After a decade of studies, Newhall Ranch cleared a hurdle Wednesday when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District issued a permit for the proposed development.
“This permit is definitely a major step forward,” Newhall Land spokeswoman Marlee Lauffer said. “We’ve been working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for over a decade in doing a detailed analysis of environmental impacts related to Newhall Ranch.”
Newhall Land Development Inc. has proposed building a 20,000-home development that would spread south and west from Interstate 5 and state Highway 126. It would mirror the size and scale of Valencia, the development company’s first planned community.
“With this permit, we have state and federal environmental permits to implement the Newhall Ranch specific plan,” Lauffer said.
The company will continue to pursue other permits for Newhall Ranch while working on county approval, she said.
In a statement, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the permit decision protects more than 8,500 acres of environmental space, which includes the Santa Clara River, Newhall Ranch High Country, Salt Creek Corridor and Spineflower preserves.
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An agreement reached Tuesday between two federal agencies clears the way for the Newhall Ranch development to receive one of its crucial permits.
The regional U.S. Environmental Protection Agency office and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had disagreed over the scope of Newhall Land Development Inc.’s 21,000-home development project.
In the end, the EPA and the Army Corps agreed that the wetlands permit would be allowed, given that the impacts on streams be cut in half; that Newhall Land would model its low-impact development measures on Venutra County standards; and that Newhall Land protect an extra mile of Santa Clara River floodplain.
“We are extremely pleased that (the EPA) and the Army Corps have approved changes that will preserve critical habitat and natural resources on Newhall Ranch for many generations,” Newhall Land spokeswoman Marlee Lauffer said in a statement.
“We also appreciate that (the EPA) was satisfied with the detailed analysis and significat revisions undertaken by the Army Corps to protect the river corridor and mitigate future impacts of future development.”
The permits have been under review for a decade at a cost of more than $10 million, Lauffer said in the statement.
Newhall Ranch will spread south and west from Interstate 5 and state Route 126 and will mirror the size and scale of Valencia, the development firm’s first planned community.
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