Review Process Starts for Newhall Land’s ‘North Entrance’ with Town Center

Santa Clarita Valley residents will have a chance to weigh in on the “north entrance” to the eventual 20,000-home Newhall Ranch development at a public meeting March 24.

Entrada North – “entrada” meaning entrance – is envisioned as a new Town Center with shopping, dining and entertainment surrounded by 1,150 multi-family residential units.

Developed by The Newhall Land and Farming Co., Entrada North would sit on 479.3 acres southwest of the junction of Interstate 5 and Highway 126.

Development would be concentrated in two main areas. “Site A” is the long-talked-about town center/entertainment area between Interstate 5 and the Six Flags Magic Mountain amusement park. “Site B” is the freeway corridor between the highways and the Santa Clara River.

Entrada North is actuallly part of Newhall Land’s original Valencia Master Plan – not the separate 20,000-home Newhall Ranch project. But it will “feel” like part of the Newhall Ranch development, which will abut it.

Entrada North is in the early stages of the process. A “notice of preparation of a draft environmental impact report” has been published (the “NOP”). It identifies the issues that are to be addressed in the EIR when it is drafted. The public comment period on the NOP opened March 10 and closes April 8.

The meeting will be held March 24 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Rancho Pico Junior High, 26250 W. Valencia Blvd.The March 24 meeting is a part of that process. On that date the Regional Planning Department will hold a scoping meeting in the Santa Clarita Valley to give the public additional opportunities to identify issues that should be covered in the EIR.

Then the EIR will be drafted, and then additional hearings will be held.

Adjacent to Six Flags Magic Mountain, The Entrada North master plan brings together residential, commercial, and hospitality into a new district. The master plan is based on a “Town Center” concept, with pedestrian friendly streets that connect various districts with outdoor parks and plazas that provide areas for congregation. With over 1,200 residential units planned, the Entrada North is envisioned to be a vibrant community, where residents and visitors alike can enjoy the many services and amenities provided.

This new town center will provide 3 distinct Districts linked together by a loop road. The “Shopping District” provides a combination of retail and outdoor spaces, all connected via a Main Street, the character of which is defined by ground level retail with office/residential above, along with a linear park that incorporates outdoor seating and dining opportunities.

The Shopping District culminates at a central park fronting a new hotel. The “Entertainment/Dining District” consists of a movie theater, dining, retailers and residential, all centralized around an outdoor plaza. The plaza provides opportunities to gather, to dine at the various restaurants and nightclubs, and enjoy the night activities highlighted by the movie theater. The “Outdoor/Sports Fitness District” will provide a unique experience with major sports retailers, a fitness center, and a true outdoor experience, with water features, climbing walls, and skateboard parks.

Click HERE for the article.

Review Process Starts For Newhall Land’s ‘North Entrance’ with Town Center

Santa Clarita Valley residents will have a chance to weigh in on the “north entrance” to the eventual 20,000-home Newhall Ranch development at a public meeting March 24.

Entrada North – “entrada” meaning entrance – is envisioned as a new Town Center with shopping, dining and entertainment surrounded by 1,150 multi-family residential units.

Developed by The Newhall Land and Farming Co., Entrada North would sit on 479.3 acres southwest of the junction of Interstate 5 and Highway 126.

Development would be concentrated in two main areas. “Site A” is the long-talked-about town center/entertainment area between Interstate 5 and the Six Flags Magic Mountain amusement park. “Site B” is the freeway corridor between the highways and the Santa Clara River.

Entrada North is actuallly part of Newhall Land’s original Valencia Master Plan – not the separate 20,000-home Newhall Ranch project. But it will “feel” like part of the Newhall Ranch development, which will abut it.

Entrada North is in the early stages of the process. A “notice of preparation of a draft environmental impact report” has been published (the “NOP”). It identifies the issues that are to be addressed in the EIR when it is drafted. The public comment period on the NOP opened March 10 and closes April 8.

