The city of Santa Clarita got a little bigger again on Tuesday night. And a little greener, too.
Two weeks after the city officially annexed the West Creek/West Hills residential area – adding 1,018 acres – the City Council approved the purchase, from Los Angeles County, of about 26 acres adjacent to the Via Princessa Metrolink station for eventual use as parkland.
The purchase, approved by a 5-0 vote, cost $651,000. Funding comes from the city’s Open Space Preservation District Fund balance – money already collected and set aside in the budget for purchasing open space.
“This is going to be a great addition to the Canyon Country area,” Councilman TimBen Boydston told The Signal.
Specific plans for the newly acquired tract are not in place. But City Manager Kenneth W. Striplin said “the conceptualization” is that it eventually would encompass some combination of active parkland and open space.
Active parkland could include features such as soccer fields or other sports facilities, plus related uses like parking.
The nearby Metrolink station would not be affected by the purchase.
Originally, the land was part of the old Highway 126 alignment and State Route 14 improvements. The county obtained it from Newhall Land & Farming Co., and had offered to sell it to the city for the appraised $651,000 value.
In a separate action, the council also unanimously passed a resolution officially opposing Proposition 57 — the state-wide ballot measure that would hasten the release of some non-violent offenders from prisons.
The action carries only the weight of recommendation to voters, who will address the issue at the polls on Nov. 8. Prop 57 is one of 17 state-wide ballots measures.
There are also two county measures; one for parks and the other a transportation sales tax hike.
Members were acting on the recommendation of the council’s Legislative Committee, which consists of Councilmember TimBen Boydson and Mayor Bob Kellar.
Prop 57 is the only ballot issue on which the council has checked in.
“We wholeheartedly took the position of opposition,” Kellar said at the time that he and Boydston recommended the council take an “oppose” stance. “Similar actions in the past, such as Prop 47, have resulted in increasing crime everywhere, including our own city.”
Prop 47 was a 2014 measure that reduced some non-violent felonies, primarily property crimes, to misdemeanors.
Prop 57 — officially called the “California Parole for Non-Violent Criminals and Juvenile Court Trial Requirements Initiative’’ — is a response to a federal-court order for the state to address prison overcrowding.
If passed, it would increase parole and good-behavior opportunities for those convicted of non-violent crimes, making an estimated 7,000 prisoners state-wide immediately eligible for release. It would also enable judges, rather than prosecutors, to determine whether young accused offenders would be tried as juveniles or adults.