NORDSTROM PLAN GETS REACTION; RESIDENTS TELL CITY HALL NO; NEWHALL LAND CLAIMS SUPPORT.Byline: Patricia Farrell Aidem Daily News Staff Writer
From Santa Clarita's toniest neighborhoods to its working-class tracts, residents have strong opinions about a proposed $20 million taxpayer incentive to lure Nordstrom to the Valencia Town Center.
In fact, never in the city's 11-1/2-year history has an issue inspired such response.
City Hall has received an overwhelmingly negative reaction to a request from The Newhall Land and Farming Company The Newhall Land and Farming Company is a land management company based in Valencia, California, United States. The company is responsible for the master community planning of Valencia, as well as the management of farm land elsewhere in the state. to return most of the sales tax sales tax, levy on the sale of goods or services, generally calculated as a percentage of the selling price, and sometimes called a purchase tax. It is usually collected in the form of an extra charge by the retailer, who remits the tax to the government. money from the high-end department store to cover the subsidy. By noon Friday, the count was 432 opposed and 42 in favor, city spokeswoman Gail Ortiz said.
The developer, meanwhile, says the majority of responses it has received favor the plan. Residents say the store would bring class, jobs and top-of-line merchandise to northern Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. County.
``All the positives are coming here, all the negatives are going to City Hall,'' said Newhall Land spokeswoman Marlee Lauffer. ``That's kind of what you'd expect.''
Since a special e-mail address See Internet address.
e-mail address - electronic mail address was set up at City Hall to solicit public comments - nordiedealsanta-clarita.com - the city has been deluged with hundreds of computer messages, telephone calls and postcards.
``It's like a bombardment,'' said Carmen Carmen
throws over lover for another. [Fr. Lit.: Carmen; Fr. Opera: Bizet, Carmen, Westerman, 189–190]
See : Faithlessness
the cards repeatedly spell her death. [Fr. Sarro, an administrative clerk in City Hall. ``Every time I turn around, there's another fax or another stack of postcards or more e-mails.''
Across Valencia Boulevard at Newhall Land headquarters, about 3,200 people have responded to a company mailer (1) An e-mail program. See e-mail program.
(2) A message sent by an e-mail program.
(3) A person or organization sending e-mail. urging support, with about 2,600 people saying they want Nordstrom to come, Lauffer said.
Officials at Seattle-based Nordstrom did not return numerous phone calls.
Newhall Land began courting Nordstrom several years ago after company and city surveys showed residents wanted the high-end department store in Santa Clarita Santa Clarita, city (1990 pop. 110,642), Los Angeles co., S Calif., suburb 30 mi (48 km) NW of downtown Los Angeles, on the Santa Clara River; inc. 1987. Situated in the Santa Clara valley and nearby canyons, Santa Clarita includes the former towns of Canyon Country, .
Few who have contacted City Hall oppose adding Nordstrom to the Valencia Town Center, now anchored by Robinsons-May, Sears and J.C. Penney. What they don't like is Newhall Land's suggestion that the city pay the $20 million cash subsidy Nordstrom is demanding to locate in Santa Clarita.
Under a proposal being discussed by the developer and city officials, Newhall Land would pay about $12 million to build the Nordstrom, along with facilities such as parking. Beyond that, the chain wants $20 million cash, and for the city to waive To intentionally or voluntarily relinquish a known right or engage in conduct warranting an inference that a right has been surrendered.
For example, an individual is said to waive the right to bring a tort action when he or she renounces the remedy provided by law for such about $725,000 in building permit fees.
Newhall Land has suggested paying the subsidy up front, then having the city reimburse re·im·burse
tr.v. re·im·bursed, re·im·burs·ing, re·im·burs·es
1. To repay (money spent); refund.
2. To pay back or compensate (another party) for money spent or losses incurred. it - with interest - over 20 years, using about 85 percent of the tax revenue expected to be generated by Nordstrom and other stores it might lure to the mall.
The response from those who have contacted City Hall is a resounding re·sound
v. re·sound·ed, re·sound·ing, re·sounds
1. To be filled with sound; reverberate: The schoolyard resounded with the laughter of children.
``It is obscene that any retailer would demand an incentive package to locate in an area as desirable as Valencia,'' B.W. Payne of Valencia wrote.
``I paid my own way to live here in Santa Clarita. Nordstrom should do the same,'' wrote Helen Zumaris of Canyon Country.
Judy Palmer of Newhall doesn't want taxpayer money used for private enterprise.
``Since Newhall Land and Farming and Nordstrom seem to be the only ones who will profit from the venture, let them foot the bill,'' she wrote.
Since Santa Clarita incorporated in 1987, never has an issue so inspired such strong opinions, Sarro said.
``We have had people protest - the Elsmere Canyon landfill was big - but nothing, I mean nothing, like this,'' she said.
Those are countered by the Newhall Land-solicited postcards from residents who say the city needs a upscale department store. A sampling of comments submitted to the developer did not include any mention of the incentive deal, but showed enthusiasm for a mall expansion.
``We definitely need an upscale department store,'' wrote Susan and Stella Pilarski of Valencia. ``WhFat ever we can help with, let us know.''