Entrada North – Site B

The March 24 meeting is a part of that process. On that date the Regional Planning Department will hold a scoping meeting in the Santa Clarita Valley to give the public additional opportunities to identify issues that should be covered in the EIR.

The meeting will be held March 24 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Rancho Pico Junior High, 26250 W. Valencia Blvd.

Then the EIR will be drafted, and then additional hearings will be held.

Entrada North – Site A

The following is a description of the Entrada project from BAR Architects of San Francisco, who did the conceptual design work:

Adjacent to Six Flags Magic Mountain, The Entrada North master plan brings together residential, commercial, and hospitality into a new district. The master plan is based on a “Town Center” concept, with pedestrian friendly streets that connect various districts with outdoor parks and plazas that provide areas for congregation. With over 1,200 residential units planned, the Entrada North is envisioned to be a vibrant community, where residents and visitors alike can enjoy the many services and amenities provided.

This new town center will provide 3 distinct Districts linked together by a loop road. The “Shopping District” provides a combination of retail and outdoor spaces, all connected via a Main Street, the character of which is defined by ground level retail with office/residential above, along with a linear park that incorporates outdoor seating and dining opportunities.

The Shopping District culminates at a central park fronting a new hotel. The “Entertainment/Dining District” consists of a movie theater, dining, retailers and residential, all centralized around an outdoor plaza. The plaza provides opportunities to gather, to dine at the various restaurants and nightclubs, and enjoy the night activities highlighted by the movie theater. The “Outdoor/Sports Fitness District” will provide a unique experience with major sports retailers, a fitness center, and a true outdoor experience, with water features, climbing walls, and skateboard parks.

Click HERE for the article.

Supreme Court Accepts Review of Newhall Ranch Case

The California Supreme Court has agreed to review aspects of an appellate court decision on the Newhall Ranch development project, officials said Friday.

The court decided this week to review three aspects of the case, including Newhall Ranch’s impacts on wildlife in the project area, namely the unarmored threespine stickleback fish; its impact on greenhouse gas emissions; and questions related to whether some public comments about the project should be accepted.

Newhall Ranch is a more-than-20,000-home development proposed for the western Santa Clarita Valley near the Santa Clara River and Highway 126. Initial planning meetings on it were held some 20 years ago, but no shovels have yet turned soil.

The proposal was approved by Los Angeles County planners but has met with determined opposition from area environmental groups.

The Supreme Court’s ruling “is something that is going to affect the entire project,” said John Buse, senior attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity.

“Everything about this review has consequences for the overall project and its effects on the environment,” he said Friday.

The Supreme Court review comes after a decision from Second Appellate District Court judges, who ruled in favor of the project’s developer, Newhall Land Development Inc.

“A three-judge Court of Appeals panel issued a definitive, 112-page opinion regarding the Newhall Ranch development, and we are confident the California Supreme Court will uphold it,” said Marlee Lauffer, vice president of marketing and communications for Newhall Land.

Buse said the review was “exciting news” because “it totally wipes out losing at the Court of Appeals.”

Officials representing the Center for Biological Diversity filed a lawsuit against the California Department of Fish & Wildlife and Newhall Land alleging that the Newhall Ranch project would destroy natural habitat for native animals and plants along the banks of the Santa Clara River, such as the San Fernando Valley spineflower and the stickleback.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ann Jones ruled in favor of the environmentalist groups’ challenge of the project on Oct. 15, 2012.

Newhall Land appealed the decision and, in February, both sides presented their arguments before a panel of three Los Angeles appellate court judges.

The Court of Appeals decided in favor or the developer in March.

“Judge Jones made a very detailed and well-considered opinion,” said Lynne Plambeck, president of the Santa Clarita Organization for Planning and the Environment.

“We really think the Appellate Court made an error when they decided they were going to reverse her.”

The environmental group, known best by the acronym SCOPE, is one of the parties in legal action against the Newhall Ranch project.

