City of Santa Clarita 2020 Accomplishments

by | Mar 30, 2021 | Community

Santa Clarita 2020 (SC2020) was originally created in 2015 as a five year strategic plan to guide the City’s major work efforts so that we could best prioritize resources, achieve milestones and maintain our unwavering commitment to offering the best services and facilities for Santa Clarita residents today and into the future.

Now in 2021, SC2020 has been completed, drastically changing not only the look of the community with some of the City’s most expensive projects coming online this year, but also improvements in the way the City provides services through enhanced programs and events.

Identify funding for new Sheriff’s Station and commence construction by 2020.
This brand new, state of the art, Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Station is a joint effort between the City of Santa Clarita and the County of Los Angeles. The project will include a brand new 46,552 sq ft main building and a 41,165 sq ft. vehicle maintenance facility to replace the existing Sheriff Station on Valencia Blvd that was built and opened in 1972.

Work with L.A. County Fire Department to build Fire Station 104 (Golden Valley Road).
The brand new Fire Station 104 was approved by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on November 21, 2017. This 11,000 sq ft facility is located at 26901 and cost approximately $8 million. Fire Station 104 was officially opened in 2020.

Develop a comprehensive, multi-faceted crime reduction strategy that both prevents and combats crime and maintains the City’s “safest city” designation.
In 2015, command staff at the Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Station and leadership at the City established a strategy of analyzing crime trends and developing proactive crime-specific operations. This strategy led to significant reductions in crime trends with the City achieving record-low crime rates in 2019 and 2020, maintaining the community’s “safest city” designation from multiple independent studies across the nation.

Grow teen anti-drug programs such as the Drug Free Youth in Town (DFYIT) program to ensure a proactive approach to drug use and prevention.
Each year the DFY in SCV program has expanded the number of students and parents engaged through this educational prevention effort. This programming involves on campus and virtual events with a wide-spread curriculum to encourage healthy choices and educate participants on the consequences of drug use.
Total participation has increased significantly each year since the beginning of SC2020 from 8,987 total participants in 2015 to 27,000 participants in 2020.

Complete Master Plan, build, and program the Canyon Country Community Center and adjacent land.
T he new Canyon Country Community Center is being built on a city-owned eight-acre site located on the northeast corner of Soledad Canyon Road and Sierra Highway in Canyon Country. This endeavor required the acquisition of five parcels, ten business relocations and the removal of two billboards.
The future Canyon Country Community Center building will be approx. 25,000 square feet and includes the following: Gymnasium, Computer Technology, Arts and crafts, Community and fitness rooms, Open turf play area, Flexible outdoor spaces for events, Play area, walkways and landscaping,Demonstration kitchen .

Work with the Senior Center to support the construction of the new Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center.
The new 30,000 sq ft senior center, Bella Vida, opened in April 2019. This project was a joint venture between the City, Los Angeles County and the Santa Clarita Valley Committee on Aging. Serving more than 10,000 seniors, the new building includes expanded office space, a large banquet hall, a variety of rooms for activities and a commercial kitchen to support their expansive meal program.

Using the City’s Pavement Management System, establish a five-year list of priority streets in need of repairs and funding strategy to ensure high-quality roadways.
From 2015-2019, the City treated nearly 400 total lane miles as part of the annual Overlay and Slurry Seal Program to improve the condition and protect the longevity of roadways in the community.

Develop Open Space Recreational Access to Gateway Ranch and the Taylor Property. Trailhead improvements have been completed improving access on the Gateway Ranch Trailhead at Newhall Pass Open Space and Taylor Trailhead at Rivendale Open Space Park. Amenities for both sites include parking lots, information kiosks, gates, benches, picnic tables, fencing and signage.
Gateway Trailhead and new trails connect to Wildwood Canyon Open Space and MacHaddad Trailhead in Newhall Pass Open Space. The Taylor trailhead and new trails connect to Rivendale, Towsley, and Lyons Ranch properties. Want to learn more about the 11,000 acres of open space surrounding the City? Visit Hike Santa Clarita.

