Regional planning committee to scrutinize 2 small housing projects



Santa Clarita Valley’s building boom expected in the next few years includes projects that will add tens of thousands of homes. And there will also be projects with just a few dozen or less, including two projects set to be scrutinized by regional planners Thursday.

The projects — one in Newhall, which calls for seven homes on 20 acres, and one in Stevenson Ranch for 37 homes on 94 acres — are to be reviewed by the Subdivision Committee of the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning.

“The Subdivision Committee meetings are open to the public, but are not streamed online,” Regional Planning spokesman Mitch Glaser told The Signal Wednesday.

“These meetings consist of staff from various county departments who review the proposed project and provide technical comments,” he said. “No decisions are made.”

On Thursday, members of the regional planning’s Subdivision Commission — made up of stakeholder agencies such public works, public health, fire and parks and recreation — are expected to take a hard look at how each project will affect things like how much grading is expected and water availability.


Sunburst Canyon

Sunburst Canyon LLC wants to build seven homes on 20 acres near the intersection of Sagecrect Circle and Coriander Court, in Newhall.

The proposed site for the homes is considered by planners to be a Significant Ecological Area.

Building the homes would mean grading more than 100,000 cubic yards of earth,

and obtaining special permission for cut down seven oak trees.

The homes also encroach on a sensitive grove of 18 oak trees.

Committee members are expected to pay particular attention to issues pertaining to the project’s impact on public works, fire, parks and recreation and public health.

And, since the project site is about a mile north of a flooding and mudflow concern for county public works officials two years ago, some committee members what to hear from the developers about drainage.

In a hydrology report prepared for the project last summer, public works engineers spelled out specific concerns about which the developers were expected to comply.

The developer was expected, for example, to protect roadway improvements and affected structures from damage since the site was in a flood zone.


PI Properties

The other housing project, PI Properties No. 36, is set to unfold in Stevenson Ranch is just a mile north of the Sunburst Canyon project.

Developer Jon Friedman wants to build 37 homes on 94.28 acres southwest of Pico Canyon Road at Interstate 5, just east of Magnolia Lane.

The plan also calls for two open space lots and five public facilities.  Only one oak tree is to be cut down for the homes.

Once grading begins to level the hilly site, about 1 million cubic yards of earth are expected to be moved.

In January, public works officials handed the developer a number of demands on redefining curves in proposed roadways.

They also wanted the developer to ensure that driveways are not within 25 feet upstream of any catch basin in places where the street grades are steeper than six percent.

As far as water questions, public works asked the developer in January to come up with a sewer area study.

These are the types of environmental impacts committee members are expected to review Thursday.


One Valley, One Vision

As noted on their Subdivision Committee Report checklist, the PI Properties project adheres to Santa Clarita’s One Valley, One Vision.

The environmental impacts of the two comparatively small housing projects under review this week are in keeping — just as the larger projects are — with SCV’s blueprint for development.

“All of the approved and pending development projects in the unincorporated Santa Clarita Valley were evaluated as part of the ‘One Valley, One Vision’ planning process,” Mitch Glaser, spokesman for the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning, told The Signal last month.

“Specifically, the county’s (environmental impact report) for the Santa Clarita Valley Area Plan Update — a component of ‘One Valley, One Vision’ — considered the cumulative impact of all of these development projects,” he said, “as well as a full build-out of the remaining vacant unincorporated areas.”

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