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City to Hold Talks about Hasley

Posted: January 24, 2008 6:15 a.m.
Updated: March 26, 2008 2:02 a.m.
 
The city of Santa Clarita will move ahead with public hearings to annex the Hasley Hills area of Castaic into the city, despite requests from Castaic town council members to hold off until the results of two self-determination studies are released.

The west side communities are waiting on the results of two studies that will examine the feasibility of three west side options: Incorporating into their own city, annexing into Santa Clarita or remaining in the unincorporated part of the county.
In 2007, residents in the Hasley Hills, Live Oak and North Bluff communities collected signatures of support from 72 percent of the residents, far surpassing the city's minimum requirement of 60 percent. West side town council members have asked that the city halt its efforts to move forward with annexing until the results of the studies are made public, which is expected to be around February of 2009.
"There's no need to rush now," Castaic Area Town Councilman John Kunak told the council. "The community of Castaic for the most part wants to do this together ... I'm imploring you to give us that opportunity to let the residents make that decision based on the accurate information we are all working to get."
Robert Kelly, president of the town council, said Castaic wants to determine its fate as a whole and not let the city annex a valuable "piece of the pie" that includes the Valencia Commerce Center.
"We've been a community for 100 years," Kelly said. "Let's not decide our fate in a few short years."
Public hearings with the city Planning Commission could begin as early as March and City Council hearings could follow as early as April.
City Council members agreed to keep their promise to the Hasley Hills residents who signed the petition of support.
"We made promises to this group," said Councilman TimBen Boydston. "This is self-determination. This is what these people want."
Upon closure of the public hearings, the application would be filed with the county Local Agency Formation Commission as early as June. It would then take six to 12 months to process the application and may coincide with the release of the studies' results.
Councilman Frank Ferry said that based on his talks with members of LAFCO, he told west side residents, "You're probably going to be stalled until those studies are done."
In other business, the council also adopted the bylaws for the Financial Accountability and Audit Panel, a citizens-based panel that will oversee the voter-approved Open Space Preservation District. The bylaws outline the panel's structure and authority.
City Manager Ken Pulskamp said the city will request that the council select the members of the five-person panel at the next City Council meeting on Feb. 12.


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