Appeal filed against Costco, luxury cinema project withdrawn

The vacant anchor that was formerly Sears is set to become a Costco, a movie theater and a gym. Cory Rubin/The Signal

An attorney representing the Santa Clarita Safe and Strong Group that sought to block the Westfield Valencia Town Center’s Patios Connection project has withdrawn its appeal, according to city officials.

Tal Finney, the attorney who filed the appeal with the city of Santa Clarita on Jan. 31, “has withdrawn the appeal of the project,” said Jason Crawford, a city planning manager. 

Finney, a Los Angeles-based attorney who has done similar work in the past appealing other commercial projects, did not return phone calls and emails Wednesday. 

Upon learning the appeal was withdrawn, Westfield was “happy that the appeal to the Patios Connection Project has been withdrawn and that the city Planning Commission’s unanimous approval will stand. We are grateful for the broad-based community support that the project has received, and excited to begin work on this dynamic plan for Valencia Town Center,” said Chris Kitchen, vice president of development with Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, in a prepared statement. 

With the appeal removed, the Planning Commission’s unanimous approval on Jan. 21 means “there will not be another public hearing on this project, it is approved,” said Crawford. 

The City Council planned to discuss the appeal at its April 14 meeting but will no longer do so without an appeal. 

The five-page appeal stated that the Santa Clarita Safe and Strong group believes nearby residents “may be adversely affected by the potential traffic, air quality, soil quality, groundwater quality, noise, public health and safety hazards imposed by the project.” 

The Patios Connection proposal consists of removing the former Sears building and constructing a Costco with rooftop parking, as well as a gas station, health and fitness center, retail and restaurant space, a luxury cinema and the expansion of the existing Canyon music venue. 

City and mall officials have previously addressed concerns mentioned in the appeal, such as the reconfiguring of six major intersections to help control the traffic flow in the area. 

City staff is expected to finalize the approval and notifications to the surrounding area that the appeal has been withdrawn, said Crawford. 

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