Brewery, hotel approved for Santa Clarita by planning commission

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Santa Clarita will be getting a new hotel and brewery after the planning commission’s approval of two projects at their Tuesday meeting.

The commission approved Dudes’ Brewing Company, a bar and restaurant, that will be setting up shop on Town Center Drive. This business will offer craft beer tastings, pizza, games and activities, said Jason Crawford, City Planning, Marketing and Economic Development Manager.

“I think this adds more entertainment options to Town Center Drive along with BJ’s and The Cheesecake Factory,” Crawford said.

Brewing will not be done on site, but will be brought to the location from the company’s brewery.

A Homewood Inn and Suites and Hampton Inn collaborative hotel is set to open on Newhall Ranch Road as well. The five-story, 185-room inn will be located between Rye Canyon Road and Vanderbilt Way.

Hampton Inn will have 78 rooms for standard visits and Homewood Inn and Suites will have 107 rooms for extended stays.

“As a community, we are in need of more hotel rooms,” Crawford said. “We run at a really high occupancy rate.”

Especially after the Amgen Tour of California came to town, Crawford said large events book all the city’s hotels and limit use for other visitors.

The developer agreed to a new design to spruce up the building where the hotel will go, Crawford said.

Commissioners also approved the Sand Canyon Plaza mixed-use project at the meeting, which will now go to the city council for final approval. The project will include 580 homes, an assisted living facility with up to 140 beds, retail stores and restaurants.

Councilmembers will have to approve the project and take into consideration the alterations the development would require to the ridgeline on the hillside.

The commission also approved a change to parking requirements in Old Town Newhall, which will now go to the city council.

When the Old Town Newhall Specific Plan was approved in 2005, parking requirements were waived to incentivize development, Crawford said. If a business wanted to open on Main Street, they did not have to supply parking for customers.

After hearing complaints from community members that there was not enough parking, the commission decided to reinstate parking requirements on Main Street. Parking rules will not be as strict as they are elsewhere in the city, Crawford said, but will be stricter than they are now.

“That’s a problem we continue hearing, is people are having trouble finding parking,” he said.

Under the suggested new rule, business owners could still have their parking requirement waived by paying a fee.

Some people are proponents of adding parking meters and some are adamantly against it, according to Crawford. Councilmembers will discuss funding for parking later this year.

Additionally, the planning commission approved a draft of their annual budget, which will now go to the council.

Of the six total items on the agenda, a T-Mobile cell phone tower was the only item postponed. The mobile phone company requested to put a cell tower on an existing tower on a water tank off Magic Mountain Parkway.

City staff recommended the cell tower approval because it was in a good location, Crawford said.

At the Tuesday meeting, the commission asked T-Mobile to add more trees around the tower and they agreed to do so. The item will come back to the commission with the added request for landscaping.

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