Santa Clarita, California

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Santa Clarita, California
settlement_type = City
nickname =
imagesize =
image_caption = Santa Clarita as seen from the Santa Susana foothills.


mapsize = 250x200px
map_caption = Location of Santa Clarita in California and Los Angeles County

mapsize1 =
map_caption1 =
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_name1 = California
subdivision_name2 = Los Angeles
government_type =
leader_title = Mayor
leader_name = Bob Kellar
leader_title1 = Mayor Pro-Tem
leader_name1 = Frank Ferry
leader_title2 = City Council
leader_name2 = Marsha McLean Laurene Weste Laurie Ender
leader_title3 = City Manager
leader_name3 = Ken Pulskamp
established_title = Incorporated
established_date = December 15, 1987
area_magnitude = 1 E8
area_total_sq_mi = 47.8
area_total_km2 = 123.9
area_land_sq_mi = 47.8
area_land_km2 = 123.9
area_water_sq_mi = 0.04
area_water_km2 = 0.1
area_water_percent = 0.04
area_urban_sq_mi =
area_urban_km2 =
area_metro_sq_mi =
area_metro_km2 =
population_as_of = 2000
population_note = U.S. Census, 2000
population_total = 151088
population_as_of = 2007
population_note = California Department of Finance, 2007
population_total = 177045
population_density_km2 = 1219.6
population_density_sq_mi = 3159.1
timezone = PST
utc_offset = -8
timezone_DST = PDT
utc_offset_DST = -7
latd = 34 |latm = 24 |lats = 50 |latNS = N
longd = 118 |longm = 30 |longs = 23 |longEW = W
elevation_m = 368
elevation_ft = 1207
website = []
postal_code_type = ZIP codes
postal_code = 91310, 91321-91322, 91350-91351, 91354-91355, 91380-91387, 91390
area_code = 661
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 06-69088
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 1662338
footnotes =

Santa Clarita is the fourth largest city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. The California Department of Finance estimated the city population as of January 1, 2008 at 177,045. [ [ California Department of Finance, City/County Population Estimates with Annual Percent Change, January 1, 2007 and 2008 (retrieved August 30, 2008)] ] Including unincorporated areas of the Santa Clarita Valley, the population is estimated at over 250,000. It is located about convert|35|mi|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 is ranked as one of the top 100 places to live by [ "Money"] .

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 (Cal-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 is located at coor dms|34|24|60|N|118|30|23|W|city (34.416561, -118.506443)GR|1. 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.


Santa Clarita was only fairly recently incorporated (1987), but its history runs deep. The area was settled by early man between 25,000 and 18,000 years ago. 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.

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 [ [ "Tales of the Saugus Cafe] , at [ "Santa Clarita Valley History in Pictures"] (retrieved July 22, 2008)] and appears to be, by far, the oldest still-operating restaurant in Los Angeles County. [ [ "Centenarian (and older) restaurants?"] Chowhound (post dated August 26, 2004, retrieved July 22, 2008).]

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.cite web | url= | title= SAN FRANCISQUITO CANYON and the ST. FRANCIS DAM | publisher= Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society | accessdate=2007-04-09] 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 [] .

Law enforcement and fire protection

The City of Santa Clarita has a contract with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department for law enforcement and with the Los Angeles County Fire Department for fire protection. It has its own sheriff station located at the intersection of Valencia Blvd and Magic Mountain Parkway, and currently has eight fire stations - but with the increasing growth in the area eight new stations are planned for the area by 2012.


Santa Clarita is no stranger to wild fires and is shown to be one of the most active areas in the nation for wild fires. Recent fires in and around the City of Santa Clarita include Stables (2001), Copper (2002), Bouquet (2002), Simi (2003), Verdale (2003), Foothill (2004), Buckweed (2007), Ranch (2007), and Magic (2007).


As of the censusGR|2 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 79.53% White, 2.07% African American, 0.59% Native American, 5.24% Asian, 0.15% Pacific Islander, 8.54% from other races, and 3.89% from two or more races. 20.50% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. [ [ Census 2000 Demographic Profile: Santa Clarita ] ]

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 2006 estimate, the median income for a household in the city was $75,917, and the median income for a family was $82,386. [] 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.


In the state legislature Santa Clarita is located in the 17th and 19th Senate Districts, represented by Republicans George Runner and Tom McClintock 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 [cite web | title = Will Gerrymandered Districts Stem the Wave of Voter Unrest? | publisher = Campaign Legal Center Blog | url= | accessdate = 2008-02-10] and is represented by Republican Buck McKeon.

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 Co.'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 George Clooney 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, including "Pump Up the Volume" (filmed at Saugus High School), Heroes, filmed at Golden Valley High School and West Ranch High School, "24", "NCIS", "The Riches", "" and "Christine" filmed in Valencia. The HBO series "Big Love" starring Chloë Sevigny and Bill Paxton shoots in Mentryville. In addition to these productions, the short-lived series "Smith" was not only filmed in Santa Clarita, but the main (fictional) characters lived in the city. Another short-lived series, "Freaks and Geeks", was filmed at and around William S. Hart High School. "The Secret World of Alex Mack" was filmed at Charles Helmers Elementary School in the Valencia neighborhood of Northbridge. "Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers" was filmed in parts of Santa Clarita and Castaic as well.

