Supervisors will hear Pico Canyon development appeal on Tuesday

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will hear a call on Tuesday for a proposed 37-unit development for a 94.38-acre undeveloped piece of land located southwest of Pico Canyon Road near Interstate 5, just east of Magnolia Lane.

The county’s regional planning commission approved the project, known as Canyon View Estates, and the project’s mitigated negative statement in May.

The negative statement is an environmental document that identified potentially significant environmental effects of the project and mitigation measures that would avoid their effects or reduce the effects unless significant, according to a report from county staff prepared for Tuesday’s supervisory board meeting.

Paul Edelman of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, which manages the green space adjacent to the proposed project, and Dean Wallraff, an attorney representing residents of the nearby community of Southern Oaks, appealed the commission’s approval soon after.

Alyssa Banko lives in Southern Oaks in one of the homes near the end of Magnolia Lane, which would be extended into adjacent canyons to provide access to the 37 single-family homes on offer.

Banko said she was primarily concerned about what the addition of 37 new dependent houses on Pico Canyon Road would mean for fire evacuations.

“We have been evacuated in the past and we have had fires around the development. It’s chaotic, ”she said, noting that a 102-house project west of Southern Oaks, known as Aidlin Hills, is also in the pipeline. “You just add more people, you know, to the insanity of trying to evacuate in an emergency, and we don’t want to become another Malibu or another paradise.”

Lynne Plambeck, president of the Santa Clarita Planning and Environmental Organization, said the project should be turned down by the supervisory board.

His organization fought the project as it progressed through the county’s approval process.

“We are asking for an environmental impact report that will address the fire danger,” she said, adding that the negative statement did not sufficiently address the fire risk.

Banko said she was also concerned about the lack of protections for existing homeowners in the community of Southern Oaks.

“They’re going to hammer and level over 800,000 cubic meters in this canyon and this road is 40 feet from the edge of my house,” she said. “There are no mitigation measures in place to protect us as owners. ”

Banko also worked with a wildlife photographer to try and observe the wildlife that currently inhabit the space.

“The mountain lions are one aspect that they… haven’t even considered whether they’re there or not,” she said, noting that a recently installed wildlife camera captured a mountain lion. mountains on August 9 in the proposed development area.

Almost 79 acres, or 83.4%, of the development area is offered as open space and the lots are designed to range from 8,692 square feet to 31,868 square feet, according to the county staff report.

The Regional Planning Commission has recognized the possible fire risks associated with the proposed siting of the 37 housing units.

“A fuel modification plan for the perimeter of the proposed development envelope would be required and has been conceptually approved by the county fire department,” according to the commission’s findings, which indicate that the project site is a “very high fire risk severity zone”.

Jon Friedman, of Thousand Oaks, is the developer of the project. Friedman declined to comment for this story, directing The Signal to Williams Homes, a Santa Clarita-based home builder, who will manage the project if the supervisory board rejects the appeal.

Nathan Keith, the director of rights at Williams Homes, is overseeing the proposed project and will present the developer’s case to supervisors on Tuesday.

“While we are disappointed that a project in line with the LA County General Plan and One Valley, One Vision of Santa Clarita has resulted in an appeal, we look forward to the Supervisory Board confirming the approval of the project that the regional planning commission has already considered and voted, ”he said in a prepared statement.

The 37-house project was first reviewed by the county’s regional planning commission in 2018.

“For over four years, we have worked closely with LA County Regional Planning to ensure this project is aligned with county goals and policies and will benefit the local community and the Valley of Santa Clarita, ”Keith said. . “This project is the final phase of Southern Oaks, which has always been planned, and will provide trail access and preserve open spaces for residents.”

To learn more about Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, visit bos.lacounty.gov.

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