Santa Clarita City Council members listened as 19 residents on both sides of the aisle voiced their opinions on Senate Bill 54 Tuesday, ahead of the council’s plans to formally discuss the city’s status as a sanctuary city May 8.
The council will decide at its next meeting if it wants to file an amicus brief in support of a national lawsuit against the state of California regarding S.B. 54, also known as the California Values Act. The act took effect Jan. 1, and limits cooperation between California law enforcement and federal immigration authorities, protecting immigrants residing in California during a time when federal immigration authorities are cracking down on illegal residency.
Several residents turned out during public comment this week to discuss the matter. The comments about the matter were almost evenly split between opposing and supporting.
Some, such as Logan Smith and Raagib Quraishi, opposed agendizing the item and wanted Santa Clarita to remain a “sanctuary city.”
Those opposed to S.B. 54 also expressed concerns. Kira Innis said one of her parents was an immigrant, but she couldn’t condone illegal activity, and urged the city to continue forth with the amicus brief.
After no public discussion, the council also unanimously approved the Plum Canyon annexation, an area under Los Angeles County jurisdiction that adds three independent areas of 3,118 acres to the city: Plum Canyon, Skyline Ranch and North Sand Canyon.
“This is very positive for the city of Santa Clarita,” Councilman Bob Kellar said.
Now the annexation project will go to the Local Agency Formation Commission for approval, according to senior planner Patrick Leclair.
The planned development of the Skyline Ranch includes 1,220 residential units, 25 open space lots, 10 park lots and one public school lot, according to associate city planner Hai Nguyen. Most of the area of Plum Canyon is still vacant and undeveloped, while North Sand Canyon is already a residential area with 74 residences, according to the March 20 staff report to the Planning Commission.
The council also approved an appointment by Kellar to fill a Planning Commission vacancy. Phil Hart will fill the spot vacated by Chuck Heffernan, after Heffernan’s resignation in March.
Eight people had applied for the position, according to Kellar, and Santa Clarita community leaders Tom Cole, Holly Schroeder, Richard Wirthlin, Fred Arnold and Tami Edwards reviewed the applicants before recommending Hart to Kellar.
Hart is a board member of the Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corp., and has been a resident of Santa Clarita since 1988, Kellar said at the meeting.
The council also awarded a contract to prepare the Environmental Impact Report for the Princessa Crossroads Project through passing its consent calendar. The project is a proposed development by the future intersection of Golden Valley Road and Via Princessa that includes 925 residential units.