Founded in the 1960s, Valencia, California, is a planned community located adjacent to the city of Santa Clarita, approximately 40 miles northwest of Los Angeles. The community of Valencia was developed on the acreage of the historic Newall Ranch, a vast farming and ranching concern formed by Henry Mayo Newhall in the mid-19th century. In 2007, some of the first residents to settle in Valencia celebrated their 40th anniversary living in the planned community.
NEIGHBORHOODS AND DISTRICTS
Valencia is divided into a series of individual, interconnected villages, each with its own character and lifestyle. There are more than 50 villages at present, with room for future development. Some of the more prominent villages include:
- West Hills: This village features an expansive, active-use park. The district is comprised of single-family homes with sweeping views of the nearby mountains and valleys. West Hills is situated on nearly a thousand acres, half of which is designated to remain open space.
- River Village: This is a large community and is renowned for its natural setting. Prominent features of River Village include the Santa Clara River and a woodland forest. The village is characterized by single-family residences and townhouses that boast a small-town, Americana theme.
- West Creek: Bordering the San Francisquito Creek, this village features Italian-inspired town homes, condominiums and a variety of single-family residences. It also offers two parks and a neighborhood retail center.
ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES
The majority of Valencia's business activity is concentrated in the Valencia Gateway. A master-planned business park and commercial center, Valencia Gateway is home to more than 1,500 businesses that employ more than 45,000 people. The community's founding philosophy was based largely on the incorporation of a thriving business center within the community; indeed, Valencia boasts that three jobs were created for every one home built in the town.
Major companies located in Valencia include Warner Brothers, Kaiser Permanente, HR Trexton and Princess Cruises.
- Six Flags Magic Mountain: This amusement park opened in 1971, and now offers more than 100 rides and attractions. It is particularly known for its roller coasters, which attract thrill-seekers from around the world.
- Hurricane Harbor: Located adjacent to Six Flags Magic Mountain, Hurricane Harbor is an extensive water park that offers aquatic fun for the whole family, including wave pools, tube slides and lazy rivers.
- Heritage Valley: Just a short drive from Valencia, Heritage Valley boasts miles of scenery and attractions that commemorate the agricultural, historical and cultural significance of the surrounding area. A popular destination for Valencia's residents, Lake Piru offers scenic vistas for picnicking and hiking, and visitors can explore the valley via rail on the Fillmore and Western Railway.
Valencia is known as North Los Angeles County's premier boutique shopping destination, due in part to the 30-mile Paseo walkway system that connects every major shopping district in Valencia. Top shopping centers include:
- The Valencia Town Center: A newly renovated indoor/outdoor shopping center with many high-end retailers and restaurants.
- River Oaks Shopping Center: This mixed-use commercial/residential development is located adjacent to the Valencia Town Center.
- Valencia Marketplace: Covering nearly a mile along the west side of Interstate 5, this shopping center consists primarily of big-box stores.
- Stevenson Ranch Plaza: Across the street from the Valencia Marketplace sits Stevenson Ranch Plaza, with many large retail chains and fast-food restaurants.
- College of the Canyons: Situated in the heart of Valencia, College of the Canyons is one of the fastest-growing, two-year colleges in the state, with a projected enrollment of more than 20,000 students by the year 2015. Set on a picturesque campus, College of the Canyons offers both traditional and online classes.
- California Institute of the Arts: Located in an expansive, five-story building, the California Institute for the Arts offers a range of courses within six principal areas of study: music, dance, theater, critical studies, film/video and art. Students are admitted solely on the basis of ability, and are able to pursue bachelor's and master's degrees in the visual and performing arts.
There are several newspapers covering news in the Valencia area, including:
- The Santa Clarita Valley Signal: Founded in 1919, this community newspaper has a circulation of around 9,000 copies.
- The Los Angeles Daily News and The Los Angeles Times: Both offer free weekly inserts covering news and events in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Local magazines include:
- Élite Magazine: A seasonal magazine offering reviews of Santa Clarita Valley businesses and restaurants, tours of local homes, vacation specials and fashion articles.
- Inside SCV: A monthly magazine covering local news and events.
- The Magazine of Santa Clarita: A monthly magazine with local news, editorials and restaurant reviews.