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Consultant Hired For Historical Preservation Project

More complete list of historic properties sought.

Tuesday night, the Santa Clarita City Council approved a motion to award a contract to Historic Resources Group, who will study the historical relevance of old properties in Santa Clarita.

$42,550 will be paid to Historical Resources Group, and in return, they will conduct a records search of properties, take a historic survey of properties and draft a historic preservation ordinance.

Several speakers expressed their support for the motion, although they asked for an on-site survey to accompany the records search, as some aspects of structures in Santa Clarita may tell more of the building’s historical relevance than antiquated and disorganized County records.

The Santa Clarita Historical Society also requested that the the hired firm work with them, in order to make use of the subject insight they have garnered over the years.

Council member Laurene Weste agreed with the speakers. 

“They are hands on with the history, and they’ve got more data than anyone,” she said.  

“The proposed contractor will consult with all of the stakeholders,” said Ken Pulskamp, eluding to the notion that the Historical Society will be a part of the study.

The hiring of the consultant follows the City Council’s earlier passage of a temporary historical preservation ordinance,
which will place oversight over a select list of properties deemed historic by two peripheral studies.

This consultant has been hired to prepare a more accurate list of structures, and hopes to lay the groundwork for a permanent historical preservation ordinance. 

In other Council news, members addressed the pros and cons of creating an Arts Commission. Currently the City takes advice from an Arts Advisory Committee, which serves as a recommending body.

ImageCity staff recommended that they be given more time and direction to fully analyze each scenario, in order for the the Council to make a more informed decision.

Some members of the public came out to voice their support for either establishing an Arts Commission or expanding the responsibility of the current Arts Advisory  Committee. 

“The sooner the better,” said former Councilman and current Executive Director of the Canyon Theatre Guild TimBen Boydston.

“Our research show us that our gifted children, our at risk children, our special needs children…they all benefit from the arts,” said Judy Umeck, Board Member for the Saugus Union School District. Umeck stood alongside fellow Saugus Board Member Paul De La Cerda in asking for the Council’s formation of an Arts Commission.

The basic idea behind the formation of an Arts Commission, will be that the members will have a greater responsibility, and that they will help to create new strategic plans for prioritizing art projects throughout the City.

City Attorney Carl Newton said that the Santa Clarita, as a General Law city, can create a new commission, however they cannot assign independent legislative power to those commissions. Essentially, the new commission can be given more responsibility, but they must remain advisory by law. Law provides for only the Planning Commission to make decisions independent of the City Council.

Mayor Bob Kellar explained that he is not seeking more decision-making capability, but does want the Commission to be formed so that it plays a larger role in arts planning.

Council members Frank Ferry and Laurie Ender pushed to examine the financial commitments that such a change would create, and they also would like to see what preliminary plans the Arts Commission has in mind.  

The Council voted unanimously to direct City staff to conduct the research into the formation of the Commission, and report back.

More Council Action:

A no-stopping section was established along over 1,000 feet of Sierra Highway just south of Newhall Avenue (formerly San Fernando Rd.) The removed parking zones will allow for the space needed for the City to install a new northbound left turn lane at the intersection.

Additionally, parking zones will be re-established along the south side of La Glorita Circle, adjacent to Wiley Canyon Elementary.

The City also renewed two rewards for information leading to the arrests of suspects in two unsolved Santa Clarita murder investigations. $10,000 each will be set aside, to be rewarded to the individual(s) who provide information that results in the arrests for the separate murders of Bryan Miranda
and Anthony Lombardi.

Consultant Hired For Historical Preservation Project

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