Firework law, mobile home park code spark dialogue at council meeting

City of Santa Clarita City Hall
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Just a week away from Independence Day, city staff and council cracked down on the illegal use of fireworks at the city council meeting Tuesday.

The use of fireworks of any kind will result in fine of up to $1,000 or possible jail time, city Attorney Joseph Montes said.

Communications Manager Carrie Lujan reminded community members that fireworks are dangerous, especially during fire season.

“We want to make sure that it is a safe holiday for everyone, and to that end, our goal is to decrease the number of residents setting off illegal fireworks,” Lujan said.

The campaign is a collaborative effort between the city, L.A. County Fire Department and the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, Lujan said.

City staff is conducting both an online and print campaign in order to remind citizens of the law.

In the next installment of the mobile home park municipal code discussion, residents once again spoke about desired changes and city staff read the most recent updates.

Brian Springer, a Canyon Country resident and the current fifth panel member, said reducing the needed percentage for residents to make an appeal from 50 percent to 33 percent will allow for too many hearings.

“It is going to be extremely easy for residents to place an appeal,” Springer said. “You’re going to have mess on your hands.”

Greenbrier Home Owner’s Association President Bruce Velie said he thought anyone should be able to make an appeal, regardless of the percentage of those in favor.

Also, he said he’d prefer to maintain the panel instead of hiring a hearing officer because he enjoys his position.

Valencia resident Jay Levine encouraged city staff to return to the original version of the code when it was first introduced in order to simplify it. According to Levine, the most recent changes and the ones made a few years ago have caused more issues.

“It encourages an environment of management versus residents,” Levine said. “I don’t think this is what was intended.”

Ryan Goodell, with Parkland Estates, requested a postponement of the mobile home park code decision but said he was open to further dialogue.

“It’s not fair to park owners to have these kinds of restrictions,” Goodell said.

Multiple residents asked that the code allow for several people to be listed on documentation for each home, such as in the case as with spouses.

Currently, the code only allows for one person to be the head of the household, meaning only one person can sign for appeals.

Councilman Bill Miranda agreed with the community members’ recommendation to notify mobile home park residents of upcoming capital improvements from two weeks to two months.

Appeal hearing decisions should not take as long as 90 days, but should be closer to 30 days, both Miranda and Councilman Bob Kellar said.

City Attorney Joseph Montes clarified that this period starts when the appeal is made, not at the time of the appeal hearing.

Council members also discussed desired qualifications and legal experience for a potential hearing officer.

In light of pending concerns, Mayor Cameron Smyth reminded the council and attendees that a decision would have to be made shortly.

“We have to move forward today,” Smyth said. “We are up against the clock.”

Councilmembers also selected Mayor Smyth and Councilwoman McLean to serve as delegates for the California League of Cities. The delegate will consider and take action on policies at the league’s annual business meeting in September.

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