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City of Santa Clarita
—  City  —

Location of Santa Clarita in California and Los Angeles County
Coordinates: 34°25′00″N 118°30′23″W / 34.4166667°N 118.50639°W / 34.4166667; -118.50639
Country United States United States
State California California
County Los Angeles
Incorporated December 15, 1987
 - Type Council-Manager
 - Mayor Laurene Weste
 - Mayor Pro-Tem Marsha McLean
 - City Council Frank Ferry
Bob Kellar
Laurie Ender
 - City Manager Ken Pulskamp
 - Total 123.9 km2 (47.8 sq mi)
 - Land 123.9 km2 (47.8 sq mi)
 - Water 0.1 km2 (0.04 sq mi)  0.04%
Elevation 368 m (1,207 ft)
Population (2009)
 - Total 177,150
 Density 1,219.6/km2 (3,159.1/sq mi)
  California Department of Finance, 2009
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 - Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 91310, 91321-91322, 91350-91351, 91354-91355, 91380-91387, 91390
Area code(s) 661
FIPS code 06-69088
GNIS feature ID 1662338
A typical stretch of Valencia Boulevard in the Valencia part of Santa Clarita. The bridge in the distance carries a paseo (a type of dedicated pedestrian pathway) over the roadway.

Santa Clarita is the fourth largest city in Los Angeles County, California, United States and the twenty-sixth largest city in the State of California. The California Department of Finance estimated the city population as of January 1, 2009 at 177,150.[1] Including unincorporated areas of the Santa Clarita Valley, the population is estimated at over 275,000. It is located about 35 miles (56 km) northwest of downtown Los Angeles, and occupies most of the Santa Clarita Valley. It is a notable example of a U.S. edge city or boomburb. The FBI rates it as the sixth safest city in the United States with at least 100,000 inhabitants. (Nearby Simi Valley and Thousand Oaks, in Ventura County, traditionally alternate between the first and second spots on the list.) Santa Clarita was ranked as number 18 of the top 100 places to live by Money magazine in 2006.[2]

Santa Clarita was incorporated in 1987 as the union of several previously existing communities, including Canyon Country, Newhall, Saugus, and Valencia, all of which are the land of the former Rancho San Francisco. Its principal boundaries are the Golden State (I-5) and Antelope Valley (SR-14) freeways; their merger in Newhall Pass at the city's southernmost point gives Santa Clarita its distinctive triangular appearance on the map.

Santa Clarita's most notable attractions are the Six Flags Magic Mountain amusement park located just outside the city limits in unincorporated Los Angeles County, and the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), located in Valencia.



Santa Clarita was only fairly recently incorporated (1987), but its history runs deep. About AD 450, the Tataviam people arrived, numbering about 2,000 at their zenith.

In 1842, six years before the better-publicized discovery in the Sacramento area, Francisco Lopez made the first documented discovery of gold in California (the document is a mining claim signed by Gov. Juan B. Alvarado in that year). The discovery was made in Placerita Canyon, an area later used as Hollywood's original back lot.

The community of Newhall is named after Henry Newhall,[3] a businessman who made his original fortune during the California Gold Rush after opening up the H.M. Newhall & Company; an extremely successful auction house in San Francisco, CA Newhall's next business interest was railroads. He invested in rail companies that would connect San Francisco to other cities and became president of the San Francisco and San Jose Rail Road. In 1870, he and his partners sold the company to Southern Pacific Railroad, whose board of directors he now sat on. After railroads, Newhall turned his eye to real estate and ranching. He purchased a number of the old Spanish and Mexican land grants in the state for a total of 143,000 acres (579 km2) between Monterey and Los Angeles counties. The most significant portion was the 46,460-acre (188 km2) Rancho San Francisco in northern Los Angeles County, which he purchased for $2/acre, and which became known as Newhall Ranch after Newhall's death. Within this territory, he granted a right-of-way to Southern Pacific through what is now Newhall Pass, and he also sold them a portion of the land, upon which the company built a town they named after him: Newhall. The first station built on the line he named for his hometown, Saugus, Massachusetts. Following his death, Newhall's heirs incorporated the Newhall Land and Farming Company, which oversaw the development of the communities that now make up the city of Santa Clarita.

