Planners approve “smaller” Skyline Ranch project

Construction continues on Skyline Ranch Road near the intersection of Golden Valley Road on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal
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Regional planners strapped with the easy task of assessing the environmental impact of fewer homes being built for the Skyline Ranch development, gave the project thumbs up approval Tuesday.

When the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved the housing project nearly seven years ago, they concluded it would severely impact the environment, creating significant noise and air pollution on Skyline Ranch Road.

In the end, however, supervisors decided the benefits of the project outweighed the adverse impacts.

So, on Dec. 20, 2016, when the project was whittled to 1,220 homes from 1,260 homes, the environmental impact report prepared for the county had to be amended to reflect the change.

Not surprisingly, they found that building fewer homes would have less of an impact on the environment.

The Board of Supervisors approved the Skyline Ranch project on December 7, 2010.

“An Environmental Impact Report was prepared for the project and the EIR determined that the project would result in significant and unavoidable impacts to aesthetics, construction-related noise and air quality, operational air quality, and public services,” Mitch Glaser, assistant administrator for the Department of Regional Planning told The Signal Tuesday.

“As part of its approval, the Board adopted a statement of overriding considerations that stated that the benefits of the project outweighed the significant and unavoidable impacts,” he said.

At today’s meeting, the Hearing Officer considered an amendment to the previously approved project,” Glaser said Tuesday.

“The overall number of single-family homes is being reduced from 1,260 to 1,220, so the project will be smaller,” he said.

An Addendum to the previous EIR was prepared and it determined that these changes will not result in any new environmental impacts, nor will they increase the severity of the previously identified environmental impacts, Glaser said.

“So the previously identified environmental impacts are listed on the agenda but the amended project will not make these impacts worse because it will be smaller than the original project,” he said.

The Hearing Officer approved the amendment to the previously approved project.

Under the approved plan, about 80 percent of the project — 1,770 acres — will be preserved open space.

Pardee Homes, the project’s developer, expects to build about three houses per acre on 400 acres.

The Skyline Ranch plan also comes with: an 11-acre park, an elementary school, 25 open space lots, 13 debris basins and four water tanks.

SMALLER PROJECT

On Dec. 20, county officials officially reduced the size of the project by 40 homes dropping it to 1,220.

Three months later, local water officials went on record saying there is enough water to proceed with the construction of the homes slated to become part of the Skyline Ranch Project.

Conditional on the project moving forward, however, was the assurance by water officials that the Santa Clarita Valley has enough water to meet the demand of the new residents – in good times and bad.

In their report to the board Wednesday Abercrombie, along with members of CLWA’s Retail Operations Committee, recommended board members adopt their official pledge on the availability of water for the Skyline Ranch Project.

The official pledge is called a Water Supply Verification report and is required by state law any time more than 500 homes are to be built as part of one project.

Abercrombie and the committee also recommended the board send a copy of the water promise report to Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, giving the housing project the green light to proceed.

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