Council tackles homelessness, ongoing projects in third quarter

Santa Clarita City Hall

Picking up where they left off, the city council completed some unfinished business from before their six-week summer break in the third quarter of the year.

The timeline of the council’s decisions happens organically and are not typically divided by quarter but by the calendar year in its entirety, according to Mayor Cameron Smyth.

Honing in on homelessness

Smyth hosted the fourth and largest ad hoc committee on homelessness meeting on Aug. 28, bringing together about 40 community members and service providers to discuss next steps and ways to attain Measure H funds.

If Measure H hadn’t passed in March, the meetings would look very differently, the mayor, who opposed the measure, said.

“Once the voters had spoken, let’s pivot to see how we can access those dollars,” Smyth said.

The August meeting served to bring in more voices to aid the city in progressing the conversation.

“We couldn’t have done that without the community,” he said.

This was the first time the committee had met since L.A. County’s homeless count was released, enabling attendees to discuss what the increase meant.

At their third meeting after the break, the council handed over the winter homeless shelter on Drayton Street to Bridge to Home.

The local nonprofit is now able to attain more funding by owing it themselves, allowing them to keep the shelter open all year.

To help build 24 more homes for veterans and their families, the council gave $350,000 to Homes for Families on Sept. 21 to finish their project on Center Point Parkway.

Coming to resolutions

At their Sept. 12 meeting, with resounding community support, the council approved the Sand Canyon mixed-use project after three years of garnering feedback from locals about concerns on traffic, noise and the environment.

“It’s a good model for future development given the sheer number of meetings the proponent and city had in the community to receive input and hear concerns,” the mayor said.

The development on the northeast corner of Sand Canyon Road and Soledad Canyon Road will include 580 residential units, 60,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space and an 85,000 square-foot assisted living facility with up to 140 beds.

After the break, the council approved the community-funded Fallen Warriors Monument.

The project had been stalled while the council decided whether to go forward without any World War I names. Council members ended up moving on without them and decided to emphasize all fallen warriors “known and unknown” that may have been from the city.

Approving projects

With the council’s approval, a new pedestrian bridge will be built over Sierra Highway to connect southbound Sierra Highway to westbound Golden Valley Road.

Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station made several strides as well, including approving the environmental report and the construction and operation of a heliport.

It’s not glamorous, but these are necessary steps to finish capital projects,” Smyth said.

Giving input

The council passed a “Taking Back Our Community” public safety initiative, combatting legislation they disagreed with. These laws, including Propositions 47 and 57, minimizes which crimes are considered “violent.”

Over the break, the mayor spoke at a legislative panel alongside county, state and federal officials who represent the Santa Clarita Valley to discuss the importance of local government control.

Council members Marsha McLean and Bill Miranda attended a transportation summit at city hall hosted by County Supervisor Kathryn Barger to give input on their views of public transportation, street and freeway concerns in the city.

Nearing the end

This upcoming Tuesday included, there are four council meetings left until the end of the year.

The mayor plans to circle back to a conversation that has been ongoing throughout the year by addressing next steps for Proposition 64, which legalized recreational marijuana in California.

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