On Sept. 26, 1876, Charles Alexander Mentry brought in the state's first productive oil well at Mentryville, giving rise to the California oil industry. The oil was brought to a refinery at Newhall; today it is the oldest existing refinery in the world. (It was operational from 1874 to 1888.)

A few days earlier, on Sept. 5, 1876, Charles Crocker and Leland Stanford joined their railroads in Canyon Country, linking Los Angeles with the rest of the nation for the first time.

The Saugus Cafe, on San Fernando Road in Saugus, was established in 1887[4] and appears to be, by far, the oldest still-operating restaurant in Los Angeles County.[5]

Filming in Santa Clarita began shortly after the turn of the 20th century with a veritable Who's Who of actors including William S. Hart, Tom Mix, Harry Carey and a young John Wayne. Hart and Carey made their homes in the Santa Clarita Valley; today both are operated as county parks.

The Santa Clarita Valley was the scene of the second worst disaster in California history — The History Channel called it the "worst civil engineering failure of the 20th century" — when, on the night of March 12, 1928, William Mulholland's St. Francis Dam collapsed.[6] By the time the floodwaters reached the Pacific Ocean near Ventura, an estimated 450 people were dead. Within modern Santa Clarita city limits, the site of the future Westfield Valencia Town Center mall was buried beneath muck and mud. Numerous buildings within Santa Clarita became makeshift morgues.

Several organizations exist to preserve Santa Clarita Valley history, including but not limited to Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society, Friends of Hart Park and Friends of Mentryville. Television programming relating to SCV History can be watched online at, and the community's historical photo and text archives are available for online viewing at


Santa Clarita is located at 34°25′00″N 118°30′23″W / 34.416561°N 118.506443°W / 34.416561; -118.506443Coordinates: 34°25′00″N 118°30′23″W / 34.416561°N 118.506443°W / 34.416561; -118.506443 (34.416561, -118.506443).[7] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 123.9 km² (47.8 mi²). 123.9 km² (47.8 mi²) of it is land and 0.1 km² (0.04 mi²) of it (0.04%) is water.

Santa Clarita is situated near the San Fernando fault zone and was affected by the 1971 San Fernando earthquake, also known as the Sylmar quake. The city was also affected by the 1994 Northridge earthquake, and many commercial and residential buildings were devastated by its aftermath. Including the nearby Newhall pass, the Valencia Mall, and Six Flags Magic Mountain. The historic, 38 story tall Sky Tower at Magic Mountain swayed 6 feet in each direction during the Northridge earthquake with only minor damages.


Santa Clarita is one of the top areas in the nation for wildfire activity. Recent fires in and around the City of Santa Clarita include the Stables (2001), Copper (2002), Bouquet (2002), Simi (2003), Verdale (2003), Foothill (2004), Buckweed (2007), Ranch (2007), Magic (2007), and Sayre (2008) Fires.


Santa Clarita, like most of inland Southern California, is warm and dry for most of the year with very little rainfall and hot dry summers. Characterized by dry hills covered in brush, the months of late summer and early autumn are often referred to as "fire season." The warmest months of the year are July through September, although it is not unusual for the temperature to reach 100 degrees in early October. Winters are mild, with temperatures dropping below freezing only occasionally on clear winter nights. Rain falls primarily from December through February. Snow has occurred before and was last seen in March 2006 when a storm dusted some areas at about 1500 feet. In this storm most people saw snow flurries and sleet through the day.

Residents describe Santa Clarita's climate as "scorching summers, mild winters, and a little June Gloom."

Climate data for Santa Clarita
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 64
Average low °F (°C) 36
Precipitation inches (mm) 2.99
Source: [8] 2009-03-28


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1990 110,642
2000 151,088 36.6%
Est. 2009 177,150 17.2%

As of the census[9] of 2000, there were 151,088 people, 50,787 households, and 38,242 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,219.6/km² (3,159.1/mi²). There were 52,442 housing units at an average density of 423.3/km² (1,096.5/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 59.02% Non-Latino/Non-Hispanic White, 20.50% Hispanic or Latino of any race, 8.54% from other races, 5.24% Asian, 3.89% from two or more races, 2.07% African American, 0.59% Native American, 0.15% Pacific Islander.[10]

There were 50,787 households out of which 44.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.0% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.7% were non-families. 18.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.95 and the average family size was 3.38.

