Ryan Morse: Proposed Saugus library site not suitable


Saugus residents who attended a community meeting regarding the proposed Saugus Library Center on Thursday.

Judging by the reaction of most of my fellow residents after the meeting, it’s clear that I’m not the only one who was left much more frustrated than when I arrived.

It became very clear that this series of community meetings is nothing more than a PR tour for the Santa Clarita Public Library, as the city long ago decided that there will be a library in Saugus.

Darren Hernandez, deputy city manager, spent much of the meeting touting the statistics of the current library system, merely glancing over the results of surveys and community outreach, all the while dismissing any resident who tried to speak up with concerns or questions.

Attendees were not given a chance to voice their opinions to the room, only being told to write their concerns on a comment card, which consisted of a 3×5 index card and a golf pencil.

In my opinion a very important point that Mr. Hernandez failed to spend much time talking about was the needs assessment survey. The city conducted a needs assessment survey for the Saugus Library Center, the results of which are easily found on the Santa Clarita Public Library website.

The city surveyed two zip codes; 91350 and 91390, with a total population of roughly 55,000. Exactly 1,522 survey responses were received, representing a mere 2 percent of residents of the Saugus area.

By any standards, this lackluster response shows the absence of need for a library center in Saugus. Regardless, the city is set on shoving its $35 million library down the throat of Saugus because it is part of the “Santa Clarita 2020” master plan.

Furthermore, the proposed site at the corner of Plum Canyon Road and Via Joyce Drive is unsuitable. Each of the other three locations for the Santa Clarita Public Library are in commercially zoned areas, one of them even being located in a strip mall next to an all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant.

The Saugus Library Center does not belong embedded within a residential area, directly adjacent to homes in a quiet neighborhood. The city of Santa Clarita needs to go back to the drawing board on this one.

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