The annexation of the Tesoro del Valle community into the city of Santa Clarita is one step closer to transpiring after the Planning Commission’s approval Tuesday to move forward with prezoning the project area.
Commissioners voted unanimously in support of the city’s proposed general plan amendment and prezone of about 1,786 acres of land located on the city’s northern boundary, north of Copper Hill Drive, west of San Francisquito Canyon Road and east of the West Hills Community — an annexation area currently located in an unincorporated portion of Los Angeles County.
“Since the Tesoro phase one project was completed back in 2006, there has been an interest by the residents for annexation to the city,” said Ben Jarvis, an associate planner with the city’s planning division.
From 2012 to 2016, the annexation of other communities such as Copperstone, West Creek and West Hills succeeded but Tesoro del Valle was not included in that effort because the developer was processing the Tesoro Highlands project with the county, according to Jarvis.
A May 2019 survey showed that interest to annex the Tesoro del Valle area was still prevalent. Figures showed that out of the 1,133 who were surveyed, 185 responded and of those, 86% supported annexation and 8% did not.
Among supporters is Linda Storli, a resident of the unincorporated area who helped form the city 33 years ago.
“The city of Santa Clarita is one of the most financially stable cities in the country,” she said. “I’ve told neighbors that our taxes won’t increase and there’s no downside to becoming a member of the city. Please annex my home.”
The proposed annexation area includes both the developed portion and the undeveloped Tesoro Highlands development:
Phase one of the community, developed in 2006, contains more than 1,000 residential units, an elementary school, recreation center, a private park and the Tesoro Adobe Historic Park. Phase two, or Tesoro Highlands, was approved in 2018 by the county, and is fully entitled, but not yet built. This section will include 820 residential units with a community and senior recreation center, open space lots and a helipad.
When it came to open space of the undeveloped area, Jarvis clarified to Commissioner Dennis Ostrom that there are a number of uses that would qualify for that section, including a community recreation center and hiking trails.
After Tuesday’s vote, a public hearing before the City Council is scheduled on Nov. 12. If approved, city staff would prepare an application of the annexation to the Local Agency Formation Commission, which would be submitted in early 2020. LAFCO would terminate the process if a majority of property owners protest the proposal, or hold an election on the question of incorporation if there is no majority opposition.
City officials are looking to complete the annexation by November 2020, Jarvis said.