The city was destroyed by a fictional nuclear bomb in a recent season of "24".

In the 1970s and 1980s, "The Dukes of Hazzard," "BJ and the Bear," "The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo," and a number of episodes of "CHiPs," "Charlie's Angels," and "Knight Rider" were filmed in and around the Santa Clarita Valley. The movies Viva Knievel! and The Gumball Rally were also extensively filmed there.

Beginning in the 1990s, studios began to set up in the Santa Clarita Valley, and "Melrose Place" was one of the first TV series to be based out of Santa Clarita Studios.

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.

The HBO series "Deadwood" was filmed in Placerita Canyon at Melody Ranch Studios, once owned by Gene Autry.

The Showtime series "Weeds" is filmed in various locations around Stevenson Ranch and at the College of the Canyons.

Sierra Vista Junior High's gym was used to shoot the movie Mr. Woodcock.

In Malcolm in the Middle, Malcolm and his brothers drive go-karts at Mountasia Family Fun Center on Soledad Canyon Road.

Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion (during the high school flashback) was filmed at Valencia High School. Parts of Bio Dome were also filmed there.One of the first scenes in Space Cowboys was filmed at The Halfway House on Sierra Highway.
JAG is sometimes filmed in Newhall.

"Encino Man" and "National Lampoon's Vacation" were filmed at Six Flags Magic Mountain.

In the movie "Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back", the protagonists steal an ape from a science lab in an industrial park. The park in which the scene was shot is on the Old Road off of Interstate 5 near the 126 interchange, between Castaic and Valencia in Santa Clarita.

Scenes of "Dude Where's My Car" were filmed at Mountasia Family Fun Center.

2007's "Vacancy" was largely filmed in Santa Clarita.FX's "The Riches" also has scenes filmed in Santa Clarita.

Many of the outdoor scenes for the sci-fi/western show Firefly were filmed in Santa Clarita.



Santa Clarita is serviced by Interstate 5 on the western Valencia side, of the valley. The communities of Canyon Country and Newhall, on the east side of the valley, can be accessed by using State Route 14.

Bus Service

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

On weekdays, City of Santa Clarita Transit operates commuter buses to/from Burbank, downtown Los Angeles, 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.

Local Media

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 ~13,000 and a Sunday circulation of some 55,000. 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 "Daily News" printing plant is located in Valencia.


The Santa Clarita Valley is served by one AM radio station: KHTS (AM), "Santa Clarita's Hometown Station." The commercial radio station 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.

In addition, the City of Santa Clarita and its surrounding communities are 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.


Under its franchise agreement with the City of Santa Clarita, Time Warner Cable provides Community Access Television on cable Channel 20 throughout the Santa Clarita Valley. Channel 20 carries public, educational and government programming, including Santa Clarita City Council and Planning Commission meetings. Local television news coverage is generated weekly for Channel 20, as is local entertainment and sports programming and local football, basketball and baseball games.

There are no commercial over-the-air television stations in the Santa Clarita Valley. The city is part of the Los Angeles media market. Much of the Santa Clarita Valley does not have access to over-the-air television signals from the Los Angeles television stations due to geographical limitations. Analog and digital signals from the Los Angeles stations are available on local cable television systems, DirecTV and Dish Network


"The Signal" expanded its online presence and redesigned its website to be more accommodating to multimedia news stories. For instance, "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 internet [ 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:
* [ SCVTalk] - News and Opinion Blog
* [ SantaClaritaGuide] - Santa Clarita in Pictures
* [ Santa Clarita Real Estate Blog] - Real Estate and Opinion Blog

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 convert|3000|acre|km2 of open space and convert|32|mi|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. The city is also home to a public ice skating rink called the "Ice Station".

chool districts

*Castaic Union School District []
*Newhall School District []
*Saugus Union School District []
*Sulphur Springs Elementary School District []
*William S. Hart High School District []

Colleges and universities

*California Institute of the Arts
*The Master's College []
*College of the Canyons []


External links

* [ City of Santa Clarita homepage]
* [ The Signal, Santa Clarita Valley's newspaper]
* [ SCVTV] (Official city community television programming)
* [ Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures]
* [ Santa Clarita 4th of July Parade]
* [ Santa Clarita Guide - What to Do, Where to Find It]
* [ Santa Clarita Valley Resources Page]
* [ - Your City, Your Site for Santa Clarita]
* [ LA County Disaster Communications Service ( DCS ) Santa Clarita Valley Station]
* [ - Santa Clarita Neighborhood News/Community Journalism Site]
* [ - Santa Clarita Community, Life, and Events]
* [ AM-1220 KHTS - Santa Clarita's Radio Station]
* [ Santa Clarita Marathon]
* [ Local Live Weather]
* [ Tour of California]

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