County takes time to ponder changes proposed for Skyline Ranch

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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The developer building more than 1,200 homes near Plum Canyon asked regional planners Tuesday for permission to move graded soil from one spot to another to allow greater flexibility in road construction.

Grading in preparation to build 1,220 homes for the Skyline Ranch housing project on the hilly terrain on Plum Canyon Road, near Whites Canyon Road, is underway.

On Tuesday, Pardee Homes, the project’s developer, went before the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning seeking permission to make a couple of changes.

The hearing officer, however, decided to leave any final decisions until later, asking the developer for more information and putting the matter off until next month.

“Today, the hearing officer considered the following two requests pertaining to Skyline Ranch,” regional planning spokesman Mitch Glaser said.

“Move the sedimentation site from the first phase of development to the second phase of development,” he said.

“And to amend language in the conditions of approval pertaining to Bridge and Thoroughfare Fees,” he said, referring to fees earmarked to pay for street improvements.

“The amendments provide greater flexibility while ensuring that the street improvements are made to the satisfaction of the county,” Glaser said.

And, about moving the “sedimentation site,” he said: “It’s the location on a construction site where eroded soil is placed so that it does not wash off the site and pollute any nearby water bodies.”

The requests would not provide the developer with more time to complete the project.

The Skyline Ranch project, which sits on 2,173 acres, is scheduled to be heard at the regional planning office June 5.

Once it’s built, it’s expected to feature 1,220 homes and 188 detached condos. It also includes an 11-acre park, an elementary school, 25 open space lots, 13 debris basins and four water tanks.

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

Pardee Homes expects to build about three houses per acre on 400 acres.

In order to build it, however, the developer must grade more than 100,000 cubic yards of earth and remove one oak tree which is not considered a heritage oak.

Skyline Ranch, which is inside the district zoned for Sand Canyon, is in line with SCV’s master development plan, “One Valley, One Vision.”

When the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved the project initially, 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.

Pardee Homes, however, reduced the number of homes in the plan.

On Dec. 20, 2016, when Skyline Ranch 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, regional planners found that building fewer homes would have less of an impact on the environment.

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