City Council to meet in closed session to discuss Ice Station Valencia

West Ranch High School Hockey team parent Leigh Ann Dunleavy signs the names of participants at the Ice Station Car Parade Sunday afternoon so that they would not have to leave their vehicles and violate social distancing rules. April 26, 2020. Bobby Block / The Signal.
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Santa Clarita City Council members are set to meet in closed session Tuesday to discuss property negotiations regarding Ice Station Valencia, the 93,000-square-foot ice facility that has served the community for the past two decades. 

Details of the meeting are not available, but the agenda shows that council members and city staff will meet to discuss “price and terms of payment,” and the negotiating parties are the city and Arena Development Group LLC. 

The Los Angeles-based developer serves as the property landlord that erected the rink that’s been the local hockey and skating rink since 2000. 

Both Jerrold Fine, owner of Arena Development Group, and Roger Perez, owner of Ice Station, declined to comment Thursday, citing the need for confidentiality. 

The city also declined to provide comment about any negotiations due to the matter being discussed during a closed session meeting, according to Communications Manager Carrie Lujan. 

For months, Ice Station has fought to prevent a permanent closure, but no deals had been signed despite many potential buyers, including, at one point, the Los Angeles Kings, according to Perez in a previous interview

“The urgency was a month ago. Today, we’re counting down the hours, like, literally hours and days,” Perez, who helped build the three-sheet ice facility, said previously in early May. 

In late April, dozens of members of the community rallied to save the ice rink, located on Smyth Drive in Valencia, sharing what the rink meant to them. Many had even called in during the April 28 City Council meeting, urging council members to preserve the property as an ice skating rink and help with negotiations. 

“Ice Station Valencia became an incredibly important community connection for us and so many other families. Closing permanently would be such a huge blow to the entire Santa Clarita community,” said Kathleen White, a resident whose child participated in one of the many sports programs at the rink. 

The closed session meeting is scheduled to take place at 5 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, followed by the regular City Council meeting at 6 p.m. in which City Attorney Joseph Montes would normally share announcements out of closed session meetings, should there be any to make.   

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