After 15 years of litigation and protests over the 21,000-home development, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors gave its blessing Tuesday for the first phase of the Newhall Ranch project to break ground.
The board's decision marks a major step forward for the Santa Clarita-area master planned community that has survived bankruptcy and legal challenges since it was first proposed in the mid-1990s. ...
"This is the 15-year culmination of getting state and federal approvals," said Marlee Lauffer, vice president of marketing and communications for Newhall Land. "This is the approval of our first neighborhood."
Located between the Santa Clara River and State Route 126 [west of 6 Flags Magic Mountain], Landmark Village will consist of 1,174 condominiums and 270 single-family homes, all connected by plazas, retail centers and parks. Groundbreaking is expected in two to three years, Lauffer said. The development will be built out over 30 years.
Landmark Village is part of the larger Newhall Ranch project, which is planned to stretch over 12,000 acres near the 5 Interstate and the 126 Freeway.
While boosters describe Landmark Village as a quaint small-town neighborhood with condos, porch-front homes, and corner stores, critics call it a planning disaster.
Newhall Ranch still faces staunch opposition from environmentalists and some Native American groups, who filed a lawsuit in January arguing the state Department of Fish and Game issued permits that allow the project to build in the Santa Clara River flood plain, desecrate Native American burial sites and destroy San Fernando Valley spineflower habitat. The case is expected to be heard next year.
This variety of spineflower was thought to be extinct, having not been seen since 1929, until it was rediscovered accidentally on the Ahmanson Ranch development site in southeastern Ventura County. It was presumed to be extinct by CNPS and botanists until June of 1999 when botanist Rick Reifner found it at a previously unreported locale on Laskey Mesa in the Simi Hills of Ventura County, just north of Calabasas. It has also been found at several locations on Newhall Ranch near Valencia/Castaic Junction area ...
Personally, I'm in favor of all sides in these debates: property rights, environmental preservation, affordable housing, fast commutes, limiting carbon emissions, etc etc. I think the wants of citizens on all sides are not unreasonable. There's no single Solution.
Yet, there's an obvious way not to exacerbate these conflicts of interests among Americans: don't let vast numbers of foreigners into the country. Pointing this out makes me some kind of extremist kook.