In the city the population was spread out with 30.3% under the age of 18, 8.1% from 18 to 24, 33.6% from 25 to 44, 20.8% from 45 to 64, and 7.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 98.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.4 males.

According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the city was $79,004, and the median income for a family was $91,450.[11] Males had a median income of $53,769 versus $36,835 for females. The per capita income for the city was $26,841. 6.4% of the population and 4.7% of families were below the poverty line. 6.7% of those under the age of 18 and 5.9% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.


Local Government

According to the city’s most recent Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the city’s various funds had $190.1 million in Revenues, $143.4 million in expenditures, $1,062.6 million in total assets, $149.8 million in total liabilities, and $222.9 million in cash and investments.[12]

The structure of the management and coordination of city services is:[13]

City Department Director
City Manager Ken Pulskamp
Assistant City Manager Ken Striplin
City Attorney Carl Newton
Director of Community Development Paul Brotzman
Director of Parks, Recreation & Community Services Richard Gould
Deputy City Manager / Director of Administrative Services Darren Hernández
Director of Public Works / City Engineer Robert Newman


In the state legislature Santa Clarita is located in the 17th and 19th Senate Districts, represented by Republicans George Runner and Tony Strickland respectively, and in the 38th Assembly District, represented by Republican Cameron Smyth. Federally, Santa Clarita is located in California's 25th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of R +7[14] and is represented by Republican Buck McKeon.


School districts

Colleges and universities

Parks and recreation

The City of Santa Clarita's leadership has placed a priority on offering recreational facilities and programs since incorporation. Many youth-friendly activities and diversions exist in order to steer the city's children away from crime and gang activity. The city has established many neighborhood parks and maintains a comprehensive recreation program. There is a recreation center in Canyon Country that includes an aquatic park with wading, diving, and Olympic swimming pools along with a bicycle/skate park, community swimming pools in both Newhall and Canyon Country and a community center in downtown Newhall. The city's largest park is located in Saugus and is known as Central Park. There are currently a total of seventeen parks scattered in various neighborhoods throughout the city. Many have lighted tennis and basketball courts, baseball and soccer fields. There are over 3,000 acres (12 km2) of open space and 32 miles (51 km) of off-street trails within its boundaries.

Over the past several years, the city has cosponsored a summer concert series offering a wide variety of music in cooperation with various local businesses. These concerts are free of charge and take place on weekends in Central Park. The city offers a wide variety of fee-based and free classes and programs in a variety of locations throughout the year. These programs are listed in the quarterly magazine Seasons which is delivered to all residences within the city limits via mail.

The Santa Clarita Marathon is held annually in November. The race was first run in 1995 and is now a qualifying race for the Boston Marathon.

Santa Clarita was picked to be the end of Stage 6 in the AMGEN Tour of California, in 2007. Santa Clarita was also picked to be the end of Stage 6 and the beginning of the final stage, Stage 7, in 2008.

There are several public and private golf courses in Santa Clarita, including, TPC Valencia, Valencia Country Club, and Vista Valencia. The city is also home to a public ice skating rink called the Ice Station Valencia.

Law enforcement and fire protection

The City of Santa Clarita has a contract with the Los Angeles County Fire Department for fire protection. Currently the agency has eight fire stations in Santa Clarita - but with the increasing growth in the area eight new stations are planned for the area by 2012.[citation needed]

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD) operates the Santa Clarita Valley Station in Santa Clarita.[15]


Princess Cruises headquarters in Santa Clarita

According to the City's 2008 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[12] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Six Flags Magic Mountain 3,689
2 Princess Cruises 2,100
3 Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital 1,212
4 H.R. Textron 845
5 The Master’s College 755
6 Specialty Laboratories 725
7 Arvato Services 586
8 California Institute of Arts 500
9 Aerospace Dynamics 450
10 Fanfare Media Works 407

Enterprise Zone

On July 1, 2007, to offer new businesses tax incentives to operate inside Santa Clarita, the industrial and commercial areas in northern and western Santa Clarita were zoned as a federally recognized Enterprise Zone. Additional warehousing and office space was also constructed. Presently, the Santa Clarita Enterprise Zone covers 97% of all commercial, business, and industrial zoned land within the City of Santa Clarita. This zoning allows local businesses to claim hiring, sales and use tax credits.

