Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

Sides Meet to Decide Action on Carey Ranch

By Pearl Obispo
Signal Staff Writer

Wednesday, May 7, 2003

n an effort to resolve the fate of a local historic site caught in the middle of legal wrangling, preservationists, the developer of Tesoro del Valle and county officials took part in a round-table discussion Tuesday, called for by Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich.
    Members of the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society, developer Montalvo Properties and officials from Los Angeles County discussed details of the funding mechanism for the Harry Carey Ranch — the home once owned by the Western film star.
    Paul Novak, Antonovichıs planning deputy, said the meeting was productive, but more importantly focused on two primary concerns.
    "First is that we do everything we can to preserve and maintain the adobe in perpetuity," he said. "The second concern is, how do we go about financing so that it is feasible?"
    Novak said he was encouraged that all the parties had universal agreement on the first goal. However, the first hurdle is finding the means to finance the goal.
    "What weıre doing now is identifying a financing mechanism to ensure funds are there," Novak said. "Once we identify that, it may help us dictate certain ideas on management, maintenance and operation of the adobe."
    Last week, after 10 years of negotiations, Montalvo Properties terminated a 1999 memorandum of understanding with the historical society — an agreement that would have authorized the society to operate the historic site as a museum, with funding coming from the developer and future homeowners.
    Historical society attorney Carl Kanowsky said time will tell if the joint meeting produced positive results.
    "We can only hope the meeting proves to be productive," Kanowsky said. "The county counsel will be doing some research and getting answers back to participants. Weıve been involved in this since 1993. Letıs hope that we donıt have that same kind of delay."
    The city of Santa Clarita could potentially be involved in the site.
    "The city is dedicated to supporting the preservation of our valleyıs rich and many wonderful historic sites," Councilwoman Laurene Weste said. "Weıre listed as one of the basic agencies that are potentially responsible to step in."
    Weste said the meeting produced positive results and credits most of the success to Antonovich.
    "We feel the supervisor is completely committed to making sure the site is preserved and agreements are worked through so that we can continue to have this wonderful place," Weste said.
    For now, the historical society will continue its open discussions with the county to determine the best course of action.
    Historical Society President Leon Worden said Antonovich's involvement couldn't have come at a more critical time.
    "This would not be happening if not for Supervisor Antonovich's ongoing commitment, especially at this crucial time, to the preservation of the historic buildings," said Worden, who is The Signal's city editor.
    Representatives for Montalvo Properties could not be reached for comment.

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