Complete construction of the remaining portions of the Sand Canyon Trail.
Construction of the Sand Canyon Trail has been divided into six phases, the status of each phase is as follows:
Sand Canyon Trail
Phase I – Valley Ranch to Sky Ranch – complete.
Phase II – Road Runner to Valley Ranch – complete.
Phase III – Lost Canyon to Road Runner – complete.
Phase IV – Sky Ranch to Mill Meadow – complete.
Phase V – Mill Meadow to Fire Station 123 – Design complete,
construction is projected to begin in FY 21/22.
Phase VI – Fire Station 123 to Placerita Canyon Road –
Construction in progress.

Construct and complete the Golden Valley Bridge.
The project was built in conjunction with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). The scope of project included the widening Golden Valley Road Bridge over SR-14 from a two-lane bridge to a four-lane divided roadway, which incorporated a wider sidewalk and a Class I bike path, on and off-ramp improvements, new bridge railing, landscape improvements, signing and striping, and signal modifications. The project was completed September 2016.
Work with community partners to address the homeless issue and provide strategies for access to services and  enforcement of laws.
In 2017, shortly after the passing of Measure H in Los Angeles County, the City Council formed an Ad Hoc Committee on Homeless Issues, comprised of Councilmember Smyth and Councilwoman McLean. Shortly after that formation, the City developed a Community Plan to Address Homelessness and launched the Community Task Force on Homelessness in 2018, comprised of more than 30 local stakeholders. In addition to these developments, the City Council donated two parcels of property to Bridge to Home for the future development of a permanent homeless shelter, which is anticipated to begin construction in 2021.
The City Council also recently donated property to Family Promise of Santa Clarita Valley in 2020 for the future development of permanent office space and affordable housing for homeless families. A preliminaryrendering is shown in the photo.

Complete environmental and design of  Newhall Ranch Road Bridge widening.
The Newhall Ranch Road Bridge was completed in conjunction with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and County of Los Angeles. The project widened the bridge by two additional travel lanes. Additionally, the project features new bike paths on the bridge, a new raised median on Newhall Ranch Road stretching from McBean Pkwy to Ave Tibbitts, sidewalks and a paved trail under the bridge. The project was completed in February 2019.

Monitor clean-up of Whittaker-Bermite.
Several items were accomplished in support of this action item, including:
• Quarterly Multi-Jurisdictional Task Force meetings were held throughout the duration of the plan.
• Internal staff meetings were held bi-monthly throughout the  duration of the plan.
• The soil remediation clean-up was completed in July of 2019.
• Approximately 2 million cubic yards of soil was treated onsite from 2006 through 2020.

Create a partnership and funding strategy for the development of the City-owned block in Old Town Newhall, including parking.
Several items were accomplished in support of this action item, including:
• The 372-space parking structure in Newhall opened to the public  in May of 2018.
• The mixed-use Newhall Crossings development was completed  in 2020, and residential and commercial tenants have begun to occupy the space.
• The Laemmle Theatre has completed construction, and will open as soon as Los Angeles County Public Health allows movie theaters  to open to the public.

Attract large scale events to the City to promote tourism.
Several large-scale events that made significant impacts on the local economy during the last five years included:
• Amgen Tour of California 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019
• Wings for Life World Run 2015, 2017, 2019
• Tough Mudder 2017, 2019
• Spartan Race 2017
• Bear Grylls Survival Challenge 2018
Additional larger events held during the life of the plan include: The Belgians are Coming Beerfest & Spiegeltent, NAIA Baseball National Championships, Triple Crown Sports Fast Pitch Softball, Mia Hamm Team First Soccer Clinic, Valencia Jazz & Blues Festival, the Tahitian Dance Competition, California Youth Chess League Southern California State Championship, Sierra Pelona Wine Festival, the Western State Conference Swimming Championships, Boots and Brews, MLK Hockey Tournament, USA Ultimate, and more.

