The social media post from the city of Santa Clarita went up Tuesday afternoon:
“Welcome to Our City! / West Creek, West Hills,” read the headline.
“It’s official today,’’ added the Facebook message directly above. “Approximately 1,018 acres of land have been annexed to the City. Take the time to leave a nice welcome in the comments for the 5,000+ residents joining us.”
And so what was just a lot of bureaucrat-ese on government documents back on Oct. 12, when annexation of the area became official, will now begin to take tangible shape – everything from new street signs (18 of them) to new traffic signs around schools … to all manner of municipal minutia in between.
“We will also be doing weed abatement, street tree pruning and adding the existing trees to our tree inventory for future care,’’ said Gail Morgan, the city’s communications manager.
“We will be making improvements to the park, West Creek Park, including upgrades to the play area, basketball court and parking lot.’’
Starting next week, Morgan added, the city will also start inspecting sidewalks for needed repairs, refurbishing crosswalks and filling potholes.
The newly annexed land is located just north of Valencia High School, and is bordered on the east by the San Francisquito Creek, with Copper Hill Drive winding through the center.
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 population by about 2,200, according to Patrick Leclair, an assistant planner with the city.
Starting Tuesday, all those new Santa Clarita residents will be able to vote in city elections – and pay city taxes for local services on their property bills. Residences will go on the city tax rolls starting July 1, 2017.
However, residents no longer have to pay a county library tax or a 4 percent county utility-user tax. But they will have to pay the city’s Open Space Preservation District tax of about $30 per year.
And starting Tuesday, residents will also be covered under the city’s trash-collection contract.
Street patrols will now be conducted by the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s station – not the California Highway Patrol.
County property taxes will stay the same, and the city still gets a small slice.
The City Council had approved annexation in April, and LAFCO, the county’s Local Agency Formation Commission, gave it the final OK in August.
Last month, the council approved $175,000 for operations and maintenance of West Creek Park, on the east side of the area, through June 2017.