A group of Sand Canyon residents concerned over the possibility of losing their quiet, rural lifestyle over the proposed Sand Canyon Resort project has formed a task force aiming to stop the development.
The plans, if approved by Santa Clarita City Council, would transform Steve Kim’s 200-acre property known as the Sand Canyon Country Club by adding the Sand Canyon Hotel & Resort, modeled by Kim in the likeness of Ojai Valley Inn, a five-diamond AAA getaway on the outskirts of the Los Padres National Forest east of Santa Barbara. Kim’s changes call for hotel and villa accommodations, multiple dining options and recreational facilities for swimming, tennis and pickleball to an existing 27-hole golf course.
The Stop Sand Canyon Resort Task Force was recently formed and has scheduled a town hall to discuss the impacts opponents believe the project would have in the area on Wednesday, Sept. 11, at 7 p.m. at The Church of the Canyons, located at 28050 Sand Canyon Road.
“Sand Canyon is not a commercial area,” said Ruthann Levison, Sand Canyon Homeowners Association president and member of the task force. “Whether or not this project is bad or not, it just doesn’t work in Sand Canyon. It’s not appropriate.”
The proposed project, which would be located on the northeast corner of Sand Canyon Road and Robinson Ranch Road if developed, is a 77-acre resort and spa that includes plans for hotels, villas, ballrooms, and outdoor recreation and spa, gym and salon facilities.
“More people support this; there’s only a few that don’t,” said Kim, CEO of Sand Canyon Country Club and applicant for the project, in May, after a recent tour, in response to the concerned residents’ comments. “This will add to the community and will bring amenities Sand Canyon doesn’t have.”
Supporters have said the resort will offer residents on the east side of the SCV more entertainment and dining options without having to travel across the valley to Valencia.
“This will be the best destination in Los Angeles County,” Kim said in a previous interview with The Signal. “Everybody will say, ‘Wow!’”
The property is currently zoned as open space, but should the development be approved, portions of the site would convert that to a community commercial zone, according to Hai Nguyen, associate planner for the city of Santa Clarita’s planning division.
Sand Canyon residents have expressed in the past, and most recently during a public tour visit to the site, that the zone change would threaten the neighborhood’s rural lifestyle with increased traffic, street lights, noise and multistory buildings.
The community is a special standards district under Chapter 17.39 of the Santa Clarita Municipal Code, meaning the area is to “maintain, preserve and enhance the rural and equestrian character of Sand Canyon.”
“People will say, ‘This is a country club, and this doesn’t really affect me.’ But it does affect people because people come here to escape the bustle of the city and enjoy the rural life,” resident David Hong said in May after touring the project site.
Besides changing Sand Canyon’s look, Levison said her biggest concern is public safety as residents are “living in a fire zone.”
Not all are opposed, however. Those in support have said the resort will add diversity and additional dining and entertainment options closer to home without having to travel to areas like Valencia.
The project is expected to return before the Planning Commission sometime later this year, according to city staff.