Planners to discuss mall plan, Farmer Bros.  

Santa Clarita City Hall
Santa Clarita City Hall

City planners are expected Tuesday to present the Town Center Specific Plan to the Planning Commission and discuss their efforts to turn the mall into a “place-making space.”  

The commission is also scheduled to review a possible Farmer Bros. drive-thru on Copper Hill Drive. 

Centennial, a Dallas-based real estate developer, said it plans to work with the city on its “place-making” goals that might turn the “retail island,” as one company executive called the current mall, into a destination like the Irvine Spectrum Center. 

Jason Crawford, the city’s director of community development, said the popular Orange County “lifestyle center,” which blends shopping, retail and recreational features like a Ferris wheel, was brought up multiple times by people as something they’d like to see there when the city conducted outreach for its plan. 

The city has been collecting outreach and planning for more than a year, and the plan is to “create a flexible framework for future development that is practical, buildable and fosters the potential for numerous development possibilities,” according to Dave Peterson, senior planner for the city, in the meeting’s agenda packet. 

The plan also calls for a mix of market-rate and affordable housing, according to city officials. 

“The full buildout scenario within the (Town Center Specific Plan) TCSP includes approximately 2,200 residential units throughout the (sub planning area) SPA. The city’s Housing Element identifies the need for 446 affordable units on specific properties within the SPA. Because of this, the (draft review) prepared for the TCSP contemplated 20% of units within the SPA as being affordable. As required by the state, and in order to satisfy the TCSP goals for both compliance with the city’s Housing Element and to facilitate the implementation of a plan that is practical, flexible and buildable, applicants will be strongly encouraged to include affordable units to any project that proposes a residential component,” according to city officials.  

But exactly how the plans are built out, particularly in terms of the layout and numbers, is largely up to Centennial.  

The current zoning for the property has a density range of 18-50 units, Crawford said in a previous interview. In that proposed TCSP, 2,200 units would be approximately 20 units per acre.  

The plans also call for certain uses to permit building heights of six and seven stories, according to the city’s agenda. 

For comparison, the Irvine Spectrum Center has 4,356 dwelling units zoned for nearly 183 acres, which is nearly 24 units per acre. Its maximum zoned density is 55 units per acre, according to planning documents available online with the city of Irvine.  

In addition to the mall plan, the commission will review a proposal for a new drive-thru on Copper Hill. 

Farmer Bros., a Perris-based fast-casual burger and sandwich chain, is looking to put a drive-thru location next to Popeye’s in a space that’s not currently permitted for a drive-thru, which is why the applicant needs permission, according to city officials.   

It would be the first Santa Clarita Valley location for the restaurant, which has more than 100 restaurants between Arizona, California and Nevada.  

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