Val Verde housing proposal gets to-do list from planners

A hike in Val Verde. Photo courtesy of Erica Larsen

A plan to build more than 200 homes in the heart of Val Verde was scrutinized Thursday by a regional planning committee, whose members wanted assurance there’s enough water to fight fires, a comprehensive sewer study and a commitment to build public parks, before a shovel goes in the ground

On Thursday, members of the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning Subdivision Committee handed a lengthy “to do” list to developer Hunt Williams, of Sterling Gateway LP, before his Val Verde project is approved.

Williams wants to build the homes on nearly 114 acres of land on both sides of Del Valle Road at Hunstock Street in Val Verde.

The Subdivision Committee represents a handful of key land development concerns affecting public works, parks and recreation and the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

Notes on the second revised map of the housing project by representatives of each of these three key agencies recommended planners do not approve the project until their respective demands are met.

Topping the list of concerns for public works officials was water supply, and second on the same list was getting an approved sewer area study.

Water was also the prime concern for committee members representing the Fire Department’s Fire Prevention Division, whose “conditions of approval” pointed out that the property is located inside a “very high fire hazard severity zone.”

The committee wants the developer to submit a “preliminary water design report from Los Angeles County Waterworks District 36,” which supplies the area with water.

With its focus still on the ability to fight wildfires, the committee also set standards for water supply and water pressure.

Water flow next to a commercial lot was to be no less than 2,000 gallons of water per minute delivered under pressure at 20 pounds per square inch for at least two hours.

The flow of water next to homes was to be no less than 1,250 gallons of water per minute under the same amount of pressure.

And, because the 222 proposed homes are in “very high fire hazard safety zone,” the committee requested a “preliminary fuel modification plan” be obtained before approval is given.

On the issue of public parks, the committee representative for county parks said: “The department recommends that the subdivider develop, maintain and operate the private park, which will be accessible to the public.”

It was pointed out that since the housing project falls inside the Castaic Community Standards District, its parks must meet a specific standard.

In the Park Obligation Report cited by the committee, the basic Quimby Park Land Obligation calls for the park to be no less than 2.223 acres and having a maximum slope of 3 percent.

The Quimby Act, passed in 1975, was designed to ensure housing projects come with adequate open space acreage. The basic Quimbly obligation calls for 3.5 acres of open space for every 1,000 residents.

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