Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify that the connection between Tapia Ranch and Tesoro del Valle is planned for emergency access only:
As the developers of Tapia Ranch move ahead with plans to build more than 400 homes between Castaic and Tesoro del Valle, they first have to ensure there’s enough water for the project.
On Wednesday, members of SCV Water’s Water Resources and Watershed Committee considered the specifics of supplying water to an area it would have to annex into its service area.
Tapia Ranch encompasses a hilly swath of land extending from the southernly most end of Castaic Road to the western tip of Tesoro.
At least 405 homes are scheduled to built for the Tapia Canyon Ranch project. The plan currently calls for Tapia Ranch and Tesoro del Valle to be connected by a gated roadway that would only be used for emergency access.
It also calls for eight open space lots, one water tank, one water pump station, a park, nine lots earmarked for the Los Angeles County Fire Department, and one private street.
In November, Tapia Ranch developer — the Debt Acquisition Co. of America — entered into an agreement with local water officials, asking SCV Water to determine whether there is sufficient water for the Tapia Ranch property.
The short answer is: yes.
In a longer answer presented to the committee Wednesday by Dirk Marks, SCV Water Agency’s director of water resources, he said: “Sufficient supplies are adequate to make such a determination.”
On Wednesday, the committee approved a resolution earmarking 489 acre-feet of water for Tapia Ranch. The decision is expected to be approved by SCV Water’s board of directors at the agency’s next meeting.
In moving ahead with the allotment of water, the committee also agreed to make arrangements for Tapia Ranch developers to pay SCV Water more than $3.77 million as reimbursement for water already purchased.
“The agency acquired the water supply in 2007, in part for the purpose of providing water to potential annexations, including Tapia,” Marks said Thursday.
“The $3.7 million reimburses the agency for the past costs that were incurred,” he said. “Additionally, the developer will have to pay their share on ongoing water purchase costs that the agency incurs each year.”
The developer — DACA/Castaic LLC — is a group of investors working with Los Angeles regional planners to address a number of development issues, water among them.
One investor of the Tapia Ranch project reached by phone in Las Vegas on Thursday confirmed that the project is moving ahead.
“We are still in the early stages of project review and environmental review,” Regional Planning spokesman Mitch Glaser said Thursday.
“The project was most recently reviewed by the Subdivision Committee on Oct. 5, 2017,” he said.
Building Tapia Ranch would mean cutting down 12 oak trees, including two heritage oaks, and encroaching on a dozen other oak trees, four of which are also heritage oaks.
Since the environmental papers have not yet been prepared, a public hearing date to allow residents to express themselves is still to be set.
The nearly 490 acre-feet of water purchased for Tapia Ranch comes from water stored at SCV Water’s Buena Vista-Rosedale Rio Bravo Water Supply.
An acre-foot of water is about the same size as a football field under one foot of water.
On Wednesday, the SCV Water committee looked at other housing projects, also planned for land west of Valencia, which would also have to be annexed into the SCV Water service area.
The westerly extension of the Tesoro community would require 389 acre-feet of water in a year.
The project is called The Highlands and it calls for 820 homes, nine multi-family lots, 12 water quality basin lots, three water tank lots, one helipad lot, six senior recreation area lots, six linear park lots and nine private park lots, a senior recreation center, 29 lots reserved for open space and 24 private driveways.
The project is north of Avenida Rancho Tesoro, and would require moving more than 18 million cubic yards of earth at the hilly site overlooking the San Francisquito Creek.
Eleven oak trees would be cut down, for which the developer would need permission from Los Angeles County officials.
The Legacy housing project would require 2,500 acre-feet of water each year.
The Legacy Village subdivision takes up 1,758 acres and calls for 3,457 dwelling units, which breaks down to 1,011 homes and 2,446 condos.
It would require 2,500 acre-feet of water each year, according to information shared with SCV Water committee members Wednesday.
Legacy also includes a 342-bed senior assisted living facility, more than 30 acres devoted to public and private recreation areas, a fire station and commercial space that takes up 839,000 square feet.