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Valencia Town Center Expantion Valencia Mall Costco Patios Connection 2

Appeal Filed Against Westfield Valencia Town Center Expansion, Including Costco

An appeal has been filed for the Westfield Valencia Town Center expansion, requiring an additional public meeting by the Santa Clarita City Council, officials said Wednesday. 

The appeal, on behalf of the organization Santa Clarita Safe and Strong, was filed on Jan. 31 and noted the Valencia mall expansion could impact “traffic, noise, air quality, soil quality, groundwater quality, health and safety” in the area, according to Santa Clarita City Hall documents. 

The Project

On Jan. 21, the Santa Clarita Planning Commission approved the Patios Connection project, which includes a Costco, luxury cinema, gym and gas station, according to City documents. 

The expansion proposed for the Westfield Valencia Town Center would require demolishing the 128,558-square-foot building previously occupied by Sears and constructing a 153,930-square-foot Costco.

See Related: Public Hearing Set For Westfield Valencia Town Center Expansion, Including Costco

The Valencia mall expansion would also include a 30-pump automobile fuel sales use, a 34,185-square-foot health and fitness center, a 32,000-square-foot cinema, 7,434 square feet of retail/restaurant use and a 2,138-square-foot expansion of the existing Canyon music venue, according to City officials. 

Westfield Valencia Town Center Valencia Mall

“Westfield is proud of the Patios Connection project and appreciates the broad-based community support we’ve received.  We look forward to sharing our plans at the upcoming City Council meeting, and look forward to a robust conversation about the added community benefits of the project,” said John Musella, spokesperson for Westfield Valencia Town Center.

Musella noted the support of several business groups and over 100 residents speaking in favor of the project at the planning commission hearing. In addition, nearly 500 supporter cards, comment cards, emails and letters of support were received by the City.

“Over the last year, we’ve worked closely with local community groups and are proud of their public support of the Patios Connection project,” Musella said. 

The Appeal 

After the approval by the planning commission, there was a 15-day appeal period before construction could commence, according to Jason Crawford, marketing and economic development manager for the City. 

“There was an appeal filed listing several reasons,” Crawford said. “The appeal is going to be heard at a future City Council meeting.” 

The appeal was filed by Tal Finney on behalf of Santa Clarita Safe and Strong, an unincorporated association of residents of the City of Santa Clarita and the Valencia community, according to the document. 

“The group is comprised of residents that live in the neighborhood directly across from the proposed site,” Finney said. “Several of the members attended the recent Planning Commission hearing and felt that they were not heard and their concerns were not addressed.”

See Related: Westfield Valencia Town Center Costco, Luxury Cinema Details Outlined By Planning Commission

The legal challenge outlines several concerns on the environmental impact and alleges the initial studies did not comply with the California Environmental Quality Act, according to the appeal.

“For example, vehicles were routinely repaired in the Sears automotive center. This may have led to oil, antifreeze and other toxins and carcinogens being deposited into the soil,” the appeal reads. “These toxins may be disturbed during demolition, regrading of the soil and construction of the new facilities.”

Additionally, the proposed construction of a 30-pump Costco gasoline fueling station at the project site is expected to involve the insertion into the ground of gasoline storage tanks, according to the document. 

“These actions present significant public safety issues. None of these impacts is properly mitigated in the initial study,” the appeal alleges. 

Valencia Town Center Expantion Costco Patios Connection 1

The appeal further raises concerns on the additional need for parking, which Westfield has stated is adequate for the project. 

There are expected to be 275 additional spots on top of the proposed Costco, at the same level as the current Patios. 

On weekends during the peak holiday season, Thanksgiving to New Years, employees are also expected to park offsite — adding an estimated 300 spaces, according to Westfield. 

See Related: Westfield Valencia Mall Unveils Luxury Cinema, Second Costco Location

The Santa Clarita Unified Development Code requires 4,110 parking spaces at the subject property. The project site currently has 4,343 spaces, which is a 233-space surplus, according to the appeal.

However, the UDC requires five parking spaces for every 1,000 square feet of new commercial space, the document reads. 

This would require an additional 506 spaces for the project, bringing the total parking requirement for the subject property to 4,616 spaces — over 600 spaces less than the proposed 3,952, according to the appeal. 

The legal document also encourages the Santa Clarita City Council to have further environmental studies conducted before going back to the City for approval. 

The appeal is expected to be discussed at a future City Council meeting, not determined as of Wednesday. 

