Residents will have a chance to be heard on the Patios Connection project that is proposing to expand the Westfield Valencia Town Center with amenities, such as a Costco and a luxury cinema, at an upcoming Santa Clarita City Council meeting.
The city has scheduled a public hearing at or after 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24, at City Hall, located at 23920 Valencia Blvd. Residents have until Friday to submit written comments to the Community Development Department, and council members will receive those comments prior to the hearing.
The project consists of replacing the former Sears building with a Costco that would have a rooftop parking lot, as well as a gas station, retail and restaurant spaces, a luxury cinema, health and fitness center and an expansion of the existing Canyon Santa Clarita music venue.
The meeting comes after a formal appeal was filed against the development on Jan. 31 by Tal Finney, a Los Angeles-based lawyer who said he represents Santa Clarita Safe and Strong, a group he described in the appeal letter as “an unincorporated association of residents of the city of Santa Clarita and the Valencia community.”
The group believes they “may be adversely affected by the potential traffic, air quality, soil quality, groundwater quality, noise, public health and safety hazards imposed by the project,” according to the appeal.
City staff and at least one consultant group to the city have countered some concerns by the group via an environmental review that was discussed with the Santa Clarita Planning Commission during their regular meeting on Jan. 21 — the day commissioners unanimously approved the proposal.
So far, Finney appears as the only member of the Santa Clarita Safe and Strong group to come forward. A petition by the group on change.org, which urged residents to attend the March 24 public hearing, had 108 signatures as of Monday evening.
“The council can’t hide behind Westfield and Costco and pretend that this won’t impact our quality of life and public safety if we are telling them so directly!” the petition reads.
Mall officials are expected to attend the hearing and express that “we have been active in building support over the last year within the community and have met with dozens of community organizations and neighbors over the course of that time,” said John Musella, spokesman for Westfield Valencia Town Center.