Lissa Brassfield, also of Valencia, said that adding a Nordstrom to the Town Center would bring home the sales tax money she now spends at other Nordstrom-anchored malls.
All this, and no formal deal is even on the table, noted the city's finance chief, Steve Stark.
``They have a concept, no formal proposal,'' Stark said. ``Newhall Land came up with what they think city participation would need to be.''
Residents' input will be included once a proposal is submitted to the City Council, he said.
``We will present the residents' opinions to the City Council. I believe they will listen to the people.''
To make sure supporters and opponents alike can be heard, the city is keeping a data bank of computer and mailing addresses for those who have sent comments to City Hall, Ortiz said. Postcards or e-mails will be sent to those residents, notifying them when a hearing on the proposal is scheduled.
WHAT YOU THINK
Hundreds of residents have contacted Santa Clarita City Hall and The Newhall Land and Farming Company in recent weeks responding to Newhall Land's proposed incentive plan to draw a Nordstrom to the Valencia Town Center. Here is a sampling of their comments:
``I would love to have a Nordstrom in our city. They are a class act. . . . However, I am not willing to incur any cost for this opportunity.''
``We do not want Nordstrom. We don't feel having Nordstrom will add anything to the city, and we don't like the fact that a department store demands such a high incentive just to be here. To us, it's a form of being held hostage.''
Christine and Gregory Minor
``I believe this would be beneficial for the community. As a mother, I am always looking for Looking for
In the context of general equities, this describing a buy interest in which a dealer is asked to offer stock, often involving a capital commitment. Antithesis of in touch with. new and improved products, which I think this store would provide.''
``Newhall Land will be the main benefactor ben·e·fac·tor
One that gives aid, especially financial aid.
[Middle English, from Late Latin, from Latin benefacere, to do a service; see benefaction. of this $20 million commiFtment, not the general public.''
``It is obscene that any retailer would demand an incentive package to locate in an area as desirable as Valencia.''
``So we give Nordstrom $20 million now. How much do we give to the next store that comes to Santa Clarita - $40 million? Santa Clarita is a great city, and Nordstrom should be honored to locate here.''
``Yes! Every time I go to the Valley, I go to Nordstrom (and it's a lot). I spend money at the mall where they're located, money that I would spend here instead.''
``It is unfair to select a particular business for preferential treatment in receiving government funds, when we expect similar businesses to compete in an open market without government help. I am not opposed to a Nordstrom in our city as long as it is not government subsidized sub·si·dize
tr.v. sub·si·dized, sub·si·diz·ing, sub·si·diz·es
1. To assist or support with a subsidy.
2. To secure the assistance of by granting a subsidy. .''
``If there are so many local citizens interested in a Nordstrom at the Town Center Mall Town Center Mall may refer to:
Sally Louise White Louise White is a newsreader on Scotland Today, the news programme on STV Central.
Louise usually presents Scotland Today's West news opt-out, job-sharing with Heather Simpson.
``Bringing a Nordstrom department store to Santa Clarita should have an overall increase in the positive impression of Santa Clarita.''
``We were infuriated in·fu·ri·ate
tr.v. in·fu·ri·at·ed, in·fu·ri·at·ing, in·fu·ri·ates
To make furious; enrage.
Furious. after reading Newhall Land and Farming's highly deceptive letter asking us to approve a $32 million payola pay·o·la
1. Bribery of an influential person in exchange for the promotion of a product or service, such that of disc jockeys for the promotion of records.
2. to Nordstrom just to have their department store sell its wares within our city. Such arrogance.''
Liz and Mich Araki
``I contacted by phone and sent a letter to the person in charge of contributions and donations (at Nordstrom) for a donation to the (Santa Clarita Valley The Santa Clarita Valley is the valley of the Santa Clara River in Southern California. It stretches through Los Angeles County and Ventura County. Its main population center is the city of Santa Clarita. The valley was part of the 48,612-acre (19,672. Boys and Girls boys and girls
mercurialisannua. Club) auction. I was turned down both years. This makes me wonder if they will contribute to be part of this community.''
``If Newhall LFand wants a Nordstrom here, let them pay for it. It makes no sense whatsoever for the city to forfeit To lose to another person or to the state some privilege, right, or property due to the commission of an error, an offense, or a crime, a breach of contract, or a neglect of duty; to subject property to confiscation; or to become liable for the payment of a penalty, as the result of a future tax revenue to support this business decision.''
Edward L. Docks
``We definitely need an upscale department store. Whatever we can help with, let us know.
Susan and Stella Pilarski
``If it happens, I'm boycotting the store.''
``Please stand firm against this proposal. This is high-pressure tactics. We don't need to set a precedent that other retailers would expect.''
Arthur and Beverly Edwards
Why should the middle class pay for a place for the elite to shop?
Iola E. Meredith
I think it would be nice to have the city back a business - if it was mine.
BOX: (Ran in SAC Sac: see Sac and Fox.
SAC - 1. An early system on the Datatron 200 series.
[Listed in CACM 2(5):16 (May 1959)]. Edition only) WHAT YOU THINK (See text)