Canyon Country billboard expected to come down Friday

Councilmembers Bob Kellar, Cameron Smyth and Bill Miranda flank Mayor Laurene Westeat a press conference announcing the planne removal of the final structure in preparaition of a new community center on the corner of Soledad Canyon Road and Sirerra Highway in Canyon Country. Cory Rubin/The Signal

A billboard on the corner of Soledad Canyon Road and Sierra Highway planned for removal Monday is now scheduled to come down Friday, city of Santa Clarita officials said during a brief ceremony to announce its removal.

The removal, conducted in phases throughout the week, would mark a clean slate for the grading process of the site for the new Canyon Country Community Center.

“This has really been an exciting time to celebrate the removal of the very last structure on this site behind me up in the air at about 40 feet,” Mayor Laurene Weste said.

Since the start of demolition in March and now with the removal of the billboard, the city is now ready to “move ahead with this exciting place in the culture of enrichment for our citizens here in Canyon Country,” Weste added.

The new Canyon Community Center, replacing the one on Flying Tiger Drive, is set to offer a multipurpose area, gymnasium and a demonstration kitchen for events, meeting and outdoor activities. Construction completion is slated for 2020 or early 2021.

The removal, located south of the new community center building site, is part of the city’s beautification efforts, Councilman Cameron Smyth said.

Because the billboard does not sit on city land, the city has a limited say on ownership, but Smyth said joint efforts with a private company were successful to schedule removal.

“There was an initiative a couple of years ago to remove billboards that the voters chose to defeat, so we have had to find other ways to get some of those billboards removed,” he said. “This is an example of the city working with a private company on doing something for the community.”

In 2014, Santa Clarita voters said no on Measure S, which would have replaced billboards on L.A. County Metro land with three electronic billboards near Interstate 5 and State Route 14.

Smyth said members of the Canyon Country community had expressed excitement over the beautification of the street corner with the removal of the billboard.

Weste said landscaping and seating options would occupy the corner of Soledad Canyon Road and Sierra Highway after the billboard is taken down.

“This place is going to become a stunningly beautiful plaza and will serve as a landmark and welcoming site for folks coming here to Canyon Country where the billboard once stood,” she said. “In less than two years we will proudly be serving the residents in a brand new Canyon Country Community Center.”

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