City Council to discuss new sheriff’s station, possible acquisition of land for open space

Santa Clarita City Hall, as pictured on February, 26, 2020, is located on the 23900 block of Valencia Blvd. Dan Watson/The Signal

Santa Clarita City Council members are expected to discuss Tuesday the possible acquisition of about 100 acres of land in Canyon Country to preserve as open space, as well as consider increasing expenditures for the buildout of the new sheriff’s station. 

At their upcoming meeting, the council will consider the purchase of about 102 acres of land in the Soledad Canyon area, between State Route 14 and Spring Canyon Road and Gas Line Road, for potential future trail connections. 

The overall cost of $345,700 includes the $290,700 purchase price and $20,000 for title, escrow and due diligence costs, as well as $35,000 for property improvements such as fencing, gates and signage, according to the city agenda report. 

The land is part of the Conservation Area Protection Plan, which recognizes this wildlife corridor as a “critical missing link” in the Angeles National Forest, according to city officials. 

“The subject property is also contiguous to city of Santa Clarita-owned open space property in the Eastern Greenbelt,” said the agenda report. “Staff identified this property several years ago because of its connection to the Angeles National Forest, its proximity to other city open space areas, and the potential for future trail connections.”

Any proposed changes in the land use or condition of the property will be subject to guidelines under the California Environmental Quality Act, the report read. 

New sheriff’s station

Council members will also consider modifying construction contracts and increasing expenditures of about $1.11 million to cover costs for additional materials and services needed for the buildout of the new 45,000-square-foot Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, which is now in the onsite construction stages.  

“The Sheriff’s Station project is very complex and has multiple systems and equipment that must meet the strict requirements of a law enforcement facility, particularly with the detention component,” read the agenda report. 

The proposed increased expenditures come after $52.6 million of the total project cost of $67.3 million was approved for the onsite construction phase. 

“The requested council action is to increase expenditure authority only and will be offset by savings on other contracts,” according to the agenda report. “The requested increased expenditure authority is offset by reduced expenses and does not increase the overall budget for the project.”

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