The Los Angeles County Regional Planning Commission decided in its meeting Wednesday morning to continue its final approval hearing for the NorthLake Specific Plan Project to Wednesday, April 18.
The Commissioners voted for the continuance to allow staff more time to complete evaluation of the project’s latest Supplemental Environmental Impact Report.
The NorthLake project has been in the works since 1992 and modified significantly over the years. As now proposed, the mixed-use development would eventually add 3,150 homes on 1,330 acres in two phases on undeveloped land used for decades as pasture for grazing cattle.
The NorthLake project site is in the Violin Canyon area north of Lake Hughes Road and Ridge Route Road, east of Interstate 5, west of Castaic Lake and the lagoon, and north of the community of Castaic. The site is in unincorporated L.A. County, within the 2012 Santa Clarita Valley Area Plan, in the Castaic Canyon Zoned District.
Represented at the hearing by principal John Arvin and attorney Dale Goldsmith, developer Northlake Associates LLC is seeking final county approval of the Vesting Tentative Tract Map No. 073336.
Approval would allow subdivision creating a total of 386 lots with 1,974 dwelling units (588 single-family lots, 1,041 multi-family units, and 345 senior multifamily units), 13.7 acres of light industrial uses, 9.2 acres of commercial development, 414.3 acres of open space and parks, 84.3 acres of roadways, and a 1.4 acre-fire station pad on 720 acres within the southerly (Phase 1) portion of the Northlake Specific Plan Area and in the Specific Plan Zone. It will preserve the existing ridgeline by
The remaining property of 610 acres would be developed at a future time in Phase 2.
Both phases of the proposed project would together develop up to 3,150 residential units, 9.2 acres of commercial uses, 13.7 acres of industrial uses, 799.5 acres of parks and open space, a 23-acre school site, and a 1.4-acre pad for a future fire station.
In its two and a half-hour meeting, the Commissioners saw a 20-minute presentation by Goldsmith, asked numerous additional questions, then opened the hearing to public comments. The 13 speakers included 11 Castaic and Santa Clarita Valley community leaders and business owners who support the project and two environmental activists who oppose it.
The Commissioners requested further staff review of the project’s latest Supplemental Environmental Impact Report for Environmental Assessment No. 201500030, in which impacts to traffic, air quality and noise were determined to remain significant and unavoidable after implementation of all project design features and mitigation measures, per California Environmental Quality Agency requirements.
In continuing the final approval hearing to April 18, the Commissioners asked staff to report back then with additional details about mitigating traffic noise, providing wildlife corridors, public transporation connections to Santa Clarita job centers, and affordable housing related to the development.
The Commissioners also continued to April 18 the approval hearing for Vesting Tentative Parcel Map No. 073335, which would create 21 large-lot parcels on 1,307 acres for lease, conveyance and financing purposes only; and the approval hearing for Conditional Use Permit No. 201500019.
The CUP would authorize the NorthLake Specific Plan site plan review, grading in excess of 100,000 cubic yards, walls exceeding 6 feet in height, and construction of two water tanks with associated grading and infrastructure.
“This project is the culmination of over three decades of county planning as set forth in the Draft EIR,” Goldsmith said in his presentation. “The project is fully consistent with the originally approved Specific Plan but the current project is smaller, smarter, cleaner and better in every sense of the word. There are fewer dwelling units, it will generate less traffic, it has a smaller development footprint with considerably more open space including undisturbed open space, and will preserve the ridgeline for new corridors by pulling back the development from the Specific Plan boundaries.
“It’s added reclaimed water, solar energy, electrical vehicle charging stations, a sports park, a dog park,” Goldsmith said. “It will replace the (originally proposed) golf course with parks and will have a public transportation component. We believe that this project is superior in every way to the originally approved project and we therefore respectfully request that you certify the Supplemental Final EIR, approve the Conditional Use Permit and the Vesting Tentative Parcel Map No. 073335 for the large-parcel lots.”
The last public hearing was May 24, 2017.
The Planning Commission includes Chairman David W. Louie (Supervisorial District 2), with Vice Chair Elvin W. Moon (District 4) and Commissioners Doug Smith (District 1), Laura Shell (District 3) and Pat Modugno (District 5).
Supporting documents for the February 21 hearing can be viewed [here].
An electronic version of the SEIR and project materials are also available on the Department’s website.
For more information, call 213-974-6433 or e-mail email@example.com.