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Appeal Filed Against Westfield Valencia Town Center Expansion, Including Costco

24 comments

  1. Wonderful use of an existing space. Lots of jobs. Let us go forward with this great project.

    • Horrible use of an existing space. Such congestion right in the heart of our city! Valenica will be no longer a great place to live and play. It will be no different than the mix of retail and crime that plagues the Valley. We’re already on that path. I’ve watched the quality of life decline here over the last 30 years. And for the jobs…are you talking about those minimum wage jobs? The jobs that will be filled by people outside our community? People from Valencia can’t afford to live here on minimum wage.

  2. Great project, will benefit our community, can’t wait to see it completed.

  3. So by the logic of these idiots who appealed, no location formerly used as an automotive repair facility can ever be converted into something else because I guess somehow some old motor oil could have maybe somehow traveled through the layers of concrete and into the soil and if you disturb the soil the motor oil will do what now? I guess 1000 years from now that old Sears will just have to still be there. What a bunch of bone heads!

    • Not all people who actually care about our planet are idiots and boneheads. Some people care about our planet intuitively. Some care after personally witnessing destruction. And some care as a result of scientific research. Then there are people who live in their own little narcissistic reality. Those people don’t care at all. Funny that you can’t see the other negative environmental impacts that will be generated by the building of this 30 pump gas station.

  4. This appeal is littered with a lot of non-sense. Of course they will put a tank in the soil for a gas station thats just what they do. Why would you need a study to confirm what tens and thousands of gas stations have already proven to be effective. Automotive garages dont dump their used auto fluids into the ground they must be collected and disposed of and there already watchdog agencies that monitor those activities. Im stunned that the city would even dignify this appeal. The city has latitude to adjust parking ratios if necessary. But it appears that isnt even necessary. I think the community is fortunate to have this expansion, that will bring a Costco to Valencia so we dont have to trek out to canyon country. They bring inexpensive gas and tremendous value to their customers which is why they are successful and generally welcomed where ever they land. To the safe and lame – A successful mall increases your property value! When they win, you win too. We all win. Really cant get any better than that.

  5. I suspect this group would much prefer to have the mall simply wither and die. Retail is changing throughout the country and without an infusion of retail outlets at the mall, it will eventually die a slow death. Let’s see what these Einsteins have in mind.

    • Why is it the job of those that oppose a 30 pump gas station in the heart of our community to come up with a plan to save the mall? The mall was doomed to fail when the City Council approved the plan to build satellite stores instead of full size flagship stores. From the start the mall was set up to fail. The mall really never had much to offer. I’ve lived here over 30 years (before the mall was built). I did the majority of my shopping in the Valley where they have full size stores. We who oppose the project ARE the Einsteins. Not so much are the city council members.

  6. The group has a right to have their concerns heard. I hope they are able to resolve all issues and proceed in building the new Costco. We have too many empty buildings in our town.

    • Filling empty buildings is a wonderful thing. Having 100 cars idling in queue at a 30 pump gas station in the heart of our community is not a wonderful thing. Neither are massive fuel tankers driving up and down Valencia Blvd and McBean.

  7. I guess these people who wants Costco up don’t live in Valencia. I live just 2 blocks from the mall and deals with traffic all the time. Costco is lower end retails which will bring in outsiders to the area and even more traffic. Westfield said their employees (500) will park off site during holidays that was a lie! No retail employees going walk far distance to work. Bring other upper class mall and no need additional gas pumps. We already have another gas station building up on Valencia by the fwy. More gas stations mean more car coming in and out! I voted NO!!!

    • I work down the street from the mall, just far enough to not be considerably affected by the traffic, and even I am worried about the traffic this will contribute to the area. I am certain that the majority of these people happy about another costco and gas station do no live nearby like you said. Not many people are being forward thinking. At least, not far enough forward. I agree with you as well on the employees parking off site, no one is going to do that unless forced to. Even if they do, what is considered off site?

  8. Traffic, people, traffic. Do you realize the congestion this project will cause? It is absolutely a pandemonium driving around that area as it is. I can imagine the chaos during the holiday season added to the lack of courtesy SCV drivers display. Bringing a Costco to the heart of Valencia is not the solution. What is happening to Awesome Town?

    • Can’t wait to see how the people in favor of this project handle driving side by side, in front and behind the fuel tankers that will be filling those 30 Costco pumps several times during the day and night. Valencia Blvd. and McBean will no longer be a quick route across our community. Considering how many collisions we currently have, it will be interesting to see how long it takes before a reckless young person is involved in an accident with one of these tankers.

