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City planning how to improve Rivendale space

Performance area, preservation among top suggestions

Posted: March 3, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: March 3, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Additional parking and a designated performance area for artists were among the more popular suggestions for what the city of Santa Clarita should do with the Rivendale open space area during a public meeting Saturday.

About 50 people attended the meeting at Wiley Canyon Elementary School in Newhall as part of the master-planning process for the open space area, which is located west of The Old Road off Towsley Canyon Road.

The 60-acre property is located at the mouth of Towsley Canyon and is the primary access and parking area for Santa Clarita Woodlands Park.

The city originally acquired the property in 1994 but did not have any preconceived notions about what to do with it, according to city Parks, Recreation and Community Services Director Rick Gould.

“It was an attempt to get the property and keep it in public holding for a meeting just like today,” Gould said Saturday. “So we can see what the public wants for the land.”

The city Parks, Recreation and Community Services Commission voted in March 2012 to support the development of a master plan for Rivendale with an emphasis on public theater or cultural and historic usage.

Many of those same ideas were raised at Saturday’s meeting, which consisted of a short presentation followed by a public-input session where attendees could share their ideas for the space.

Those ideas were written down on large sheets of paper where attendees then marked the ones they supported the most using stickers.

Some of the more popular ideas included designating a performance space for artists, such as an open-air amphitheater, and taking steps to preserve the area’s natural beauty.

Don Mullally, a resident of Granada Hills who worked to form Santa Clarita Woodlands Park in the late 1980s, said preservation should be the most important consideration.

“This should be as close to a national park as it can get,” Mullally said. “It doesn’t get any better than that.”

Though Saturday’s meeting was not a formal vote, the suggestions raised will help shape the eventual master plan for the area, said Jeff Ferber, a landscape architect for the RRM Design Group that is overseeing the master plan process.

“It’s not statistical,” Ferber said of the process. “It’s just an informative look for us at what the community wants.”


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