Santa Clarita, California facts for kids

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Santa Clarita, California
City
City of Santa Clarita
Santa Clarita's Canyon Country in September 2008.
Santa Clarita's Canyon Country in September 2008.
Flag of Santa Clarita, California
Flag
Official seal of Santa Clarita, California
Seal
Location of Santa Clarita in California and Los Angeles County
Location of Santa Clarita in California and Los Angeles County
Country  United States
State  California
County Flag of Los Angeles County, California.png Los Angeles
Incorporated December 15, 1987
Area
 • City 64.4 sq mi (166.79 km2)
 • Land 64.34 sq mi (166.64 km2)
 • Water 0.06 sq mi (0.155 km2)  0.099%
Elevation 1,207 ft (368 m)
Population (January 1, 2016)
 • City 219,611
 • Rank 3rd in Los Angeles County
24th in California
 • Density 3,410.1/sq mi (1,316.69/km2)
 • Metro 13,155,788
Demonym(s) Santa Claritan
Time zone Pacific (UTC−08:00)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC−07:00)
ZIP codes 91310, 91321–91322, 91350–91351, 91354–91355, 91380–91387, 91390
Area code 661
FIPS code 06-69088
GNIS feature IDs 1662338, 2411819
Website www.santa-clarita.com

Santa Clarita, officially the City of Santa Clarita, is the third largest city in Los Angeles County, California, and the seventeenth largest in the state of California. The city has annexed a number of unincorporated areas, contributing to the large population increase. 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. Santa Clarita was ranked by Money magazine in 2006 as 18th of the top 100 places to live.

Santa Clarita was incorporated in December 1987 as the union of four unincorporated communities, Canyon Country, Newhall, Saugus, and Valencia, all of which are situated on the land of the former Rancho San Francisco. The four communities retain separate identities, and it is common for residents to refer to a specific neighborhood when asked where they are from. Santa Clarita is bounded on the west by the Golden State Freeway (I-5). The Antelope Valley Freeway (SR-14) runs northeast-southwest through an irregular east border, and the Newhall Pass is the city's southernmost point.

Santa Clarita is often associated with the Six Flags Magic Mountain amusement park, though the park is located just outside the city limits, and the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), located in Valencia.

History

Santaclaritawelcomesign
The Santa Clarita welcome sign in May 2010.
Santaclaritaintersection
A typical stretch of Valencia Boulevard in the Valencia part of Santa Clarita in July 2004. The bridge in the distance carries a paseo (a type of dedicated pedestrian pathway) over the roadway.

Santa Clarita was incorporated in December 1987, but its history stretches back several centuries. About AD 450, the Tataviam arrived, numbering around 2,000 at their zenith.

The Santa Clara River was named by Spanish explorers for Clare of Assisi. The valley and the settlement later became known as "little Santa Clara" in deference to the Northern California mission and city of Santa Clara, California. In time, "little Santa Clara" became "Santa Clarita."

In 1842, Francisco Lopez made the first "documented" discovery of gold in California. The event is memorialized in an 1842 mining claim issued by Gov. Juan B. Alvarado. 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, a businessman who made his fortune during the California Gold Rush after opening up the H.M. Newhall & Company, a successful auction house in San Francisco. 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 Railroad. In 1870, he and his partners sold the company to Southern Pacific Railroad, on whose board of directors he then sat.

After railroads, Newhall turned 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 (58,000 ha) between Monterey and Los Angeles counties. The most significant portion was the 46,460 acres (18,800 ha) 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 part of the land, upon which the company built a town named after him: Newhall. The first station built on the line he named for his hometown, Saugus, Massachusetts. After his death, Newhall's heirs incorporated the Newhall Land and Farming Company, which oversaw the development of the communities that now make up Santa Clarita.

On September 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, now the oldest existing petroleum refinery in the world; it was operational from 1874 to 1888.

A few days earlier, on September 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 Railroad Avenue in Saugus, was established in 1887 and appears to be, by far, the oldest still-operating restaurant in Los Angeles County.

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's history in terms of lives lost, known as the "worst civil engineering failure of the 20th century". Shortly before midnight on March 12, 1928, the St. Francis Dam collapsed. By the time the floodwaters reached the Pacific Ocean near Ventura five hours later, nearly 600 people were dead. Within modern Santa Clarita city limits, the present day site of the Westfield Valencia Town Center mall would have been buried beneath muck, mud and debris. Some buildings in Newhall became makeshift morgues.

After failed attempts to form a city and at least two failed attempts to form a separate county, the people of the Santa Clarita Valley finally incorporated the City of Santa Clarita at 4:30 PM on December 15, 1987 after voting in favor of incorporation by a margin of two to one in that year's general election. The other proposed name for the new city, which was narrowly defeated, was "City of the Canyons."

Geography

Santa Clarita, according to the United States Census Bureau, has an area of 62.16 square miles (161.0 km2), of which 62.10 square miles (160.8 km2) is land and 0.06 square miles (0.16 km2) (0.099%) is water.

