Proposed Sand Canyon Resort appealed to City Council

A revised conceptual site plan of the Sand Canyon Resort & Spa reviewed by the Santa Clarita Planning Commission at its May 18 meeting. City of Santa Clarita

The Santa Clarita Planning Commission voted Tuesday evening to deny the Sand Canyon Resort project proposed by Sand Canyon Country Club owner Steve Kim. 

Kim appealed the Planning Commission’s decision Wednesday and will ask the City Council to overturn the denial. At a prior hearing, a representative for Kim said he would appeal a denial. 

“The soonest it would go to (Santa Clarita) City Council is July,” said Hai Nguyen, a city associate planner. 

The proposed hotel, inn and related amenities would sit on a little more than 50 acres of land north of Robinson Ranch Road and east of Sand Canyon Road.   

The denial was based on a 1996 decision by the Santa Clarita City Council to preserve into perpetuity approximately 300 acres in Sand Canyon as recreational open space, according to Nguyen.  

The resolution lists several other “major issues” that led to the commission’s denial of the project, including “compatibility with the purpose of the Sand Canyon Special Standards District,” which is meant to preserve the equestrian character of the neighborhood. 

“The architecture and design of the project, the economic viability of a resort and golf course business, hotel and resort management, landscaping, open space land acquisition, traffic trails, and wildfire evacuation,” Nguyen added to the list. 

Commissioners discussed the importance of the Santa Clarita City Council understanding the issues they’ve raised over the course of five public hearings about the project. 

“I feel confident that if (council members) decide to move forward with the project, either they will resolve those issues that we brought up, or they will ask us to step back in,” said Commissioner Tim Burkhart. 

Central Park expansion 

The Santa Clarita Planning Commission supported Tuesday recommending the approval of permits and a declaration that would allow for a $10.3 million, 17-acre expansion of Central Park. 

The expansion includes four new regulation-size, multi-use sports fields surrounded by 12 70- or 90-foot-tall light poles with the lights positioned at 30 feet above ground.  

“The project’s designed not to have light spillover,” said Andy Olson, a city assistant planner, noting high demand for the existing multi-use sports fields at Central Park.  

The expansion also includes a new parking lot with 268 spaces for cars, including eight accessible parking spaces and other spaces equipped with electric-vehicle charging stations that can accommodate six electric cars. 

“The city is always looking for future opportunities when the funding is available to install those electric vehicle stations,” Olson said. “This is certainly a location the city will keep in mind whenever there’s an opportunity to install a new electric vehicle facility.” 

The lot is also slated to include 12 bicycle parking spaces.  

A new restroom building, relocated basketball court, improvements to an existing dog park and an exercise staircase are also on the city’s menu of changes. adjacent to the fields.  

“The staircase was designed to fit the natural hillside so there wasn’t going to be a lot of grading,” said Terry Brice, the project manager, noting the staircase will have railings on both sides. 

The City Council is expected to award a contract to build the project at a future City Council meeting, according to city officials. 

Future meetings 

The next Santa Clarita Planning Commission is scheduled for June 15. Commissioners will hold a study session on the city’s housing element at 5 p.m., followed by an application for a Circle K gas station off of Seco Canyon Road. 

The commission’s last meeting before a summer hiatus is scheduled to be held July 6. 

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