Work with the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) to attract jobs from our industry clusters.
The partnership with the EDC to attract new jobs included the implementation of marketing campaigns and holding meetings with prospective businesses to tout Santa Clarita as an ideal location.
Some new businesses that either expanded in or located to Santa Clarita over the life of the plan include Adept Fasteners, AirBolt, MS Aerospace, Scorpion, Santa Clarita Studios, Global Aerospace & Defense, Movo Cash Tech, Forrest Machining, California Resources Corporation, Valencia Pipe, Needham Ranch, Santa Clarita Studios, Triscenic Studios, Richard Photo, Illumination Dynamics at Needham Ranch, and Amazon at Needham Ranch.

Determine the effectiveness of the Business Incubator Program with the goal of expanding.
The following businesses have participated in the Business Incubator Program: Nuhubit, Outlyer Virtual Reality/AdVRtas, Your Village, Inc., Rangle Rangle News, Gapless Solutions, Newhall Media Corp, 3D-SensIR, ThinkQuarium Entertainment. and Celitech.

Acquire more open space and connect the trail systems in the Newhall Pass.
In 2017, the City partnered with Trust for Public Land and the Wildlife Conservation Board to acquire the Valley Vista property, 241 +/- acres connecting the Gateway Ranch property to the Needham Ranch property, which is now collectively the Newhall Pass open space.
In 2019, the City accepted the donation of 54.9 +/- acres of the entitled Needham Ranch Project Phase 3. As a result of the donation, development will not occur on the property and is now used for the purpose of open space. This property is continuous to the Newhall Pass open space.
In 2020, the City accepted a donation of 10 +/- acres of open space to add to the Newhall Pass open space.
Want to learn more about the 11,000 acres of open space surrounding the City? Visit Hike Santa Clarita.

Work with the EDC to provide recommendations and strategies on how to ensure high-speed internet access to business parks.
In June 2019, the City came to terms to connect the City’s Fiber Optic Network (FON) to Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA), thereby opening the Santa Clarita marketplace to potential new ISPs that can utilize the City’s FON to reach business customers.
In January 2020, the connection to DTLA was installed and the City’s internal staff network was transitioned to it, saving the City 80 percent in its ongoing Internet costs and increasing its bandwidth tenfold.
City Staff also worked with at least three local developers to design, plan, and build the “last mile” fiber infrastructure necessary to connect their business parks and buildings to the City’s FON.
In Fall 2020, the City Council approved the creation of the “Connected City Program” municipal code to educate and require all new private development in Santa Clarita to include infrastructure suitable to connect to the City’s FON and adopted a Dig Once Policy to better coordinate with local utilities.

Annex Plum Canyon, Gateway Ranch Open Space, and Taylor property.
The Plum Canyon Annexation was complete in November 2018, adding 3,118 acres to the City. This included the Plum Canyon, Skyline Ranch, and North Sand Canyon communities. At build out, approximately 12,000 residents would be added to the City.
The Taylor Open Space Property Annexation is on hold.
The Gateway Ranch Open Space has been placed on hold pending LA County’s acceptance of responsibility for maintenance work needed on The Old Road.

Evaluate and determine interest for annexations of  West Creek/West Hills, Tesoro, Skyline Ranch.
The West Creek/West Hills Annexation was complete in November 2016, adding 1,018 acres to the City. At build out, approximately 7,300 residents would be added to Santa Clarita.
Significant work has been done on the 1,786 acre Tesoro Annexation, but it is on hold pending the resolution of the request for a Community Facilities District by the developer of the Tesoro Highlands project.
The Skyline Ranch Annexation was complete in November 2018, adding 1,925 acres to the City.
The Eastern Open Space Annexation (including Spring and Tick Canyon developments) is on hold pending the resolution of CEMEX mining operation issues.

