The Newhall Land and Farming Co. has met with a series of roadblocks as it seeks approval for its Newhall Ranch development west of Interstate 5. A lawsuit was filed by local environmental groups last week, but the Newhall Ranch Sanitation District will conduct its first meeting Tuesday – just another administrative step before Newhall Land can break ground.
The Newhall Ranch County Sanitation District will hold its first Board of Directors meeting during the regular meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
The Newhall Ranch Sanitation District was originally formed in 2006 by the Local Agency Formation Commission and approved by the Board of Supervisors in 2011.
Due to the economy and litigation, the Newhall Ranch development was postponed.
The first two of four phases for Newhall Ranch, Landmark Village and Mission Village, were approved by the county board in 2012, said Edel Vizcarra, planning and public works deputy for Supervisor Michael Antonovich.
Both villages were litigated, said Newhall Land Spokeswoman Marlee Lauffer.
“The litigation against Landmark was rejected,” she said.
The lawsuit against Mission Village is still ongoing, in addition to the most recent lawsuit filed in federal court by the Santa Clarita Organization for Planning and the Environment, among other environmental groups.
This lawsuit addresses the whole development and the validity of permits issued by federal agencies such as the Army Corps of Engineers.
SCOPE was not available for comment as of 2 p.m. Monday.
Taking the lawsuits into consideration, Newhall Land hopes to be able to break ground within a year, Lauffer said.
“A variety of different things that need to occur before we break ground, but certainly the litigation plays a role in some of that,” she said.
Another step is the first meeting of the Sanitation District.
“The (Newhall Ranch Sanitation) District board has not met, because there was nothing for them to do until now,” said Ray Tremblay, head of facilities planning for L.A. County Sanitation Districts.
The meeting will focus mainly on administrative actions.
The district’s board of directors, which includes Board of Supervisors Chair Don Knabe, will vote to appoint a secretary and board chair, adopt a seal and amend the name of the district, according to board documents.
Pending approval of the board, the district will also seek to join the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts, an organization of “23 independent special districts serving about 5.5 million people in Los Angeles County,” according to the agency’s website.
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