The newly designated Enterprise Zone is now the base of operations for several large companies, including True Position Technologies, Salt Creek Grille,, and Trigg Laboratories.[16]


The City of Santa Clarita and surrounding communities are served by several local media properties.


The primary daily newspaper, The Signal, was founded in 1919 and enjoys a weekday circulation of 10,454 and a Sunday circulation of 12,050. The newspaper, which focuses almost exclusively on local news, sports, entertainment and features, is owned by Morris Multimedia, Inc., of Savannah, Georgia. The Signal's offices on Creekside Road serve as the newspaper's newsroom, production office, IT and web design facility, and printing facility.

Additionally, Santa Clarita is served by the Daily News, a subsidiary of the Los Angeles Newspaper Group which itself is owned by MediaNews Corporation of Denver. The Daily News primarily focuses on news, sports and entertainment stories in the San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles, but also covers Santa Clarita periodically. Daily News circulation numbers within the Santa Clarita Valley are not known, but the paper enjoys a circulation of some 157,000 in the greater Los Angeles region, according to its website.


The Santa Clarita Valley is exclusively served by one radio station: AM-1220 KHTS, "Santa Clarita's Hometown Station." The commercial radio station, operated by long time residents and public servants Carl and Jeri-Seratti Goldman, broadcasts from studios located in Canyon Country. The station carries local news, traffic, weather, sports, music and talk shows. The station's transmitter and antennas are located on Sierra Highway between Soledad Canyon Rd. and Sand Canyon Rd. The station has been on the air since October, 2003. Prior to KHTS, AM-1220 was known as KBET until 1999 when the Goldmans sold it to now-Clear Channel Communications, only to buy it back in 2003.

In addition to KHTS, the City of Santa Clarita and its surrounding communities are indirectly served by a number of major market Los Angeles FM and AM radio stations, though residents often complain that radio reception in the valley is poor due to the surrounding hillsides.


All local programming for Santa Clarita is carried on a single public television channel, which is operated by SCVTV, a tax-exempt 501c3 nonprofit corporation. It is available to Time Warner Cable customers throughout the Santa Clarita Valley on Channel 20 and to AT&T U-verse customers under local programming (Channel 99/Santa Clarita). The television channel is mirrored on the Internet at SCVTV carries public, educational and government programming, including Santa Clarita City Council and Planning Commission meetings, history shows, high school and college news programs, talk shows, football games and other programs of local interest.

There are no commercial over-the-air television stations in the Santa Clarita Valley. The city is part of the Los Angeles media market. Digital signals from the Los Angeles stations are available on local cable television systems, DirecTV and Dish Network.


The Signal employs streaming video technology to share short news, sports, entertainment and feature videos, embedded on the front page of its website.

KHTS also has an active website which it uses to post news stories, podcasts of its radio shows, and other media.

Channel 20 programming is mirrored on the Internet at, where it can be accessed by satellite television customers as well.

There are several community websites and blogs that cover local news and events and are independent of traditional media. Some of these sites are:

Television and movie production

From the first decade of the 20th century to the present day, the Santa Clarita Valley has been a favorite location for producers of films, television shows, and commercials. Even before the first permanent movie set was erected in 1922, the area's topography was exploited for its versatility as the prototypical Western setting. As the "A" Western of the 1910s, '20s and '30s gave way to the "B" Western of the 1940s and '50s, the Santa Clarita Valley continued to play its role, most notably at Gene Autry's Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio in Placerita Canyon and, later, at The Walt Disney Company's nearby Golden Oak Ranch.

While the area has a long history of doubling for other places, on rare occasions the Santa Clarita Valley is credited as "itself;" as in the opening of Ocean's Thirteen when Brad Pitt and crew attempt to rob a Toys R Us in Valencia.

Santa Clarita's proximity to Hollywood has seen a number of TV shows and movies filmed in the area:

Television productions

Note: Golden Oak Ranch is a property owned by the Walt Disney Company located east of State Route 14 in Newhall. This has been used as a location for several Disney features. It has also been rented out to other studios and production companies.


