Supes approve Castaic housing development, Sheriff’s Station funds

A half-mile radius map shows the location of the proposed housing project in Castaic. Map screenshot from Los Angeles County Dept. of Regional Planning

The L.A. County Board of Supervisors approved the proposed development of nearly 140 homes next to Castaic High School during Tuesday’s regular meeting. 

“This project has been in the works for a few years, and I am happy to finally see it come to the board for approval,” said county Supervisor Kathryn Barger, whose 5th District includes the Santa Clarita Valley. “As the county continues to face critical housing shortage, it is absolutely essential to bring more housing stock online. We have a long long way to go to meeting the true demand in the region, but this is a small step in the right direction.” 

The proposed project is set to develop three existing single-family residential dwelling lots into 157 lots comprised of 137 homes on Sloan Canyon Road at Canyon Hill Road, including two flag lots, four open space lots, two private recreation lots and 14 public facility lots on 186 acres, according to the county’s Regional Planning Department report. 

Under the unanimously approved motion, the applicant of the project, which includes Allen B. Russell and others, received the green light for the zone change, allowing for residential development, along with the conditional use permit, authorizing construction within a hillside area and onsite grading of more than 100,000 cubic yards of earth, as well as the removal 23 oak trees and encroachment on six additional oak trees.

After public hearings on Aug. 26 and Sept. 9, Regional Planning commissioners voted to recommend approval of the proposal to the Board of Supervisors. The recommendation included a request that “the board act on the commission’s strong desire to see an on-site affordable housing set-aside as part of the project,” per the report. 

Regional Planning Department staff have detailed that the project would generate “significant increases” in property tax revenue and would help the county in meeting its housing needs by developing underutilized lots in Castaic, near the newly completed Castaic High School, which opened for classes last year. 

The project has also received support from the Castaic Town Council, according to Jessica Chambers, vice president of the council, who sent a letter in support of the project to the board. 

SCV Sheriff’s Station funds approved

In addition, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion to transfer an additional $3 million in 5th District capital improvement funds to the city of Santa Clarita for the new SCV Sheriff’s Station, located at 26201 Golden Valley Road on a city-owned parcel. 

When the memorandum of understanding was instituted in 2016 to build the station, which is currently under construction, the county earmarked $15 million in funding for the proposed design, engineering and construction activities, which was estimated to cost approximately $51 million total. 

Since 2016, the city has been the lead agency for the development of the project, and following the receipt of construction bids, the city updated the total project cost estimate, determining a projected shortfall of approximately $10.1 million.

The city agreed to fund $7.1 million of the shortfall and requested that the county fund the remainder of the projected shortfall equal to $3 million, which was approved under Tuesday’s motion.

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