City Council to address senate bills at next meeting

City of Santa Clarita City Hall
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Four senate bills are set for Santa Clarita’s City Council consent calendar for Tuesday, none of which are by the valley’s own state senators.

Councilmembers are scheduled to support two and oppose two, with three of the four from Democratic senators. Recommendations were made by the council legislative committee, which is comprised of Mayor Cameron Smyth and Councilman Bob Kellar.

Senator Pat Bates’ (R- Laguna Niguel) Senate Bill 34 would authorize a city or county to request denial of a drug abuse or alcoholism facility. Additionally, the bill adds physical and mental health therapy, nutrition planning and therapeutic activities to the list of services that define licensee facilities.

“One of the concerns many local jurisdictions deal with is the location of drug rehabilitation facilities,” Smyth said. “Currently, the law allows for those facilities in residential areas and cities don’t have the ability to prohibit that.”

Also on the agenda to be supported, Senator Tony Mendoza’s (D-Artesia) Senate Bill 786 similarly allows cities and counties who do not want an over-concentration of residential facilities to deny drug and alcohol recovery facilities by applying to the Department of Health Care Services.

“Both of these bills alleviate the concerns many cities have with the proliferation with these facilities,” Smyth said.

Senate Bill 35, by Senator Scott Weiner (D- San Francisco), was recommended to the council to be opposed. The bill would require a county or city to submit an annual report of their general housing plan to the State Legislature, the Department of Housing and Community Development and the Office of Planning and Research.

Additionally, the bill would eliminate the requirement of conditional use permits for multifamily residential developments.

“I certainly believe land use decisions should be made by Santa Clarita officials, not the state of California,” the mayor said.

Also expected to be opposed, Senator Ben Hueso’s (D-San Diego) Senate Bill 649 would reduce local control and fees over wireless telecommunications equipment from cell service providers.

Under the bill, cell service providers would have access to locally-owned infrastructure, prohibiting local discretionary zoning review.

“This is the state trying to make local land use decisions,” Smyth said. “Local agenencies should determine that for themselves.”

However, just because the agenda is light does not mean the meeting will not be colorful with public comment, especially after the approval of Chiquita Canyon Landfill’s extension on Wednesday, Smyth suggested.

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