Santa Clarita presents concepts for Old Town Newhall

Gabby Bunch, Matt Crater and their baby Callen, look over presentation boards which illustrate possible changes to Old Town Newhall on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021. Jose Herrera/The Signal
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Santa Clarita residents might have noticed some changes in Newhall — from the construction of the Newhall Crossings mixed-use project to the opening of the Laemmle movie theater, new shops and restaurants. 

These changes will continue as the city finalizes its plan to revitalize the area.  

The city of Santa Clarita presented information on the remaining changes at the Old Town Newhall Library on Saturday. Hai Nguyen, an associate planner with the city of Santa Clarita, alongside his team, was out during the farmers market answering questions and concerns about the Old Town Newhall Specific Plan.  

“The plan was adopted in 2005,” Nguyen said. “It’s been in fact for quite a while. There have been minor updates here and there, but this go around, we are using grant funds to fund this revision. We are looking to get input from the public to see what has worked, what needs improvements and what they want to see for the next many years.”  

City staff presented eight boards that included information on parking strategies, connections to Metrolink, new housing development and a focus on art and entertainment events.  

City staff provided attendees with stickers. Attendees placed those stickers on the boards with concepts they liked and concepts they disliked.   

Charo Velasquez stopped by to give her input on the city’s concepts for Old Town Newhall. She said the small changes so far have been “a wonderful” addition to Old Town Newhall, and she’s hoping the next round of changes and developments are just as positive for the community.  

“I hope more people congregate in public places and just get together,” Velasquez said. “That’s what we need.”  

Gaurav Srivastava, a consultant manager with Dudek — the firm the city has partnered with for planning in this project — said they are here to help the city and update the existing specific plan.   

“This is a plan that’s looking ahead, say 20 years,” Srivastava said. “We hope that this plan enables and facilitates Newhall to become a better, more successful, more vibrant destination for both the locals that live in and around here, but also for residents in the city and outside.”  

According to Nguyen, the next step after public feedback is to add the final concepts into the draft of the Old Town Newhall Specific Plan update. Then city planners will take that to the Planning Commission early next year, and shortly after, they expect to take their finalized plan to the City Council. 

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