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Old Today, 12:40 AM
Status: "pondering" (set 8 days ago)
Location: California
500 posts, read 159,950 times
Reputation: 381


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Old Today, 02:44 AM
Location: Studio City, CA 91604
2,314 posts, read 2,715,027 times
Reputation: 3977
I'm not that surprised. I grew up in this area.

In the 1980s, the towns of Newhall (my neighborhood), Canyon Country and Saugus voted to merge into what then became the "City of Santa Clarita". The Santa Clara River flows into this area from the mountains in the Antelope Valley around the town of Acton. Because there was already a "Santa Clara" in Northern California, they didn't want to name the new city the same name, so they made a play on Santa Clara by calling the new city "Santa Clarita". The area known as "Valencia" at the time, was just one small neighborhood within Newhall. At this time, there were onion fields, orange groves and Christmas tree lots everywhere and housing was sparse. Oak-studded natural canyons jutted up all around the area.

The big push for uniting the communities under one city entity was a big achievement by the Newhall Land & Farm company. The same people who ran Newhall Land & Farm also -- not coincidentally -- became the city officials for the new "City of Santa Clarita". Surprise...surprise! Right???

Newhall Land & Farm used the "city" as a vehicle to plan neighborhoods and build as much housing as possible. They owned the land and wanted to get wealthy off of it.

If you look at Santa Clarita from an aerial view, you quickly note that it is an ancient flood plain where three rivers (Santa Clara, San Francisquito and a series of canyons suddenly converge together in one area. In geographical terms, the name for this type of land form is called an "alluvial plane". Alluvial plains are very distinct from valleys in that the former was at one time an ancient lake, and the latter was a crossroads of ancient rivers.

San Fernando Valley = a true "valley"
Antelope Valley = a true "valley"
Santa Clarita Valley = not a true "valley", a series of ancient alluvial plains forming a canyon.

Why does this matter? Because it can effect how an area is developed residentially or commercially, or shall I say should be developed.

This didn't stop Newhall Land & Farm or the newly minted "City of Santa Clarita" from marketing the area as "The Santa Clarita Valley" despite the obvious fact that it is not, and never was.

Newhall Land & Farm wanted the word "valley" attached to the area as a marketing gimmick to try and lure people over from the San Fernando Valley when it was starting to experience White Flight. The goal was to capture the 1950s nostalgia of the San Fernando Valley of the Leave It To Beaver/Mayberry Era, except that it was "the next valley over" -- a "new San Fernando Valley" for upper-middle class White Flight, if you will.

In this mass marketing process, entire hillsides and canyon lands were chopped up, cut into, bulldozed and reworked to make them look like the "rolling hills" of the western and southern parts of the San Fernando Valley.

By the late 1990s and mid-2000s, they were throwing up ticky-tacky McMansion homes left and right. Every third housing tract had the name "Valencia" etched into it (not a coincidence) for marketing purposes. All of these new neighborhoods had HOAs and Mello Roos, of course.

A certain church denomination, heavily entangled with Newhall Land & Farm, was the driver in local politics as well.

Santa Clarita is "the valley that never was". Many of these homes and commercial centers are built right into a series of natural watersheds and drainage plains that the developers and the city simply thought they could plow over and flatten. I have watched as they have recklessly built this area into the huge "C******F***" that it has become today. And, they're going to build even more. The people in this area now aren't the same as the original locals. They have ambitions to create a new Irvine/Orange County-like atmosphere here, geography be damned...

Mother Nature always gets the last laugh, though, unfortunately.

Last edited by kttam186290; Today at 02:53 AM..
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Old Today, 10:34 AM
Location: Sylmar, a part of Los Angeles
3,688 posts, read 2,335,894 times
Reputation: 7625
I don't think any of those rivers are overflowing with all the rain recently though. I see houses right where you would think there might be a flood but I guess not so far.
Interesting how this area developed and it's geography.
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