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Annexation backers gathering signatures

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake Signatures of 60 percent of the homeowners are needed before the City Council will consider initiating fiscal studies to determine whether annexing the areas makes financial sense for the city. Annexation proponents believe residents would get better police protection, public works services and park recreation programs if the neighborhoods are brought within city limits, rather than being served by Los Angeles County government. Businesses – including tenants at the Valencia Commerce Center, another annexation target – could save thousands without the county’s 5 percent utility tax, proponents say. “It’s just to receive better local services, to have local representation,” Roney said. “It’s really a grass-roots effort.” County officials have argued that they have maintained services in the unincorporated areas, such as assigning additional sheriff’s deputies this year. CASTAIC – A petition drive to convince Santa Clarita officials to annex three Castaic subdivisions is 160 signatures short of the number required for officials to intervene, the campaign’s organizer said Thursday. Brian Roney of the Hasley Hills Homeowners Association said he is optimistic his group will make the goal early next year. “More people have come out of the woodwork to join the committee for the final push, and we expect to do that after the holidays,” he said. “That’s how they work. The community has to go to the council.” Roney has been circulating the petition since March and said he has collected more than 700 signatures from homeowners in the Hasley Hills, Live Oak and North Bluffs tracts, which contain more than 1,400 homes. County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, whose 5th District includes Castaic, has said he does not want Santa Clarita city limits stretching west of Interstate 5. He opposed the annexation of the Commerce Center, a large industrial park northwest of the junction of Interstate 5 and state Route 126. “There’s still some interest from several of the business owners,” said Kai Luoma, a city planner. “But we’re waiting for the Hasley Hills, Live Oak and North Bluff residents. We want to keep our options open, whether we want them to be separate annexations or we want them to be one annexation.” Commercial centers, as tax revenue generators, are appealing annexation targets and could sweeten any residential annexation proposals. “Most likely, the commercial activity in annexation will offset the costs of providing services to residents coming in,” Luoma said. City officials have maintained that they do not pursue annexations – they only respond to requests by residents. When Roney detailed his effort at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Council members Frank Ferry and Cameron Smyth said they would be interested in meeting with Castaic residents considering annexation. “They’re interested in promoting the city and telling unincorporated areas what they have to offer,” Roney said. “It’s up to (homeowners) to sign the card or not to tell the city whether they’re interested.” If the required signatures are collected, the petition will be reviewed by the City Council, whose members will decide whether to conduct the fiscal study. If city officials decide to proceed with annexation, the final decision lies with the Los Angeles County Local Agency Formation Commission. Meantime, the city is working on annexation of the Northpark, Stonecrest and California Canyon neighborhoods, a total of 2,800 homes east of the city, Luoma said. The proposal is expected to go before LAFCO in early February. Eugene Tong, (661) 257-5253 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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