Pico Canyon development gets supervisors’ approval

A proposed 37-home project would extend Magnolia Lane in the Southern Oaks of Stevenson Ranch to provide access to the single-family home residential development. Kev Kurdoghlian/The Signal.
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A 37-home single-family residential development planned for Stevenson Ranch received its final approval Tuesday when the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to deny an appeal that sought to overturn the project’s approval by the Regional Planning Commission in May.  

Located in the Southern Oaks community of Stevenson Ranch, behind the Pico Canyon Natural Area Park, the project, known as Canyon View Estates, is planned to be built on just under 16 acres of 94.38 acres of undeveloped land east of Magnolia Lane. 

Kathryn Barger, who represents the Santa Clarita Valley on the Board Supervisors, voted to approve the project, to be built by Santa Clarita-based Williams Homes. 

“I recognize that as the county works to address the critical housing shortage facing the region and the growing epidemic of persons experiencing homelessness, I believe it is vital that the county continue to produce more housing of all types,” she said. 

After hearing comments from both sides during Tuesday’s virtual public hearing, Barger said she understood the concerns with the project. 

“I’ve heard the concerns expressed by the neighbors and others in the community about the potential impacts of this project,” she said. “And I believe that some of those concerns are valid and should be included as it relates to moving this project forward.” 

Barger introduced the motion to approved the project, adding conditions to that approval including a modification of the construction hours from a start time of 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. and a requirement for the project to comply with all applicable updates to the county fire code. 

“All construction staff parking (will) remain off site and utilize shuttle services until such time as (an) onsite parking area can be established within the project limits in order to avoid impacting the surrounding neighborhoods,” Barger said. 

Barger also asked questions of county regional planning staff to address concerns from neighbors about the project’s impact on the surrounding environment. The county prepared a mitigated negative declaration document that deemed the project’s environmental impact would be “less than significant” when mitigated through certain measures. 

“We’ve included at least 26 mitigation measures. And because all of those mitigation measures have reduced the impacts to less than significance, there is absolutely no need for a focused environmental impact report (EIR) as some have suggested,” said Amy Bodek, director of regional planning, in response to Barger. 

Bodek also addressed the image of a mountain lion captured in August by residents, who presented it to the board as evidence against the development. 

“The new information, meaning the photograph that was taken at the beginning of August, is really not new information, because it just confirmed the presence of the mountain lions, which we planned for and included in that environmental document,” she said. 

Sam Lee, a Stevenson Ranch resident, was one of a number of residents who told supervisors at the public hearing that the project should undergo additional environmental review. 

“Foundations, walls, hillsides have failed due to county-approved grading that was done,” he said. “Geotechnical engineering reports need to be revisited as this project will cut, move and compact over 800,000 cubic yards of dirt.” 

Laurie Ender, a board member of Family Promise of Santa Clarita Valley, spoke in support of the project. 

“Through a generous donation to Family Promise of SCV from William Homes of $2,000 per unit built in Canyon View Estates, this project is exactly the kind of local teamwork that fuels our ability to give back to those in our community who need help the most,” she said. 

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