By Ken Striplin
In just two days, our great City will celebrate another milestone — Santa Clarita’s 33rd birthday. Many long-time residents remember the era before the City incorporated and the years-long battle for cityhood. So why was it so important that Santa Clarita became a City?
It gave our residents easy access to locally elected officials, who are more responsive and aware of issues directly affecting our community. It ensured that locally generated tax dollars are spent right here in our City and are used to build new parks, trails, roads, bridges, sidewalks, for street improvements, transportation amenities and so much more.
Originally measuring 39 square miles, with only 130,000 residents at the time of our incorporation, the City now spans more than 60 square miles and is home to more than 225,000 residents!
Although we have grown, we still retain our small-town feel with many big-city opportunities.
Back on December 15, 1987, there were only a handful of parks in the fledgling City. Now Santa Clarita boasts 35 beautiful parks with trails to explore, fields to play sports, playgrounds for kids, public art pieces and much more.
Our City is known as a family-
oriented community set against the backdrop of rolling hills and picturesque open space. We are regularly recognized for the high quality of life our residents enjoy.
Santa Clarita has ranked high on esteemed review lists for safety, healthy lifestyle, business-friendly environment and more. We were voted one of the Happiest Cities in the nation prior to the safer at home public health orders, and during the COVID shutdown, we were ranked the seventh-best place in the nation to be Stuck at Home during a pandemic.
Even with the challenges this current year has brought us, the future of Santa Clarita is looking bright.
We have two major milestone projects coming online next year. The new Canyon Country Community Center at Soledad Canyon Road and Sierra Highway is on track for completion in mid-2021. The new facility will offer opportunities for enrichment, activity and learning and ample outdoor recreation space.
Meanwhile, on Golden Valley Road, the final touches are being put on the new Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station. A joint project between the City and Los Angeles County Fifth District Supervisor Kathryn Barger, the new station will be handed over to the Sheriff’s Department in summer 2021.
In addition, plans are in the works for an enhanced shelter facility for Bridge to Home and a new admin/housing building for Family Promise. Both organizations are devoted to our neighbors experiencing homelessness.
Santa Clarita is a unique and special community that has truly lived up to the vision of our founding fathers. I am proud of our organization’s work over the past 33 years – thanks to the devoted leadership of our City Council. We will continue to provide our residents with top-notch customer services and the high-quality City resources they enjoy.
Please join me in wishing Santa Clarita a happy 33rd birthday, and to all of you … happy holidays.
Ken Striplin can be reached at [email protected]. The views expressed in his column are those of the City and do not necessarily reflect those of The Signal.