Santa Clarita is 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 Town Center, and Six Flags Magic Mountain. Magic Mountain's 38-story Sky Tower swayed six feet in each direction during the Northridge earthquake with only minor damage.

Santa Clarita has hiking trails in the surrounding mountains including Agua Dulce Canyon, Central Park, East Walker Ranch, Elsmere Canyon, Golden Valley Ranch, Haskell Canyon Open Space, Quigley Canyon, and Wildwood Canyon.

Climate

Santa Clarita is within a Mediterranean climate zone, characterized by warm and dry days most of the year with mild-moist winters. During the summer, hot weather is predominant with occasional high humidity and cumulus buildups over the higher terrain surrounding the valley. During influxes of monsoonal moisture in the summer, thunderstorms sometimes occur. Due to its close proximity to the Mojave/Upper Desert and Pacific Ocean, varying micro-climates are common.

Characterized by dry hills covered in brush and chaparral, late summer and early autumn are often referred to as "fire season." Moreover, wildfire activity occurs throughout the year during drought conditions. The warmest months are July through September, although it is not unusual to have hot weather in early October. During this time, temperatures typically remain in the high 90s and low 100s, but temperatures can reach as high as 117 degrees, as it did in September 2010. Winters are mild, with temperatures dropping below freezing only occasionally on clear winter nights. Rain falls primarily from December through February. The area received measurable snow on January 2, 2011 (1-4 inches). Snow was also seen on February 26, 2011 and April 8, 2011, where some areas received a dusting.

Climate data for Santa Clarita, California
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 64
(17.8)
66
(18.9)
68
(20)
74
(23.3)
79
(26.1)
88
(31.1)
94
(34.4)
95
(35)
91
(32.8)
82
(27.8)
72
(22.2)
65
(18.3)
78.2
(25.65)
Average low °F (°C) 36
(2.2)
37
(2.8)
38
(3.3)
41
(5)
45
(7.2)
50
(10)
54
(12.2)
55
(12.8)
52
(11.1)
46
(7.8)
39
(3.9)
36
(2.2)
44.1
(6.71)
Precipitation inches (mm) 2.99
(75.9)
3.50
(88.9)
3.03
(77)
.63
(16)
.22
(5.6)
.01
(0.3)
.01
(0.3)
.11
(2.8)
.27
(6.9)
.36
(9.1)
1.22
(31)
1.61
(40.9)
13.96
(354.6)

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1990 110,642
2000 151,088 36.6%
2010 176,320 16.7%
Est. 2015 182,371 3.4%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010

The 2010 United States Census reported that Santa Clarita had a population of 176,320. The population density was 3,340.6 people per square mile (1,289.8/km²). The racial makeup of Santa Clarita was 125,005 (70.9%) White (56.1% Non-Hispanic White), 5,623 (3.2%) African American, 1,013 (0.6%) Native American, 15,025 (8.5%) Asian (3.4% Filipino, 1.7% Korean, 0.8% Indian, 0.8% Chinese, 0.6% Japanese, 0.3% Vietnamese, 0.9% Other Asian), 272 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 21,169 (12.0%) from other races, and 8,213 (4.7%) from two or more races. There were 51,941 people of Hispanic or Latino origin, of any race (29.5% of the population).

The census reported that 174,910 people (99.2% of the population) lived in households, 1,281 (0.7%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 129 (0.1%) were institutionalized. There were 59,507 households, out of which 24,677 (41.5%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 34,126 (57.3%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 6,888 (11.6%) had a female householder with no husband present, 3,322 (5.6%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 3,134 (5.3%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 484 (0.8%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 11,634 households (19.6%) were made up of individuals and 4,335 (7.3%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.94. There were 44,336 families (74.5% of all households); the average family size was 3.37.

In terms of age, the population included 46,180 people (26.2%) under the age of 18, 17,565 people (10.0%) aged 18 to 24, 47,788 people (27.1%) aged 25 to 44, 47,936 people (27.2%) aged 45 to 64, and 16,851 people (9.6%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36.2 years. For every 100 females there were 97.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.0 males.

There were 62,055 housing units at an average density of 1,175.7 per square mile (453.9/km²), of which 42,335 (71.1%) were owner-occupied, and 17,172 (28.9%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.4%; the rental vacancy rate was 6.0%. 124,532 people (70.6% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 50,378 people (28.6%) lived in rental housing units.

According to the Census Bureau, Santa Clarita had a median household income of $82,607, with 9.5% of the population living below the federal poverty line.

2000

As of the census of 2000, there were 151,088 people, 50,787 households, and 38,242 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,159.1 inhabitants per square mile (1,219.6/km²). There were 52,442 housing units at an average density of 1,096.5 per square mile (423.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 69.02% 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.

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. 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.

Sister cities

In popular culture

  • Santa Clarita Diet, a 2017 Netflix Original television series set in Santa Clarita, CA

Images for kids


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