18-22% Increase in Property Values Projected With Open Space District
At the May Board of Directors meeting of the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce, the board unanimously approved a resolution of support for the Open Space Preservation District Initiative. Initiative Chair, Laurene Weste provided the organization’s leadership with an overview of the proposal. By in large, this effort would authorize the City of Santa Clarita to buy undeveloped land within the Santa Clarita
Valley to protect it so it could never be developed; in addition, the monies could be used to buy other land in the greenbelt around the city of Santa Clarita. The open space district would provide many long-term benefits to the citizens who currently reside in theSanta Clarita Valley-just to name a few, it will limit growth in our valley which will reduce crime, traffic and congestion; it would also preserve the valleys hillsides, create cleaner air and build on an already nationally recognized quality of life. Perhaps the most important benefit of the district-it will increase property values. That’s right-other cites who have incorporated similar districts have seen their property values increase between 18-22%-WOW, what a great incentive to support the proposal.
For only $25.00 per year per household, the citizens of Santa Clarita can protect and increase their property values while ensuring their (and their children) a high quality of life for generations to come. One of the features that the board of directors appreciated with this initiative is the “hard cap on annual contribution”. By law, the yearly assessment charged residential and business owners cannot be raised by more than $1.00 per year (maybe our state and federal legislators should take notice). The board was also appreciative of the fact that the district would terminate after 30 years.
The Open Space District also has strong accountability features built into the law. A citizens’ committee will provide oversight to the spending that occurs in the district. By law, spending must be audited every year by an independent accountant. Finally, all district funds are restricted-they cannot be used for any other purpose.
By now, you have probably received your ballot for the Open Space Initiative. You have until July 10, 2007 to respond. The Board of Directors of the Chamber (A member organization now representing just under 1800 business entities) strongly encourages you to support the creation of the Open Space Preservation District by marking YES on your ballot. For further information on the issue, you may go to SCVSaveOpenSpace.org.