Vision for Santa Clarita proves to be 20/20 as city turns 20

first_imgAnd the city stepped into the middle of the debate between developers and slow-growth advocates, recognizing that Santa Clarita would grow but requiring builders to provide amenities such as roads and parkland. Plans for the coming years include replacing the tiny county branch library in Newhall with a much larger landmark facility to help anchor a redevelopment area. A major highway, the Cross Valley Connector, will be completed to alleviate traffic congestion on other thoroughfares. More wilderness will be purchased for preservation under a recently approved assessment with the goal of completing a greenbelt around the city; a major expansion of the Valencia mall is planned; and a city-owned, privately run sports complex with replica Major League Baseball ball fields is on the table. There’s also a push by some city officials to annex outlying territories – land that was vacant 20 years ago but is now covered by homes and shops served by a county government 40 miles away. Critics see a land grab, while proponents say the city has a proven track record of improved services and responsive government. Dave Bossert is president of the West Ranch Town Council, a quasi-official body that advises the county regarding issues in the communities west of Santa Clarita. He is one of the city’s most vocal critics, frequently blogging his dissatisfaction on his personal Web site. But even he admires much of the work local government has accomplished in its first two decades. “I’ve seen remarkable changes happen, a lot of them very good,” said Bossert, who moved to the area in 1980. “It’s an unfinished canvas, is how I look at it. “With any organization or government entity, a 20th anniversary is a milestone. It’s a good time to reflect on accomplishments and to look at what one can do better.” His biggest issue with the city is its aggressive effort to annex communities to the west. “I think there’s a question mark, and that is, how big is too big,” he said. “How big could the city grow? At what point does it become an unwieldy entity?” Pulskamp said the city would like to see the entire Santa Clarita Valley under one local government. It’s essentially one community, he said, with common interests and goals that can best be achieved by unity. “There’s always going to be critics,” Pulskamp said. “My tendency is not to look at what individuals say, but what they say collectively. Petitions speak loudly. I put a lot more credence in that than in one person who has a Web site. “The other thing is, I’m a little suspicious of people always against stuff and never for stuff.” Santa Clarita operates on a $159million budget. Unlike cities of similar size, it contracts with Los Angeles County for law enforcement and fire services rather than establishing its own departments. More than 175,000 live in 52 square miles encompassing the communities of Newhall, Saugus, Valencia and Canyon Country. The city first incorporated 43 square miles and has annexed several neighborhoods over the years. The community is largely white, but it has been growing more diverse the past several years. The median household income is $91,400, while the average home price in this weak market is about $555,000. For Pulskamp, the city is all about building a quality place to live. And he looks back with pride. “I remember right at the beginning, we planted 1,000 trees – to me, that’s a lot of trees, but no, in a city this size, 1,000 trees was nothing. So we planted more, and now they’re 20 years old, and you can see the difference.” While adding trees, the city eliminated pole signs from the landscape and worked to shift utility lines underground. “All those things make a difference,” Pulskamp said. “Sometimes the best (indication of) how far we’ve come is when you go somewhere else. If you’re south of here, you see so many things that would never happen here – boarded-up buildings, broken curbs, graffiti, trees not trimmed, weeds in the right-of-way. “Those all seem like minor things, but they make a huge difference.” [email protected] 661-257-5251160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! For City Manager Ken Pulskamp, it’s the Santa Clarita Aquatic Center, Central Park, the Sports Complex and the city’s commercial zone, as well as the flier ordinance that keeps litter from landing in parking lots and beyond. “You see the median in front of Kmart?” Pulskamp said. “Remember right when the city formed? There was Astroturf there, and on a windy day, it would go `wap, wap, wap.”‘ Cityhood, which voters overwhelmingly approved in California’s largest-ever incorporation drive, so far has brought 18 parks; preserved 3,300acres of wilderness; added 32miles of trails; increased law enforcement; and built roadways, a library, a healthy business base, a lively Town Center retail district and artfully landscaped highway medians. That doesn’t mean there haven’t been bumps along the way. Criticism came early when City Hall invited hairdressers across Santa Clarita to lunch to talk about their customers’ concerns – a play on the iconic advertising slogan “Only her hairdresser knows for sure.” SANTA CLARITA – As hundreds left the recent State of the City gala celebrating Santa Clarita’s 20th anniversary, they found carwash ads stuck on their windshields. Twenty-one years ago, that would have been legal. Among the ordinances passed during the city’s first two decades is one banning commercial advertising on windshields. Another prohibits the county animal shelter from selling for research the strays picked up within city limits. Established Dec. 15, 1987, Santa Clarita was teased early on for its quirky ways, but community leaders beam with pride these days as they tout the city’s accomplishments. last_img

LYIT HURLERS DEFEAT COLERAINE TO LAND SEMI-FINAL CLASH WITH MAGEE

first_imgLyit hurlers defeated university of Ulster Coleraine Monday night in Coleraine 2.15 to 2.14 in the quarter final of Championship.Lyit depleted by sickness and injuries started slowly and after 10 minutes were down 1.03 to a point.From then on Lyit began to get control of midfield as Conor Harkin (Burt) David Whyte (Mac Cumhaills) took over. Great scores from Sean McVeigh(St Eunan’s) and Conor Canty (Mayo) brought Lyit back into the game and approaching half time Lyit had created a six point lead only for Coleraine to score a goal right on half time to cut their deficit to three points.Coleraine started well in the second half cutting lyit lead to a single point. Lyit began to tire as Coleraine threw in fresh legs.Lyit then lost their Centre back to a second yellow card but this revitalized the Letterkenny lads. Lyit fought for every ball. The full and half back line won ball after ball with Bernard McMenamin (Mac Cumhaills) and Mark Diver (Carndonagh) prominent.Brilliant scores from mc Veigh and Canty kept Lyit in the lead. Coleraine battled gamely throughout but desperate last ditch tackling from the full back line prevented them from scoring the goal they required. Lyit now play university of Ulster Magee in the Semifinal details to be confirmed.  LYIT HURLERS DEFEAT COLERAINE TO LAND SEMI-FINAL CLASH WITH MAGEE was last modified: February 16th, 2016 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more