Planning Commission OKs extension of TMU’s proposed subdivision

Santa Clarita City Hall is located on the 23900 block of Valencia Blvd. File photo
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A proposed subdivision that would ultimately expand The Master’s University, with parking lots and additional housing units, received a two-year time extension by the Santa Clarita Planning Commission on Tuesday. 

Commissioners held a public hearing and voted unanimously to approve an expiration date of Jan. 13, 2022, for the subdivision of the property via tentative tract map 66503, which the City Council originally approved just over 11 years ago. 

A tentative tract map is a process used to divide real property into smaller lots and approval “is a significant milestone in the development process and is a point at which much of uncertainty regarding the project has been removed,” according to the California Department of Real Estate. 

“This is a procedural time extension for a tentative tract map to implement, what we call, ‘the next phase’ or ‘the major phase’ of the campus expansion,” said Dennis Hardgrave, TMU’s land planning consultant. “We look forward to moving ahead in the next two years and seeing some big progress on this project finally.” 

The subdivision site, generally located at 21726 Placerita Canyon Road, would section the property to create various lots including multiple college campus lots, a residential lot for 42 single-family condominium units, open space lots, homeowners’ association lots, a private street lot and a water quality basin lot, according to a city staff report. 

The map was part of TMU’s master plan project that included other work, including incremental development of the campus by up to 240,000 square feet of new and expanded buildings, extensions of Dockweiler Drive and Deputy Jake Drive and the dedication of 21 acres of open space to the city. These components, including the Dockweiler Drive extension, are still under review or underway. 

In January 2019, the City Council approved a 10-year time extension of the master plan, which is now set to expire on Jan. 13, 2029, according to James Chow, a city senior planner. 

The tentative tract map of TMU’s subdivision, which had an original expiration date of January 2011, has come a long way following automatic extensions as a result of new laws related to the Subdivision Map Act. In 2017, it received a one-year extension, and a two-year extension in 2018, according to a time extension timeline provided by the city. 

After several time extensions, Hardgrave said he believes now is the right time for the project to pick up momentum. 

“The market has changed and a lot of things are aligning now so we’re confident that this is a good season for us to move ahead,” he said. 

The tentative tract map is eligible for an additional two-year extension to expire on Jan. 13, 2024, pursuant to the Subdivision Map Act, which would require approval from the Planning Commission. 

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