Santa Clarita, even though it has had enormous growth in the last two decades, has always had a small-town feel. You see the same people, your neighbors, at our many parks, walking on the paseos, sitting on the sideline of youth sports activities, dropping off kids at our fantastic schools, eating at our wide array of restaurants, and shopping at the mall.
Even though malls across the country, for myriad reasons, are closing down, that doesn’t mean our mall should be torn down and replaced by high-density apartments, a prospect that would be supported by our woefully wrong and out-of-touch governor, Gavin Newsom.
Santa Clarita has done and is doing more than its fair share in adding to the state’s housing supply. The
Newhall Ranch project, the south and east area of Plum Canyon, and the yet-undeveloped Bermite property will bring our population north of 400,000. The last thing we need to do is turn the pristine piece of land known as the Town Center into a high-density quagmire. It must remain that one place, right in the center of town, which beckons all Santa Claritans to shop, eat and socialize with their neighbors.
On the commercial side of the equation, the new owner might consider repurposing the mall as an outlet mall. The outlet malls in Camarillo and Cabazon, near Palm Springs, are always busy. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, has two outlet malls that are always busy, and it is a much smaller city than Santa Clarita. Personally, I was super excited about the proposed Costco to be built on the old Sears site. Talk about bringing people together. When was the last time you ran into a neighbor at Costco? Probably not long ago.
Many residents of Santa Clarita have moved here from the San Fernando Valley. Or, to be more honest, to get away from the San Fernando Valley. There is no sense of community in the SFV, just an unplanned hodgepodge of cities, some more affluent than others. There is no Town Center. There is no identifying spirit that binds the residents together.
Our city government has done a fantastic job of maintaining a small-town feel in the third largest city in L.A. County. I appreciate the fact that they value the input of Santa Clarita residents. Please reject any effort to turn our Town Center into anything but a Town Center.