Identify and acquire additional open space to complete  the greenbelt surrounding the City and infill around existing open space and parks.
Between 2016 and 2017 151 +/- acres were added to Golden Valley Ranch Open Space, which is in the south/east region of the greenbelt.
In 2018, the City acquired 176 +/- acres of open space in the northern region of the greenbelt. A portion of the property that is in the San Francisquito Canyon riverbed is designated a Significant Ecological Area (SEA) by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The California Natural Resources Agency approved grant funding for the acquisition of Borax/ Mather’s Mine property, 400 +/- acres, in the north/east region of the green belt. Property acquisition is in progress.
The City is currently in escrow to acquire 102 +/- acres of open space in the eastern greenbelt. The property is part of the Conservation Area Protection Plan, which recognized this wildlife corridor as a critical missing link in the Angeles National Forest.

Enhance water quality in the Santa Clara River  by implementing the Stormwater Enhanced Watershed Management Plan.
Through several years of design concepts and collaboration with designers, engineers, geologists and Los Angeles County, the concept of a stormwater infiltration facility became a design element of the C4 project in March 2016.
In 2018, Environmental Services staff applied for grant funding to help pay for the facility. Staff was approved for the grant in 2019 and acquired over $1 million in early 2020. Newly acquired Los Angeles County Measure W funds are being used to pay for the remaining costs.
In 2019, CIP staff completed installation of the stormwater infiltration facility at C4.
The project moves up to 7.5 acre-feet of polluted stormwater into the water quality treatment facility and infiltrates the treated water into local groundwater supplies.
This project moved the City towards the first milestone of 41 acre-feet of infiltration capacity in 2020.

Continue efforts to support the CEMEX legislation and the prevention of the Soledad Canyon mine.
Staff continues to monitor developments and work with federal agencies and officials in an effort to prevent large-scale mining in Soledad Canyon.
In March 2018, language was secured within the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 (H.R. 1625 – 115th Congress P.L. 115-141) withdrawing Soledad Canyon from further mineral entry, subject to valid existing rights.
Staff received clarification from the Department of the Interior in March 2019, that upheld that the contracts between the Bureau of Land Management and CEMEX would expire in July 2020.
On April 24, 2020, staff was notified that the Department of the Interior demanded payment of past due fees from CEMEX.
As of August 1, 2020, no active mining contracts exist for Soledad Canyon.

Work with the community and the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) to ensure an acceptable alignment for High Speed Rail.
Staff monitored EIS/EIR process, leading up to the release of the draft EIS/EIR, anticipated to be released by January 2021.
On May 12, 2020, staff held a High-Speed Transportation Ad-Hoc Committee meeting to discuss CHSRA changes to the Palmdale to Burbank segment and reinforce the City’s position to only support a fully underground route between Palmdale and Burbank.
Staff has consistently met with CHSRA and Federal Railroad Administration officials to communicate the City’s preferred alignment.

Increase the General Fund operating reserve to 20 percent.
Operating reserve of 20 percent was met with adoption of FY 2016-2017 budget and has been maintained.
The City Council adopted the Fiscal Year 2020-2021 Budget on June 23, 2020, inclusive of a 20 percent reserve.

Develop a comprehensive traffic enforcement plan that aims to reduce the number of traffic related accidents and deaths, and encourage safe driving practices.
In 2016, after discovering an upward trend in collisions throughout the community, the City partnered with the local Sheriff’s Station to form the Traffic Safety Team. This team developed a comprehensive Traffic Safety Plan aimed at reducing collisions, by focusing on enforcement, engineering and education.
Since implementation of this plan, traffic collisions are down 32% to a record low. This initiative has been very successful, winning awards and accolades from many professional organizations throughout the State.

