The Santa Clarita Valley is expected to grow from its present population of 120,000 to 270,000 by the year 2010, an increase of 125%, a Southern California Assn. of Governments planner said Monday.
Bijan Yarjani also told a meeting of a SCAG committee studying future transportation needs of the valley that, by 2010, housing units will increase by 241%, to 100,000, and the number of people working in the area will increase by 315%, to 98,000.
The committee voted to use the 270,000-population figure in its transportation study despite warnings that the new Santa Clarita City Council, which will be sworn in in December, may adopt planning policies that would slow growth. The new council, which is not bound by the SCAG committee's population figure, will write its own general plan for the 40-square-mile city.
California Highway Patrol Lt. Ray Blackwell said he would like to know how much impact the new city might have on development before proceeding with the study by SCAG's Santa Clarita Valley Area Transportation Study Policy Advisory Committee.
Santa Clarita City Councilwoman-Elect JoAnne Darcy said council members, meeting informally, have not agreed on how much growth to allow. However, she said the new city government might request a population limit of 198,000 people for the valley, which includes areas outside of the new city, instead of 270,000, for the year 2010.
"We're not making population policy here," said Gloria Casvin, a vice president of Newhall Land & Farming Co., the area's biggest housing developer, and a SCAG committee member.
Palmdale Mayor Tracy Bibb, the committee's co-chairman, said the committee's recommendations, despite the population figure used, will be "a road map for the Santa Clarita City Council to go by."
The SCAG projections agree with new population figures adopted Nov. 5 by the Los Angeles County Regional Planning Commission as part of an areawide General Plan update. The commission action was taken despite objections from the Santa Clarita council members. The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote on the population increase Dec. 3.
Under the projected increase, the Santa Clarita Valley would be the fastest-growing area in the county. Not far behind would be the neighboring Antelope Valley, which county planners predict will grow by 109%--from 146,000 people now to 305,000 in 2010.
Housing units in the Antelope Valley will grow by 113% to 118,700 and jobs by 189% from 53,000 to 153,000 by 2010, according to the county's projections.
Yarjani, project manager for the $150,000 federally funded study, said the committee will examine major and minor thoroughfares and recommend affordable and environmentally sound solutions to the area's traffic problems.
The committee, made up of business, civic and political leaders, will consider short-term recommendations that can be implemented in 1995 and long-term solutions to traffic congestion in 2010, Yarjani said. Among short-term ideas to be studied are staggering business hours, increasing car-pooling and widening freeways by lane-striping, he said.
Recommendations for 1995 will be based on a population of 172,000, Yarjani said.
In other action Monday, the committee enlarged the study's scope to the Ventura County line on the west, north of Castaic on the north, the Golden State-Foothill freeway interchange and the Los Angeles city limit on the south and Escondido Pass near Acton on the east.
Originally, SCAG proposed that the area be bounded in general by the Golden State Freeway and Antelope Valley freeways and the communities of Castaic and Agua Dulce.