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A Master Plan, 44 years later

City planners reflect, look at future projects

Posted: January 18, 2009 10:01 p.m.
Updated: January 19, 2009 8:00 a.m.
 
The plan was to develop a walkable, nature-incorporating suburban community.

More than 40 years later, that plan is almost fully realized.

On Tuesday, the Santa Clarita Planning Commission is set to receive a status report on the Valencia Master Plan, which Newhall Land and Farming Co. approved in 1965.

The first homeowners moved into Valencia houses in 1967, company spokeswoman Marlee Lauffer said.

The original plan was for "buildout," or completion of Valencia construction, in about 30 years.

Periods of economic slowdown have delayed construction, Lauffer said. For example, in 1965 the company promised a shopping mall within five years. What is now called Westfield Valencia Town Center did not open until 1992.

Lauffer said Tuesday's Planning Commission presentation will focus on the execution of the plan and lessons Newhall Land has learned over the years.

While there have been additions over the years, she said there has been little change from the original master plan.

The commission has a light agenda for its regular meeting.

An item concerning removal of a Newhall strip mall's sign - in violation of the city's sign ordinance - should prove a non-issue, as the property owner removed the sign on Dec. 17, according to an agenda report.

Also on the agenda is a request to update the city's architectural design guidelines, renaming them the "community character and design guidelines."

The guidelines, adopted in December 2002, were aimed at helping developers match architectural styles.

The proposed update would add photos, giving better examples of the guidelines, information on the latest design trends and more guidelines concerning sustainable development and green building principles.

The Planning Commission meets at 7 p.m. in the City Council chambers at City Hall, located at 23920 Valencia Blvd. The study session concerning the Valencia Master Plan is set for 5:30 p.m. in the Century Conference Room.

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