  9. I work at Costco and they do everything by the book.We also train on want can be thrown away or needs to be transported out if it’s hazardous or harmful to the environment.They also have storage tanks for the tire shop ,deli ,food court and any used dirty water from the floor scrubbers to meat and deli department.They have a truck that comes in and clean the tanks.They also do a daily check on all the gas pumps and have the tanks inspected.This store is one of the most safe friendly eco environment.Also we need this store .because look in the mall .Not a lot of businesses.This would bring more in .As last ,Look at all the job openings it will create.If you worry about the noise the traffic why are you not complaining about all the housing being built.

    • We ARE complaining about all the new housing. The new housing and this particular location for the Costco 30 pump gas station are both bringing more congestion on top of the existing congestion. The quality of life here in Valencia is diminishing bit by bit by the actions of our City Council members. I’ve been experiencing it for years. More noise, more traffic, more crime, less quality retail stores (why do the good stores leave?), more bad air quality days, and my personal favorite WATER RATIONING!

  10. The mall needs Costco to survive and our valley needs a second Costco in this end of the valley. Costco IS coming. If not in Valencia it could be Castaic or maybe the industrial center??? And yes I live in Valencia about 2 miles from the Mall.

    • Stevenson Ranch is about 2 miles from the mall. Will you be spending your sales tax money in Valencia then instead of in Los Angeles county (which Stevensons Ranch is a part of). Also, the traffic here will not impact you daily as it will those of us who live in Valencia. You just have to tolerate it to get to one of those 30 gas pumps. I do appreciate your nod to the City Council to consider a more appropriate location.

  11. Retail has changed
    All malls are dieing a slow death. This project just further concentrates people, traffic, and wasted time in one place. I do not go to that mall anymore, not ever. Even the Glendale Galleria and Simi malls are easier to get in and out of. Mall prices have to be high to cover the inflated rents. That retail model is not good for value conscious consumers. I have things delivered by Macys, Wal-Mart and Amazon. This area once had a semi-rural charm. But just like many people in LA, they are trying to be something they are not. The city is NOT changing the area for the better. Stabbings and shootings still happen in the Newhall Arts District. Civic progress is a very bad joke we can do without. Throwing more into less space is plain stupid.
    There is no need to the citizens for this project. I want a Costco, but NOT THERE!

    • Your tone suggests frustration with the direction this once idyllic community has taken. I share your frustration to the point that after living here for 30 years it may be time to pack up and find a community that really cares about living life to the fullest. Without the oppressive feeling of more more more.

  12. The mall may survive because of Costco but Valencia will die due to the traffic generated around McBean Pkwy. Getting a Costco smack in the middle of high traffic area is as ridiculous as it gets, more ridiculous than getting a Chic-fil-a on Bouquet Canyon. There is a reason why Costco’s are placed on remote sites. We frequent the mall every weekend and this is a sure fire way to keep us away from the mall. Thanks for the appeal, hopefully better sense than pure monetary gain will prevail, but I wouldn’t hold my breath given that the city has actually entertained this proposal.

    • The fact that this is being considered is evidence that the City Council members have a personal agenda. (I am going to assume they’re not just plain stupid). If this incredibly bad decision to build 30 gas pumps is realized, I hope our City Council members remember that all of us against the project, and all of those slow to learn after the project is built, will be VOTING in the next city election.

  13. I live across from the mall and currently don’t feel safe walking to it. The traffic is already really bad around the mall it took me 30 min to get from Valencia and Mc Bean to Bouquet at 4:30pm. 30 gas pumps that close to neighborhood is crazy. Our air is already getting bad. Please don’t put Costco at our mail. Put it out near the 126.

    • Last week I was crossing Valencia Blvd. at the Goldcrest light. A pickup truck came speeding out of the Woodlands on Goldcrest attempting to make a left turn onto Valencia Blvd. He didn’t see me in the well lit crosswalk and missed killing me by about 10 inches. Luckily the truck had good brakes. I was so scared I couldn’t catch my breath and my chest felt like I got stabbed.

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About Devon Miller

Devon Miller was born and raised in Santa Clarita. He joined KHTS Radio as a digital marketing intern in September of 2017, and later moved to news as a staff writer in December. Miller attended College of the Canyons and served as the Associated Student Government President. Miller is now News Director for KHTS, covering breaking news and politics across the Santa Clarita Valley.