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Court Upholds Environmental Review For Newhall Ranch Development

Court Upholds Environmental Review For Newhall Ranch Development

In another lawsuit brought against Newhall Land by SCOPE and other environmental organizations, Los Angeles Superior Court ruled in Newhall Land’s favor.

Los Angeles Superior Court ruled in favor of Newhall Land and Farming in another lawsuit against their Newhall Ranch development west of Interstate 5, Newhall Land officials announced Tuesday.

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Newhall Ranch map, courtesy of Newhall LandThis latest lawsuit, filed by Friends of the Santa Clarita River, Santa Clarita Organization for Planning and the Environment and others, took issue with the Environmental Impact Report for Mission Village, one of the four phases in Newhall Ranch.

The first two phases, 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, in March.

Both villages were litigated, said Newhall Land Spokeswoman Marlee Lauffer, and now the EIRs for both developments have been upheld in court.

Global warming, the drought and potential fracking were at the top of the list of problems that SCOPE had with the Mission Village project, said Lynne Plambeck, president of the organization.

She said it was astonishing that the judge decided 21,000 new homes would not affect global warming.

“We can’t just build further and further out and expect everybody to drive everywhere, which is what Newhall Ranch does,” Plambeck said.

Mission Village oil wells, courtesy of Lynne Plambeck

Newhall Land maintains that the court’s decision upheld their comprehensive environmental review and that they are in full compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act.

“We’re very pleased with the Superior Court ruling,” Lauffer said. “It was a very strong ruling that affirmed the county’s review of Mission Village… All of the issues that SCOPE and Lynne Plambeck have brought up on Mission have been thoroughly reviewed by L.A. County and now by the Superior Court and they have been found to be without merit.”

Plambeck also worried that a number of oil wells on the Mission Village property could be a problem with future residents, with the push toward fracking in California, she said.

“No future resident will own their mineral rights,” she said, “so they can drill right under the homes. It’s very scary.”

Another lawsuit was filed against Newhall Land and the whole Newhall Ranch project in early March. SCOPE and Friends of the Santa Clara River questioned the validity of permits issued by the Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Related New Lawsuit Filed Against Newhall Ranch, Sanitation District To Meet

In spite of ongoing litigation, Newhall Land hopes to break ground for the Newhall Ranch development in a couple of months, Lauffer said, starting with Mission Village.

When complete, Mission Village is expected to include 4,055 homes, an elementary school and almost 6,000 jobs on 1,262 acres just west of Magic Mountain and directly south of the State Route-126/I-5 interchange, according to a Newhall Land press release.

It is referred to as the “dynamic core of Newhall Ranch,” according to the Newhall Ranch website.

For more information about developments and ongoing litigation, click here.

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Court Upholds Environmental Review For Newhall Ranch Development

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