City approves design contract for new Via Princessa park

Politics and government

The Santa Clarita City Council approved a design contract on Wednesday for the yet-to-be-built Via Princessa Park in Canyon Country on Tuesday.  

The unanimous vote followed discussion from a handful of community members regarding additions that they would like to see to some of the initial plans for the park, including the introduction of pickleball courts.  

Frank Oviedo, the city of Santa Clarita’s assistant city manager, emphasized to those present that the vote on Tuesday would not finalize the plans and that the community would have an opportunity to provide input and clarify their desires for the park in coming meetings.  

“To be clear: This is a design contract only,” said Oviedo during the meeting. ”There’s nothing final about the park. In fact, I just spoke with — prior to the meeting — our public works director and he confirmed with me that we anticipate to have at least three more public meetings to gather further input so that the designers can actually come up with a park that will satisfy more of the users.” 

The council members seemed to all agree with Oviedo that further input from the public would be needed to complete Via Princessa Park adequately.  

According to the council agenda for the item, the park will be placed on 33 acres of property along the south bank of the Santa Clara River, east of Whites Canyon Road and north of Via Princessa.  

According to the park’s master plan, it is slated to include four full-sized multipurpose fields, the installation of sports field lighting, a playground, an infiltration facility, a restroom building, landscaping, irrigation and 33 additional parking spaces.  

Also included is a grade-separated railroad undercrossing for pedestrian and vehicle access from the existing parking lot to the proposed park location, according to the master plan. 

For Phase 2 of the project, the city — after having received the park master plan from the construction engineering company Psomas in Phase 1 — plans to continue to move forward with the same company for a contract not to exceed $4,347,598. 

Other companies and organizations involved will result in a cost for the park not to exceed $6,330,248, according to the council agenda.  

The project will be paid for by funds pulled from the Measure W account. Measure W provides cities, including the city of Santa Clarita, with funding — through a parcel tax of 2.5 cents per square foot of impermeable land area — to complete/invest in infrastructure projects and programs related to water quality and reducing stormwater pollution.

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