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Developer Fees to Pay for Improvements : Santa Clarita to Get Roads District

July 22, 1987|LYNN O'SHAUGHNESSY | Times Staff Writer

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved the creation of a roads benefit-assessment district that county officials hope will relieve traffic congestion in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Road improvements totaling $81.7 million will be paid for with fees collected from developers who build either homes or commercial structures in the district. Builders must pay $2,100 per home, $6,300 per industrial acre and $10,500 per commercial acre they develop.

JoAnne Darcy, field representative of Supervisor Mike Antonovich, said the benefit-assessment district is being created because the county has been unsuccessful in obtaining state money for Santa Clarita Valley projects.

"The state is not going to do it so we're really putting it on the burden of private enterprise, the developer, to pay for it. Otherwise it will never get built," Darcy said.

California 126 Project

The biggest project planned in the district is the extension of California 126 through the Santa Clarita Valley. The four-lane highway, which will cost an estimated $50 million, will connect the Golden State Freeway with the Antelope Valley Freeway and become the area's major east-west thoroughfare.

"Highway 126 is critical to safe transportation throughout the Santa Clarita Valley," said Connie Worden, a member of the transportation committee of the Valley's two chambers of commerces, which favored the district's creation.

County officials, however, have not decided when work on the highway will begin, said Chris Datwyler, assistant deputy director of the Department of Public Works. Construction timetables depend on how rapidly fees are generated in the vicinity.

The first project will be the construction of a bridge over the Santa Clara River to connect Soledad Canyon Road with the Antelope Valley Freeway at Whites Canyon Road. Construction is not expected to begin until next year.

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