Invest in technological resources to improve the operations of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station and increase the quality of service provided to the community.
In the last five years, the City has assisted our local Sheriff’s Station by purchasing technological enhancements to increase efficiency in their operations. Among others, this has included:
• A new 3D scanner to reduce the amount of time and personnel needed to investigate crime/traffic scenes
• Automatic License Plate Readers (ALPR) on mobile trailers, patrol cars and Metrolink stations to assist with recovery of stolen vehicles.
• Electronic ticket writers for motor deputies to increase productivity in the field and reduce errors from hand written citations.
• The Community Ring Doorbell Programs to assist residents with purchasing subsidized surveillance technology to decrease property crimes.

Seek grant funding to implement alternative fuel stations throughout the community to meet growing demand.
Funds from a grant and a 50% match from the city in 2016 allowed staff to build the City’s first public Electric Vehicle (EV) charging station in February 2018 at the Soledad Metrolink Station. Since installation, the fast-fill station has supported 38,770 electric vehicle miles, which is equivalent to the greenhouse gas reduction of planting 231 trees.
In 2018, under a second grant and through coordination with a FivePoint mitigation project, which also required a 50% match, nine level 2 charging stations were installed throughout the City. Installation was completed in June 2019.
Since installation, there have been over 6,000 uses of the 10 City-owned charging stations with an average charging time of 1 hour and 40 minutes, which has helped reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 11,500 kg.

Complete the Arts Master Plan and begin implementation.
The Arts Master Plan was developed and adopted in 2016 to create a new, long-term road map for cultural development throughout the community. The plan addresses several areas of specific interest: public art, arts funding, the Newhall Arts District, arts facilities and the creative economy. To date, 16 of the 41 recommendations identified in the Arts Master Plan have been completed, and an additional nine recommendations are currently being worked on by the Arts Commission and staff.

Develop a Next Generation Strategy for the City’s traffic signal system that would prepare the City for future
changes such as connected vehicles.
As the City continues to see growth in the number of residents, tourist, employers, and thus, the number of vehicles on the road; City staff have worked to identify new strategies and technologies that will enhance the City’s traffic signal system to actively manage traffic demands. To ensure that the City traffic system is compatible with connected vehicles /autonomous vehicle (CV/AV) technologies, existing traffic controllers have been replaced with next generation traffic signal controllers.
The new controller technology contains the framework necessary to install advanced equipment and produces traffic signal performance measures, which allows City staff to better asses intersection and coordination signal timing. These efforts position the City for taking the next steps in enhancing the traffic signal system to enhance safety and efficiency on the road, and promote more sustainable driving practices.

Attract filming to the City, and ensure the City’s policies and incentives are effective.
Throughout the duration of the plan, 2,437 film permits were issued, resulting in 6,106 film days. The community benefitted from an estimated economic impact of $147,367,500, with $2,304,922 in direct revenue generated as a result of film permits.

Complete the corridor and median beautification program.
Completed approximately nine miles of new and refurbished landscaped medians thoroughfares, including installation of new water efficient irrigation systems, the construction of remaining median landscaped improvements, inclusive of removal of turf, upgrade of antiquated irrigation systems, and installation of water efficient plants.
Significant project areas include:
• Valencia Boulevard (1.75 miles)
• Magic Mountain Parkway (2.25 miles)
• Orchard Village Road (1.3 miles)
• Newhall Ranch Road (1.3 miles)
• Railroad Avenue (1 mile)
• Via Princessa (.85 miles)
• Soledad Canyon (.5 miles)

Administer a robust Graffiti Removal Program with the goal of removing all reported graffiti within 24 hours, as well as prevention and enforcement components.
Over the life of the plan there were:
• 71,184 graffiti removals
• 1,729 beautifications
• 9,260 RSC and Hotline requests
• Over 99% of all graffiti in the public right-of-way was removed within 24 hours of it being reported for the duration of the plan.
• Conducted 66 outreach presentations to deter graffiti vandalism.
• Purchased new surveillance cameras for graffiti detection.

