Proposed assessments would bring smaller developers in line with larger project developers.
Los Angeles County Supervisors started the process of financing the expansion of the sheriff’s station in Valencia as well as raising funds for at least one new station in the Newhall Ranch area and possibly one on the east side in Canyon Country.
A public hearing is set for June 24 to discuss the fees, which will be levied against developers in five different zones of unincorporated Los Angeles County. The Newhall zone will serve Castaic, Val Verde and the Newhall Ranch development; the Santa Clarita zone, which includes the current station, will serve the Tesoro del Valle area, San Francisquito Canyon and the east side corridor along the 14, including Fair Oaks Ranch.
“There are things that have a collective impact on the community and for those, we collect fees – things like road, bridges, fire stations, libraries,” explained Paul Novak of Supervisor Mike Antonovich’s office. “This would make it equal for all developers to provide financing for the much-needed sheriff’s stations.”
A study by MuniFinancial proposes a fee of $467 per single family unit and $337 for each multi-family unit in the Santa Clarita zone and $863/$652 in the Newhall zone. Commercial rates would vary from $35 to $69 per 1,000 square feet for industrial, office or commercial projects in the Santa Clarita zone; in the Newhall zone, rates would range from $64 to $129.
The study also projected a 41 percent growth in population in the area by 2025.
Developers with project within Santa Clarita’s city limits are already being assessed these fees.
“Right now, the fee doesn’t exist in the county,” Novak said. “Some of the bigger developers are already being required to provide for the construction of a new station, so this will bring smaller developers into line with their obligations as they have projects in unincorporated county land. The city of Santa Clarita adopted this fee a few months ago.”
The funding, which is considered “bricks and mortar money” provides only for the construction of the stations and does not cover staffing or equipment costs. Assessments in Gorman, Palmdale and Lancaster will also be discussed at the June 24 meeting.