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LIBRARY EXPANSION PLANNED IN REGION.

Byline: Cynthia Teed Daily News Staff Writer

The first expansion of library facilities for the Santa Clarita Valley in 20 years is on the drawing board, officials said Friday.

Construction plans for the new Canyon Country branch library are tentatively slated to begin late this year, said David Flint, assistant director of financial planning for the Los Angeles County Library System.

Future plans are also in the works for proposed libraries to be built in Castaic and in the western and northern sections of Santa Clarita should development demand, Flint said.

The present 5,000-square-foot Canyon Country branch, which serves up to 50,000 patrons, has been deemed inadequate by both city and county officials.

In a financial plan presented April 20 to the Santa Clarita Planning Commission, a new library has been proposed as part of a commercial development at the northwest corner of Soledad Canyon Road and Shangri La Drive in Canyon Country.

The proposed library would be part of a seven-acre property with six buildings totaling approximately 72,000 square feet. The center would include retail, restaurants and a health club, and is to be developed by T.C.P. Management LLC in conjunction with the city.

According to city planner Glenn Adamick, Santa Clarita would contribute $5.1 million toward the project, resulting in the purchase of the stand-alone library building and a portion of the property, with the developer constructing the building. The completed facility would then be sold to the city and the county.

The proceeds from the sale of the building housing the old Canyon Country library would be earmarked for the new facility, Flint said.

The county would staff and supply the new larger library and would reimburse the city in full for its contribution over a number of years. The county would utilize a portion of its fees paid by housing developers for libraries to repay the city.

Developers pay a one-time charge of $570 per home in unincorporated areas to expand libraries for the residents their projects generate, Flint said.

``The amount of the mitigation fee charged to the developer building new construction in an unincorporated area is not set in stone,'' he said. ``We will review it each fiscal year to make sure it is the adequate amount to build a library.''

The existing Canyon Country library, although not as heavily used as the Valencia branch - busiest in the Los Angeles County Library system - circulated 207,000 items in 1997-98 and is considered inadequate for the demand placed on it by the growing patron population, said Sandra Duncan, the regional director of the county library system.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Apr 24, 1999
Words:437
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