The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has approved a $75,000 planning study of the Castaic area in response to concerns about rapid growth.
County Planning Director Norman Murdoch said the study is necessary because developers want to change the 1984 plan for the Santa Clarita Valley to allow more residential growth, which could place pressure on local services.
The funds will be used to pay a private consultant, who will help the Castaic Planning Advisory Council, a nine-member citizens committee, write proposed guidelines for development in the community, Murdoch said.
Castaic is one of the fastest-growing areas in the Santa Clarita Valley, with several thousand homes having been built there in the past few years. An industrial park and a 50-acre county park will also be built there within two or three years, according to Joanne Darcy, Supervisor Mike Antonovich's Santa Clarita Valley aide.
Earlier this year, residents seeking to reduce housing density in the area unsuccessfully proposed that the county establish a minimum lot size of two acres for new homes.
A bill by Assemblywoman Gloria Molina (D-Los Angeles) that would have placed a state prison in Castaic, across the freeway from a new housing tract, was defeated in the Legislature last week. Opposition to Molina's bill, introduced last month, fueled the campaign to form a city encompassing Castaic and four other unincorporated communities in the Santa Clarita Valley.
'People Alarmed at Growth'
"I think the prison helped us in Castaic, but I think the real thing that has happened is that people are becoming alarmed at the rate of growth," said Connie Worden, a leader of the cityhood movement. "To them, it's poor planning. An analysis needs to be done."
The Castaic Planning Advisory Council has scheduled a public hearing for 3 p.m. Aug. 18 in the cafeteria at Castaic School, 31700 Ridge Route Road.
The committee's recommendations to the county are due in December.