Newhall Ranch would be a master-planned community from the same firm that planned and developed Valencia. After the projected 25- to 30-year construction period for the project, Newhall Ranch would include more than 20,000 residences west of Interstate 5.

The timeline for the Supreme Court review has yet to be finalized, but Buse said the review could have far-reaching impacts.

“I think at a minimum this would send the whole project back to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife,” he said. “It would certainly undo the approval for the project.”

Click HERE for the article.

California Supreme Court to Review Opinion in Newhall Ranch Dispute

The California Supreme Court has agreed to review a petition filed by environmental and Native American groups opposed to a recent state appellate court opinion in the decades-long dispute over plans to build a community of 60,000 residents about 35 miles north of Los Angeles.

“We’re delighted that the Supreme Court has agreed to consider our arguments,” John Buse, senior attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity, said in an interview Friday. “They involve issues essential to the state’s environmental review process and the privileged role of the public.”

The opinion by the three-judge panel of the California 2nd District Court of Appeal exempts developers from certain legal protections provided the endangered unarmored threespine stickleback fish in order to accommodate construction of the 2,587-acre Newhall Ranch project along the wild Santa Clara River.

The petition filed by the Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Santa Clara River, Wishtoyo Foundation/Ventura Coastkeeper and the California Native Plant Society argues that the opinion will also apply to all other fully protected species, including the California condor.

The petition also argues that other aspects of the opinion discourage participation in land-use issues by requiring that public comments be submitted early in the environmental review process rather than up to the time of project approval.

“The appellate court panel issued a thorough decision and we’re confident that the Supreme Court will uphold it,” said Marlee Lauffler, spokesperson for Newhall Land and Farming Co., which plans to build the project in phases over 20 to 30 years, ultimately creating a new city of 19,812 residential units and about 5 1/2 million square feet of commercial space.

Click HERE for the article.

Court Upholds 2nd Phase of Newhall Ranch Development

The Newhall Land and Farming Co. announced Tuesday that the Los Angeles Superior Court has upheld the extensive environmental review process that was conducted for the company’s Mission Village development, a village within Newhall Ranch.

In upholding the environmental review, the court denied in its entirety the writ filed by Friends of the Santa Clara River, SCOPE and others to nullify approval of the Environmental Impact Report for Mission Village by the County of Los Angeles.

The 4,055-home Mission Village community would be the second phase of Newhall Ranch, following the initial 1,342-home Landmark Village development west of Interstate 5.

Today’s action follows two other court victories by Newhall Land. On Feb. 3, the Superior Court decided in favor of the Newhall Ranch Landmark Village development and its related EIR. On March 20 the Court of Appeals upheld the extensive EIR approved by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for the entire Newhall Ranch project.

“We are very pleased with the strong and clear ruling by the Superior Court that affirms the County’s extensive review of Mission Village and its detailed EIR complying with the California Environmental Quality Act requirements,“ said Marlee Lauffer, Newhall Land spokesperson.

“During the past 15 years, Valencia and Newhall Ranch-related projects have been subject to more than 20 lawsuits, filed mostly by the same group of opponents,” said Lauffer. “Their repeated arguments have been systematically rejected by the courts.”

When fully built out, Mission Village is anticipated to include 4,055 homes, an elementary school and almost 6000 permanent new jobs on 1,262 acres just west of Magic Mountain and directly south of the SR-126/I-5 interchange. The project, which includes nearly 600 acres of open space, is part of the fully approved and court validated Newhall Ranch Specific Plan.

The Superior Court’s decision upheld the Mission Village EIR, determining that the County of Los Angeles had acted appropriately and with sufficient information to approve all environmental clearances. “Today’s decision once again confirms further that the environmental analysis and work by the County of Los Angeles was completed diligently and properly”, said Emile Haddad, President and CEO of Five Point Communities, the development manager for Newhall Land. “We continue to value our working relationship with the County and are thankful for their efforts. We look forward to bringing to life this Mission Village community as part of the Newhall Ranch master plan.”

Click HERE for the article.

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