County OK to assess levy for water drained at Spring Canyon

File Photo. The Santa Clara Riverbed is seen near the Iron Horse Trail on Monday, April 2, 2018. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal
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People expected to move into more than 500 homes of the Spring Canyon housing project will likely pay for the benefit of storm water captured and cleaned in their area, and on Tuesday county supervisors authorized public works officials to determine what amount that levy should be.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously for a measure calling for the determination and levying of assessments for drainage benefit for an area identified as assessment area number 34.

The area — referred to as a drainage benefit assessment area — relates to the Spring Canyon area on Soledad Canyon Road where more than 500 homes are slated to be built between Shadow Pines and Agua Dulce.

Since the Spring Canyon residents are the ones expected to benefit from water captured and cleaned, they will be the ones paying for it.

Tuesday’s motion gives officials with the Department of Public Works the green light to go ahead and assess a levy they think would be fair and appropriate to pay for the drainage benefit.

“Eventually, they (Spring Canyon residents) will be paying the assessment and paying for that infrastructure,” Chris Perry, planning and public works deputy for Supervisor Kathryn Barger, said Tuesday.

There are a number of ways by which storm water can be collected and treated, he said.

With regards to Spring Canyon, the water will be treated with a “device” as opposed to an underground filter or a concrete-lined ditch.

“The future residents will benefit from the device which is for storm water quality improvement and they will be the ones paying the fees. This applies to everyone in the development,” Vanessa Martinez, spokeswoman for the Department of Public Works, said Tuesday.

“In this case, it is a device that cleans the water,” she said.

There was no public discussion on Tuesday’s levy assessment recommendation, paving the way for public works officials to begin their work assessing a levy.

The housing project, meanwhile, is close to seeing shovels going into the ground.

In September, developers answered last-minute questions about the project posed by members of the  Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning’s Subdivision Committee.

The project was addressed again last month when it went to the department’s hearing officer.

Developer Matt Villalobos addressed a number of last-minute concerns expressed by members of the Subdivision Committee, including:

  • Clarifying the sequencing and timing of improvements, such as the installation of new roadways and street lights.
  • Allowing infrastructure to be built prior to certain milestones – such as prior to getting a building permit –  and making sure that the infrastructure is built according to the county’s current standards so that future traffic, parking and recreation needs are all met.
  • Ensuring that landscaping includes locally indigenous, native and drought-tolerant plants.

The housing project has been in the works for 15 years.

The planned housing development sits north of Highway 14 and Soledad Canyon Road, between Shadow Pines Boulevard and Agua Dulce Canyon Road.

The housing plan also calls for one Los Angeles County Fire Department station and one Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department substation to be built, two parking lots and three open space lots, all on nearly 550 acres.

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