Develop a plan to proactively address the State required
increase in solid-waste diversion to 75 percent.
Staff developed a comprehensive plan in 2015 to reduce the amount of disposed material being taken to the landfills.
Since implementation of the plan:
• 3,340 recycling baskets have been distributed to 31 multi-family complexes.
• Two “Lunch and Learn” presentations were held for multi-family complexes and one was held at Princess Cruises, the largest employer in Santa Clarita, to discuss recycling.
• 10.6 percent more material tonnage has been diverted from the landfill in 2019 compared to 2016.
• Staff visited 96 businesses in-person to discuss organics recycling.
• 66 businesses currently have organic waste recycling subscriptions.

Develop a sidewalk monitoring and maintenance plan, and funding strategy to ensure safe paths of travel along City  sidewalks and access ramps.
In 2017, the City completed the development of a sidewalk maintenance plan and subsequently completed more than 3,500 sidewalk and ramp repairs.
The City was also successful in inspecting all sidewalks within one year and updating the backlog. During SC2020 and as a result of this new plan, staff eliminated an eight year backlog of over 2,000 locations.

Identify and develop a schedule for the maintenance and/or  replacement of Transit customer amenities.
The featured photo portrays the new digital monitors that were installed throughout the City at bus stops. The signs display real time arrival for an enhanced rider experience.
The City’s Transit Division completed the following actions as part of SC2020:
• Surveyed and photographed 675 bus stops in order to identify and develop a maintenance schedule for bus stop amenities
• Collaborated with Technology Services and developed a Transit Bus Stop app where all amenities at bus stops are logged and maintained
• Completed a comprehensive plan to implement a maintenance/ replacement schedule for bus stop amenities
• As part of the plan, enhanced a total of 68 bus stop amenities which included: new bus shelters, trash receptacles, and benches. In addition, all previously used bus stop furniture was refurbished and stored in spare inventory for use of future enhancements

Annually review the City’s Legislative Platform to further the interests of the City and employ an active advocacy program.
On October 1, 2018, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao presented a check for $47 million to support the I-5 Golden State Chokepoint Relief Program. The City worked with Representative Steve Knight, Supervisor Kathryn Barger, Senator Henry Stern, U.S. Department of Transportation, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and community stakeholders to advocate and secure this critical federal grant funding.
With the goal of reducing congestion along the I-5, the project will construct a new southbound truck lane between Pico Canyon and SR-14, a northbound truck lane between SR-14 and Calgrove Blvd. and extend the HOV lanes in both directions from the SR-14/I-5 interchange to Parker Road in Castaic.
Pictured Left: (l-r): Mayor Bill Miranda, Secretary Chao, Former Representative Knight, Supervisor Barger, Councilwoman Weste, State Senator Stern, and Councilwoman McLean.

Conduct more staff training on the City’s Public Engagement Plan to ensure that staff is informing and educating the public with timely and relevant information, and providing a variety of communication tools and formats for civic engagement.
Staff has continued outreach via various communication channels to our residents regarding civic engagement tools and formants such as our Resident Service Center, public community meetings and City Council meetings.
Since 2016, followers on the City’s Facebook page increased by over 95% to 31,350 followers.
Since 2016, followers on the City’s Twitter page increased by over 45% to 42,488 followers.
Since 2016, followers on the City’s Instagram page increase by over 275% to 21,800 followers.

Evaluate the City’s street lighting operations for potential cost savings including energy, and potential City ownership/operation.
Acquired and converted 16,552 streetlights from Southern California Edison (SCE) to Light-emitting Diode (LED) fixtures.
Realized $1.9 million in reduced annual SCE operational costs.
Secured $2.0 million in Southern California Edison LED Rebates.
Reduced overall energy consumption and carbon emissions. Improved lighting quality and reliability.
Significantly reduced response times to resolve outages and replace damaged poles.

 

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