The City of Santa Clarita’s plan to annex the Fair Oaks, Jakes Way and planned Vista Canyon communities began two years ago with developers working with both the City and Los Angeles County.
With public hearings in the near future, there is concern over the fact that the Jakes Way neighborhood is often regarded as the most crime-ridden area in the Santa Clarita Valley.
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In 2008, the neighborhood experienced 31 arrests for aggravated assault – a figure that’s been growing since 2003.
In the same year, there were also a large number of arrests for other crimes, including narcotics (34), burglary (19), vehicles/boating (26) and various misdemeanors (30).
According to Captain Paul Becker of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, the proposed annexation will only slightly affect the way his department patrols the area. “From a law enforcement perspective it’s six of one half dozen of the other. Really the only change we would be doing is traffic enforcement.”
As with any annexation the City makes, the Sheriff’s Station would then use a City car to patrol the newly acquired area, as opposed to a County vehicle.
Still, Becker welcomes any crime reduction programs the City has planned for the Jakes Way neighborhood.
“If the city wanted to institute some of the City programs in that area then they would have the controls to do that because its within their geographical boundaries.”
Becker added that the City has not yet proposed any programs for the area.
“Right now, I’m working on various programs that involved in the City and the County,” he said. “I’m of a firm belief that thing that occur in the County impact the City and things that occur in the City impact the County.”
“I have to look at this in a global sense.”
While the inclusion of Jakes Way may come as a shock to some, the area has always been part of the annexation talks.
According Glenn Adamick, JSB partner on the Vista Canyon Project, the formal development plans for the entire annexation were first submitted to the City in 2008.
These plans always included the Jakes Way community as well as Fair Oaks Ranch, Vista Canyon and scant parts of unincorporated Sand Canyon.
Surrounded on three sides by city-incorporated area, the proposed annexation is bordered by the Santa Clara River on the south, Sierra Highway on the west and Sand Canyon on the east.
“The Jakes Way area, Fair Oaks Ranch, those areas in Sand Canyon, and Vista Canyon are the hole in the donut,” said Adamick.
According to Adamick, JSB began working with the City when it acquired the Vista Canyon property in late 2005. Talk of the Fair Oaks, Jakes Way and Sand Canyon acquisitions followed suit.
The developer is spearheading the Vista Canyon project, which hopes to add 1,350 homes and 950,000 square feet of commercial/retail space into the City.
“At the time it made sense to just move forward with the City of Santa Clarita and these other properties in annexation,” Adamick said. “Our discussions with the County were good as well.”
After the annexation’s formal development plans were submitted to the City in 2008, City staff put them through a tech-review and an Environmental Impact Report.
That report, which is still being evaluated by the City and its consultant, is tentatively scheduled for its first public hearing this October.