Photo by Josh Premako
The Santa Clarita Valley Committee on Aging, which oversees operations for the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center, is working with city and county officials for a new site for the center.
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While a new Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center location is still likely at least several years out, two sites in particular are being evaluated based on the center’s needs, officials said Friday.
“A site has not been selected,” said Rachelle Dardeau, executive director for the SCV Senior Center. But the center has identified two potential sites that fit most of the center’s needs, based on a lengthy needs analysis that began about 18 months ago.
Senior Center officials would like to be in a new center within about five years, Dardeau said.
One possible location for the center could be in the vicinity of the northeast corner of Newhall Ranch Road and Golden Valley Road, in an as yet undeveloped plot where the future connection of Golden Valley Road would go out to Plum Canyon, according to an official with the city’s planning office.
“Our needs assessment identified that as a central location in the Santa Clarita Valley,” Dardeau said. “We’re testing the lot — ‘Would it be appropriate for our parking needs, would it be appropriate for the size of the building we need,’” she said, discussing some of the aspects that are still being examined.
The land is part of a 23-acre lot, which is owned by Brookfield Homes, near the 499-home Keystone development approved by city officials in 2006.
“Five acres were originally approved for a future YMCA, and the remainder was originally considered by the (William S. Hart Union High School District) for a school site,” said Patrick Leclair, an associate city planner for Santa Clarita.
“And since (district officials) have opted not to use it as a school site, the developer is looking at what might be used for that 18 acres,” Leclair said.
The land has not yet been brought to the city for entitlements, and the Planning Commission has yet to weigh in on the project, he added.
But officials have had talks with the developer as far as what the next step might be in order to develop the land for such a purpose, Leclair said.
Three spots were originally part of the evaluation process, Dardeau said.
A needs assessment undertaken in 2013 led Senior Center officials to quickly rule out their current location as a possible site for a new center due to the facility’s inability to expand.
A third location, in north Valencia near the intersection of Decoro Drive and McBean Parkway has also been discussed; however, the preferred site seems to be the location off Golden Valley Road, according to a city official with knowledge of the situation.
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The needs assessment conducted by the county revealed important demographic information that’s helped Committee on Aging officials find a new spot, officials said.
“The data reveal that propensity to live in the city increases with age,” according to the report. “As of 2010, residents 85 years or older were far more likely to live in the city (82 percent) compared to residents 40 to 44 years (58.3 percent).”
As of 2010, the share of the valley’s senior population (73,634 residents) living within the city (49,806 residents) was 68 percent, according to a Senior Center report. The percentage of “pre-seniors/caregivers” living in the city was 59 percent.
The development of a new center still has quite a bit of planning to undergo, Dardeau said, when asked if one site was preferred.
Officials are trying to determine if the new sites would be able to accommodate 30,000 square feet (the projected need, versus the current facility’s 10,877 feet. There is also a need for approximately 172 parking spaces, according to the needs assessment.
“There are a whole bunch of things that have to fall into place to make (a new center) happen,” Dardeau said, adding city and county officials have been very helpful in working to make that goal a reality.
The current Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center is located within William S. Hart Park, operated by Los Angeles County and located within the city of Santa Clarita.
The facility was constructed as a church in the late 1960s, and has operated as the Senior Center since 1983.
A 2013 review of the existing center found “that all of these facilities are aging, need major renovation, and upgrading to meet current building and public facility codes,” according to the assessment. “Further, it is clear that these facilities currently require substantial subsidies to maintain at the current level due to the age and condition of the structures.”
Source: Santa Clarita News