The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to approve a number of permits for the second phase of the sprawling Newhall Ranch planned for the west side of Interstate 5.
The board voted 3-1-1, with Supervisor Gloria Molina voting no and Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky abstaining.
Ground could potentially be broken on Mission Village in roughly a year and a half, Newhall Land spokeswoman Marlee Lauffer said Tuesday. She said the company expects to begin construction of Newhall Ranch in about 18-24 months.
The Mission Village phase of Newhall Ranch calls for 3,704 multi-family units plus 351 single-family houses, more than 1.5 million square feet of commercial space, 27 acres of parks, an elementary school, library, fire station and bus transfer station. Mission Village is bounded on the north by Travel Village at Highway 126; on the east by Six Flags Magic Mountain, on the south by Valencia-Westridge and on the west by the future Landmark Village.
Included among the 693 acres of open space are three separate areas designated for the protection of the San Fernando Valley spineflower, a state-listed endangered species.
The project calls for the grading of 58 million cubic yards of dirt and the removal of 143 oak trees, including eight heritage oaks. A necessary extension of Magic Mountain Parkway, outside of the project area, would result in the removal of an additional 11 oaks (three heritage).
Full build-out of Mission Village wouldn’t occur until 2021, according to a county staff report.
Mission Village and the other four phases of development were included in the Newhall Ranch Specific Plan that the supervisors approved in 2003.
In the years since, development has been delayed by factors including a bankruptcy reorganization of Newhall Land, a recession, several environmental lawsuits and intervention by state and federal agencies that regulate encroachment on the Santa Clara River.
Some of the litigation is ongoing. The Arizona-based Center for Biological Diversity and other environmental groups filed another lawsuit challenging the supervisors’ approval of Phase 1, known as Landmark Village.
Lauffer said it would not come as a surprise if Tuesday’s board decision was followed by another environmental lawsuit. A representative from the Center could not be reached Tuesday afternoon. On Thursday, Lynne Plambeck of Santa Clarita Organization for Planning and the Environment, which has been involved in the litigation, said she does not know if a suit is going to be filed over the Mission Village approval.