Planning Commission to once again discuss Bouquet Canyon project

Santa Clarita City Hall, as pictured on Feb. 26. Watson/The Signal
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Santa Clarita planning commissioners are expected to conduct a public hearing and review Tuesday, regarding revisions to address traffic and aesthetic concerns raised about a 375-unit housing proposal on Bouquet Canyon Road. 

The 74.66-acre housing project, proposed by developer Bouquet Canyon Project Owner LLC, consists of attached and detached two-story, for-sale homes with related infrastructure, dedicated open space areas, trails and recreation areas. 

The proposed site is located in Saugus on the east side of Bouquet Canyon Road and south of Copper Hill Drive, according to the project description. The proposal also suggests closing off a section of Bouquet Canyon Road, between Pam and Hob courts, as well as the construction of a new alignment of the road and extending Copper Hill Drive. 

Tuesday’s meeting will offer a look at the latest changes, which range from design to draft environmental review project alternatives, following concerns raised by commissioners and the public since the project’s introduction before the Planning Commission in June. 

One of those alternatives, for example, proposes a modified site plan that would reduce grading of the ridgeline and hillside on the western side of the site, as well as reduce aesthetic, air quality and soil impacts, but, “It would result in increased building heights from two-story to two- and three-story attached dwelling units in all planning areas due to a loss of development areas in order to meet the proposed unit count and reduce the range of housing types,” according to the project description. 

Another alternative would relocate some of the homes to avoid clusters of oak trees and preserve the entirety of Bouquet Creek, but this option has not fully analyzed hydrological impacts of leaving the entire existing floodplain and doesn’t meet all of the project objectives, a city agenda report read. 

Ahead of Tuesday’s meeting, city staff received 109 emails, letters and comments from the community, of which 51 were in opposition, 30 in support and nine neutral. 

Those who voiced support highlighted a need for housing amid the statewide housing crisis, roadway improvements and amenities the project is proposing. Among those in support was Poole & Shaffery attorney Brian Koegle, who commented as a resident of the area. 

“With the housing count, reconfiguration of Bouquet Canyon Road and community recreational areas, the development follows our city’s vision for smart development, and provides for much-needed inventory of homes for the families of our community,” he said, highlighting the project size reduction from 450 three-story homes to 375 two-story units. 

Those opposed raised concerns over possible reduced home values, crime, aesthetics and environmental issues revolving around the developer’s suggestion to remove 27 oak trees and 2 million cubic yards of soil materials for construction. 

“Adding more houses would only make traffic far worse and negatively impact every member of the community who travels on Bouquet Canyon Road,” read a letter sent to commissioners by multiple residents. “Also, eliminating over 2 million cubic yards of earth from a city-designated significant ridgeline in order to destroy a large riparian habitat is appalling.” 

City staff and the developer are expected to provide a closer look at revisions Tuesday and the project could move for a City Council vote thereafter should commissioners approve the matter. 

The Planning Commission meeting Tuesday is expected to commence at 6 p.m. and can be viewed online via santa-clarita.com/agendas. 

To view the project site plan and additional information click here.

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