Lynne Girdlestone: Be careful what you wish for

Proposed site of Newhall Ranch development, looking southeast on state Route 126 in Castaic. Dan Watson/The Signal.

Regarding your July 22 editorial “Newhall Ranch opportunities,” be careful what you wish for.

First, I’d like to know how The Signal can claim that “new construction has stalled for about 10 years” in Santa Clarita, and that there’s no denying more housing is needed.

In actuality, about 10,000 new units have been approved and permitted here recently, some of which are in the grading stages – Keystone, West Creek second phase, Tick Canyon, Spring Canyon, and Skyline Ranch, to name a few.

Everywhere I go in Santa Clarita I see new housing developments going up. If this is stalled new construction, I wonder what a housing boom would look like!

We don’t need 21,000 Newhall Ranch households added to these 10,000 to stress our already-inadequate infrastructure.

Also, it may seem attractive theoretically to make Santa Clarita a “Silicon Suburb,” but if that happens, rents and prices will inevitably rise and ordinary people will find this area less and less affordable.

That’s exactly what happened in the suburban areas around San Francisco (such as Palo Alto) when the high-tech companies moved in. The extraordinarily high salaries and housing subsidies offered to their employees by these companies shot the rents sky-high – not to mention other living expenses.

Even middle-income people have been forced out. My caution would be: Watch what you wish for, because you may just get it – and the results may not be what you think.

Lynne Girdlestone is a Newhall resident.

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