What makes a city a place you want to call home? I believe it’s when a city becomes more than just buildings and roads and is instead seen as a community. Many factors can affect how you view your city, including your relationship with fellow residents, your home and neighborhood, trust of local government and the quality of city facilities and services.
Within the City of Santa Clarita’s Community Development department, there is a division called Community Preservation that works to maintain and preserve the integrity of our City’s neighborhoods so that residents and future generations can continue living a high quality of life.
This includes encouraging residents to preserve the appearance and value of the buildings and properties in our neighborhoods. Residential and commercial properties that are poorly maintained can lower property values, negatively impact community pride, and contribute to an increase in crime and life and safety problems (also known as the Broken Windows Theory). Studies have also shown a marked decline in crimes against property and its inhabitants when properties are properly maintained. For this reason, the work our Community Preservation division does greatly reduces the negative impact that unmaintained properties have on our community.
The Community Preservation division breaks down into five areas: Code Enforcement, Housing, Graffiti Removal, Animal Care and Control and Parking Enforcement. The Animal Care and Control and Parking Enforcement functions are managed through separate contracts with the County of Los Angeles and a private vendor.
Staff from the Community Preservation division, specifically Code Enforcement officers, work with residents to ensure they are complying with State and City municipal codes and regulations which have been designed to keep our City safe and pristine. Examples of code violations include abandoned properties, overgrown lawns and hazardous unmaintained pools. These concerns are brought to the attention of Code Enforcement officers by other residents or by proactively monitoring neighborhoods. However, Code Enforcement officers do their best to be proactive and encourage residents to comply with codes and regulations to prevent receiving citations.
Our amazing Graffiti Removal team works quickly to respond to reports of graffiti within City limits. You may have seen some of our Graffiti Removal crew working on walls and bridges -sometimes even in the rain. From January 1 to April 30, there were 4,073 removals of graffiti. 16 percent of removals were in response to public requests and 84 percent were completed pro-actively.
To report graffiti within the City limits, call 661-25-CLEAN/ 661-252-5326 or report online through the Resident Service Center at santa-clarita.com/RSC.
In addition to addressing issues in local neighborhoods, our Community Preservation staff is also involved with efforts to keep the City free of debris generated by transient encampments, such as those along the Santa Clara River.
On a monthly basis, staff will post a notice of the intent to clean encampment sites. With the assistance of a contractor, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and representatives from local social service groups, Community Preservation staff goes to known encampment sites to remove debris. During this process, information on available resources and services is always offered to any transients they come across. From January 1 to April 30, more than 70 sites were cleared, with approximately 64,050 pounds of trash and debris removed from encampments.
The Community Preservation division is a vital and important division for the City of Santa Clarita, ensuring our residents feel safe and take pride in their community. To learn more about this division, I highly encourage you to check out their recently revamped website at santa-clarita.com/CommunityPreservation. The website also features answers to frequently asked questions and information on administrative citations, municipal codes and regulations, important agency contact information and much more.