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Bob Kellar: City hosts block party in Saugus

Live From City Hall

Posted: January 10, 2009 9:25 p.m.
Updated: January 11, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Bob Kellar

 
The Santa Clarita City Council hosted its third in a series of Extreme Neighborhood Makeover block parties, this time in Saugus.

The City Council and city staff, together with other agencies within the Santa Clarita Valley, provided booths at the block party, offering a variety of information and services available to residents within the Saugus Extreme Neighborhood Makeover area.

In an effort to better assist city residents with quality-of-life neighborhood issues, the city began the "Extreme Neighborhood Makeover" program in July 2008.

The program involves a unique and bold step by the city, in partnership with the community, to help resolve neighborhood beautification and safety issues pro-actively.

The goal is to help maximize property values throughout our neighborhoods and best assist individual property owners with challenges they face in complying with the law.

The program begins with an invitation-only Neighborhood Block Party. While not all of the homes in the pilot area will have code-enforcement issues, it will take the combined efforts of the entire neighborhood to succeed in the Extreme Neighborhood Makeover program.

At the Block Party, members of the City Council, staff, the Sheriff's and Fire Departments and non-profit organizations gather to discuss how the program can best benefit the entire neighborhood.

The city also invites local, licensed contractors willing to provide residents with deep discounts for goods and services that will assist them in improving their individual properties.

At the same time, the city will be doing whatever it can to provide improvements to public rights of way, including tree planting, graffiti removal and even helping secure volunteers who can provide help to individual residents who need it.

The city's Community Preservation staff currently is working in two other city neighborhoods that are in the process of the "makeover" program.

These areas are located within the Canyon Country and East Newhall communities.

The Canyon Country Extreme Neighborhood Makeover area, the city's first, has already achieved approximately an 80 percent compliance of all noted violations within the first phase of the designated area.

The violations noted by the Community Preservation staff include inoperable vehicles, garage conversions, property maintenance and illegal driveway extensions.

In addition, the city's Streets and Urban Forestry divisions have repaired sidewalks, filled potholes, added new street signs and planted numerous trees to enhance the neighborhood aesthetics. City staff will continue to work with residents to achieve 100 percent compliance in this area.

The East Newhall Extreme Neighborhood Makeover, the city's second makeover area, is currently in its early stages.

Phase one, which includes inspections and issuing code violation notices, has been completed.

The city's Community Preservation staff will continue to monitor these properties and assist the homeowners with information and services to assist them in gaining compliance with violations that exist within their properties.

For more information, or to sign up to be considered for the city's Extreme Neighborhood Makeover program, contact the Community Preservation division at (661) 286-4076.

Bob Kellar is a Santa Clarita City Council member. His column reflects his own views, 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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