Other productions

  • The video for "There Goes My Heart" by Enuff Z'Nuff was filmed at Richard Rioux Park in Stevenson Ranch.
  • The video for "1979" by the Smashing Pumpkins was filmed in Santa Clarita.
  • The video for "Nice Guys Finish Last" by Green Day was filmed at College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita.
  • Part of the video for "Long Road to Ruin" by the Foo Fighters was filmed at the Westfield Shopping Center in Santa Clarita.




Santa Clarita is serviced by Interstate 5 on the western side of the City. The east side of the City is serviced by State Route 14. State Route 126 terminates at Interstate 5, where is goes west to Ventura, passing through Fillmore and Santa Paula.

Bus Service

City of Santa Clarita Transit provides extensive bus service within the Santa Clarita Valley and to/from North Hollywood in the San Fernando Valley. City of Santa Clarita Transit is operated by MV Transportation, Inc. under contract with the city of Santa Clarita.

On weekdays, City of Santa Clarita Transit operates commuter buses to/from Burbank, downtown Los Angeles, North Hollywood (operates seven days per week), Warner Center, Van Nuys, Century City and Lancaster. Also on weekdays when school is in session, City of Santa Clarita Transit operates supplemental school-day service with routes and scheduled stops designed around various school sites within the Santa Clarita Valley.

City of Santa Clarita Transit also operates Dial-A-Ride service for seniors and the disabled. Dial-A-Ride service is also open to the general public after 6:00 p.m. The service allows for pick-up and drop-off at any address within the City of Santa Clarita and within a three-quarter mile radius of the nearest fixed route bus stop in unincorporated areas.

City of Santa Clarita Transit was formerly known as Santa Clarita Transit.


Metrolink provides commuter passenger train service to the Santa Clarita Valley along its Antelope Valley Line which runs from Lancaster to Union Station in Downtown Los Angeles, where transfers can be made to destinations in Southern California and the rest of the nation. Metrolink services 3 stations in the city, Via Princessa Station in the Canyon Country community, Santa Clarita Station which is centrally located in the city and serves most of the Valencia and Saugus communities, and the Newhall Station which serves the community of Newhall. All stations have large parking lots to allow commuters to "park and ride."

Metrolink service operates 7 days a week, with reduced service on Saturdays and Sundays.

Bicycle and walking

There are a series of bike trails and walking paths threaded throughout the city. Bicyclists can ride from the eastern end of the city in Canyon Country along a paved path which is independent from automobile traffic all the way to Valencia on the Santa Clara River Trail. This path closely follows the Santa Clara River and Soledad Canyon Road. There are many jumping off points along this route providing access to neighborhoods, Metrolink stations and commerce. Once in Valencia, there are several pedestrian bridges called paseos connected to the bike path network. The paseos provide a measure of safety for riders and walkers by keeping them above and away from automobile traffic. The neighborhoods in Valencia were planned to include an ample amount of walking and riding paths that connect to this overall network.



  1. ^ Department of Finance, City/County Population Estimates with Annual Percent Change, January 1, 2008 and 2009 (retrieved May 5, 2009)
  2. ^ MONEY Magazine: Best places to live 2006
  3. ^ "About Henry Mayo Newhall". Henry Mayo Newhall Foundation. 2000. Retrieved 2007-04-20. 
  4. ^ "Tales of the Saugus Cafe, at Santa Clarita Valley History in Pictures (retrieved July 22, 2008)
  5. ^ "Centenarian (and older) restaurants?" Chowhound (post dated August 26, 2004, retrieved July 22, 2008).
  6. ^ "SAN FRANCISQUITO CANYON and the ST. FRANCIS DAM". Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society. Retrieved 2007-04-09. 
  7. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  8. ^ "Average weather for Santa Clarita". Retrieved 28 March 2008. 
  9. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  10. ^ Census 2000 Demographic Profile: Santa Clarita
  11. ^ Santa Clarita city, California - Fact Sheet
  12. ^ a b City of Santa Clarita CAFR Retrieved 2009-08-14
  13. ^ City of Santa Clarita CAFR Retrieved 2009-08-14
  14. ^ "Will Gerrymandered Districts Stem the Wave of Voter Unrest?". Campaign Legal Center Blog. Retrieved 2008-02-10. 
  15. ^ "Santa Clarita Valley Station." Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Retrieved on January 21, 2010.
  16. ^

External links

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