City adjusts timeline for Tesoro Highlands project

Santa Clarita City Hall, as pictured on Feb. 26.
Santa Clarita City Hall, as pictured on Feb. 26. Watson/The Signal

The Santa Clarita City Council voted to adjust the timeline Tuesday for a developer planning to add more than 800 homes to the west side of Santa Clarita. 

The move is intended to give a more definitive timeline for the incentives surrounding the project, according to a city senior planner. City Council members approved the staff recommendation on the adjustment unanimously.  

“The respective home-builders want to know how many homes they can build before the bridge has to be built,” said Patrick Leclair, senior planner with the city of Santa Clarita.  

Before construction can commence on what’s being called Tesoro Highlands, developer Newport Pacific Land must first commence construction on a project that would widen the Copper Hill Drive bridge over San Francisquito Creek near the entrance to the 820-home development. The widening would add a lane to the bridge that connects Copper Hill Drive heading west from McBean Parkway.  

During a hearing to discuss the move, which was required by law to amend the agreement, Hunt Braly, partner with Poole Shaffery, which represents Newport Pacific Land on the project, thanked the city for working with the developer on addressing a growing problem — the cost and delays in construction projects associated with the global supply-chain crisis.  

“This is a great compromise and will allow us to close our initial lots with Lennar and Toll Brothers, who have contracted with the entire project,” Braly said, “and make sure this project goes forward and the bridge does get widened.” 

The plans include preserving about 1,000 acres of open space, he said, and the county-approved plan also called for more than 19 acres of parks, as well additional trails in the project area. 

“They have tremendous incentive to do this as quickly as they can,” Braly said prior to Tuesday’s meeting. 

When asked when the bridge work would commence, Braly also said the goal was to start the bridge’s construction by the middle of the year or the third quarter at the latest, although there were a number of factors that could affect the goal. 

“Certainly, this year,” he said, adding, “It’s hard to know until you get final approval of the plan and then you order the necessary construction items to do it.” 

According to the adjusted timeline, the developer is able to build up to 342 homes once the work on the bridge is underway, and the bridge must be completed before home numbers 343 to 820 can be completed. 

Braly also confirmed Tuesday the developer expects the bridge’s construction to take approximately one year to complete. 

Los Angeles County originally approved the Tesoro Del Valle project, known as Tesoro Highlands, in 2018.  

The 1,100-acre project was annexed to the city of Santa Clarita by a vote in November. (The city sent out 1,133 surveys for affected residents and 188 responded, with 86% in favor of the annexation.) 

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