The Santa Clarita City Council voted to add more than 100 acres to its open space this week, agreeing to purchase property near Towsley Canyon in Newhall. The land will adjoin the city-owned Rivendale Park west of Interstate 5 at Calgrove Boulevard.
“It’s a stunning property to add to our open space,” Santa Clarita Mayor Laurene Weste said Wednesday. “Because of its proximity to Towsley Park, it’s absolutely natural. People are really going to enjoy that.”
The city voted Tuesday night to pony up about $1.8 million for 114.21 acres of Lyons Canyon Ranch. The area has been the scene of TV and movie filming, but more recently it was planned for development. In 2008 and 2009, plans called for the entire Lyons Canyon Ranch area — some 235 acres — to accommodate 92 single-family homes and a senior citizens complex of 93 condo units. The entire Lyons Canyon Ranch area encompassed more than 1,200 oak trees and acres of oak woodland.
The 114 acres west of The Old Road and north of Rivendale will increase trail access in Rivendale and provide additional trail connections to Towsley Canyon. The city will have to set aside an estimated $50,000 to put up signs, gates and build a trailhead on the property. Since the property is outside the city limits, the city will also have to pay around $3,500 a year in property taxes. The money will come from the city’s Open Space Preservation District fund.
“We’ve been after this for awhile,” Weste said. “It’s been a long-term goal.”