Santa Clarita’s annexation of the West Creek/West Hills area cleared its final hurdle Wednesday when LAFCO, the county’s Local Agency Formation Commission, held a “protest hearing” … and there were no protests.
So annexation of 1,018 acres — just north of Valencia High School and bordered on the east by the San Francisquito Creek, with Copper Hill Drive winding through the center — is set to become official on Nov. 15, making the previously unincorporated area part of the city.
The City Council had approved annexation in April, and LAFCO gave it the OK in August, pending a waiting period for late protests from area residents.
Paul Novak, executive officer of LAFCO, told The Signal his office will be filing a “certificate of completion” with the County Clerk’s office by next week to lock down the deal.
Residences would go on the city tax rolls starting July 1, 2017.
According to Gail Morgan, the city’s communications manager, residents’ county property taxes would stay the same, but the city would get a small slice.
In addition, residents would no longer have to pay a county library tax or a 4 percent county utility-user tax.
But they would have to pay the city’s Open Space Preservation District tax of about $30 per year.
Residents would also fall under the city’s trash-collection contract.
“We welcome them into our city,’’ said Mayor Bob Kellar. “We look forward to having a little celebration, a gathering in the neighborhood like we typically do, to let the residents know on a formal basis that we appreciate them coming in.”
Currently there are about 5,000 residents in the area, living in 1,717 homes, including 200 apartments.
Another 727 single-family homes are expected to be built as part of the West Creek/West Hills housing development, swelling the newly incorporated area’s population by about 2,200, according to Patrick Leclair, an assistant planner with the city.
There is also one existing commercial center, with an Albertson’s supermarket, and two more shopping areas in the permit process. Sales taxes collected from retailers go into the city’s general fund.
One of those, near Rio Norte Junior High School, would contain a Coffee Bean store and an El Pollo Loco restaurant, as well as a senior assisted-living facility, according to Leclair.
The other retail center will be located near Fire Station 156 on Copper Hill Road and contain a mix of retail and fast-food outlets, Leclair said.
With annexation expected, the City Council on Tuesday night proactively approved $175,000 for operations and maintenance of West Creek Park – on the east side of the newly annexed area — through June 2017.