City hall fields worry over talk of golf course becoming housing project

Signal file photo

Residents were phoning Santa Clarita City Hall all day Wednesday worried about unconfirmed reports that the Vista Valencia Golf Course, next to a quiet residential neighborhood, was being turned into a housing development.

While reports of home-building appear groundless, according to city officials who have seen or heard nothing about the site being sold or transformed, the golf course property has been put up for sale.

“To date, we have not seen any project or plan,” said Jason Crawford, planning and economic development manager for the city of Santa Clarita.

“We do understand the property has been put up for sale,” he said.

The Vista Valencia Golf Course on Trevino Drive is owned by the American Golf Corp.

On Wednesday, a flier surfaced reporting sale of the golf course and a “massive housing development” planned for the land.

The flier listed City Hall phone numbers for concerned residents to call — and call they did.

At least a dozen phone calls were placed to City Hall, city spokeswoman Carrie Lujan said.

She told callers the same thing she told The Signal, she said.

“We haven’t seen any sort of application for that property,” she said. “We didn’t buy it and we don’t have any plans for it. I’m not sure what generated the flier.”

If the property is sold, then the process for transforming that land into something other than “open space” would be long and time-consuming, Crawford said.

The land was zoned in the 1960s as open space, Crawford said Wednesday,

“Any project would have to overcome zoning changes and all the formal reports under CEQA,” he said, referring to the California Environmental Quality Act.

The Vista Valencia Golf Course made headlines this past summer when neighbors complained of a foul smell coming from the property.

After several inspections and a draining of a water hazard on the course, the smell subsided and the complaints trailed off.

In August, city of Santa Clarita code enforcement officers issued a $100 fine against the golf course for having failed to maintain the pond as ordered.

“We issued a notice of violation on Aug. 1 for neglecting the pond,” Dan Rivas, community preservation manager for the city of Santa Clarita, said in August.

“Our code enforcement team went out to inspect the pond Saturday and observed the stagnant water was still there. They did not comply so we did issue a citation (fine),” Rivas said.

After county officials including Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger spoke with concerned residents and golf course managers, the pond was drained completely.

Phone calls and emails left Wednesday for a spokesman for American Golf Corp. were not returned.

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