In the meantime, Santa Clarita gets a series of woodlands, trails and parkland that could last forever. For only $25 a year – or as much as $55 in 2037 – Santa Clarita residents can have a greenbelt surrounding the city. By law, if the assessment passes, the majority of the land will remain in its natural state. No structures can be built, no gyms or ball fields or public buildings dedicated to some politician. Just open space. Let’s talk finance for a minute. The yearly $25 cost would be less than the average person pays for two movie tickets and a small popcorn. It’s less than dinner for two at pretty much any restaurant. It’s half of what one person pays to get into Magic Mountain; it’s less than the average Santa Clarita resident spends a month at Starbucks. For coffee. Open space. Sounds like the place people like to go to get away from, say, urban sprawl or the bustle of everyday living. On a tiny scale, lawns and yards provide a little bit of open space between houses and apartments. We groom them and nurture them to protect what solace we have at home. On a larger scale, voters in Santa Clarita have the opportunity to approve the purchase of open spaces surrounding our community with an assessment of $25 per year. This assessment – call it a tax if you must, but it’s not – may go up $1 a year for no more than 30 years, when the Open Space District it creates will sunset. Now there have been those people who don’t like this proposal because the city is behind it. I live near those idiots in Canyon Country who were given the chance to pay a pittance for median improvements so we could have some greenery in the middle of Whites Canyon Road. Instead of seeing it as a chance to beautify the gateway of our corner of the world, they voted it down because the greenery wasn’t something they could see from their front doors. Now my neighborhood is easy to find – we’re the ones just behind the dirty cement median between the new Todd Longshore Park and Plum Canyon Road. The only good thing? The city money that would have matched our assessment went toward building the Veteran’s Historical Plaza – in Newhall, on the other side of town, lots of greenery with a generous dose of patriotism. I always hear people saying there’s too much development, too much traffic, too many buildings, too much grading. My son, who lives in Virginia where rolling hills define front yards, comes home every now and then to more and more development shock. My brother-in-law, who grew up in Newhall, came home for a reunion last year and didn’t recognize his hometown at all. How do you think development like that is stopped? Anyone? How about buying the land so there won’t BE development? I know, it’s too simple – but it’s the only doable solution we have, and the city has stepped forward to help us achieve a natural buffer between us and the encroaching Valley to the south that most people moved up here to avoid. There are some who say this proposal is flawed because land on the west and north are already gone to the communities of Stevenson Ranch and Castaic. Sorry, folks, but your song is old and tired. I heard it 20 years ago when developers started taking down old buildings because we didn’t have that many, so why bother saving our history? Thank goodness that thinking has changed, and people are starting to appreciate the heritage around us. Who led that charge? Surprise! That was the city of Santa Clarita, which helped save the Newhall Ranch House and Pardee House, preserving the Pioneer Oil Refinery and now working on a historic preservation ordinance. The city is also what stopped 1,000 homes from being built in Whitney Canyon. That pristine land was supposed to be gone by now, but the city’s action saved the 400-acre parcel from becoming the home of more people, crime, traffic and wear and tear on the environment. Now we don’t need to go a long way to hike a trail or sit and watch a hawk soar over a canyon. You have a chance to add to that greenbelt by voting “yes.” Information is already being sent out to every resident of the city; ballots will be delivered on May 25 and must be returned by July 10. Informational meetings are set up May 24 and June 21 if you want to learn more. You have a chance to make a difference for yourselves, your children and grandchildren and make Santa Clarita an island surrounded by an unspoiled corridor of wildlife where residents can get back to nature. I’m willing to forgo a movie date to take my grandkids walking near a stream. How about you? To post your own stories and photos, log on to valleynews.com.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
JURY PANEL NOTICE:The Jury panel called to Donegal Courthouse for Tuesday the 4th November, 2014 are not now required to attend. NOTICE: JURY PANEL DONEGAL TOWN was last modified: October 30th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)