can wind up paying more for services provided in a larger area, Ortiz said.

Because of a number of factors, Copperstone is considered revenue-neutral.

The recently developed Copperstone neighborhood is completely built out with private streets, Ortiz said. This means the city doesn’t have to make a lot of infrastructure improvements or pay for street-sweeping services.

Since the area is already close to city boundaries, it doesn’t cost the city that much more to have sheriff’s deputies police the area, and code enforcement also isn’t an issue, Ortiz said.

Those factors all help bring down the cost of bringing the area in.

The city of Santa Clarita held a “Welcome to the City” party for Copperstone residents on Saturday. Residents were able to use the city’s parkmobile, tour fire trucks and enjoy light refreshments.

“Really the advantage is that we’re doing what people who live here want,” Ortiz said. “We like to let people know that we’re happy that they’re in the city.”

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