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Lyons Canyon OK with county

Posted: April 4, 2009 11:53 p.m.
Updated: April 5, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
On March 23 the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors indicated its intent to approve the Lyons Canyon Ranch project, a residential development of 92 single-family lots and a senior-citizen condominium development of 93 attached units on 235.5 acres located near Newhall in unincorporated Santa Clarita Valley.

Lynne Plambeck's "Environmentally Speaking" column, published by The Signal March 26, raised issues regarding the project, including the number of oak tree removals, access to services and the need for senior housing.

The original plan submitted by the developer for this area requested approval for more than 800 single-family units. The proposal considered by the county was significantly decreased, maintained the rural nature of the area by requiring single-family one-acre lots, and provided valuable senior housing. In their action, the Board conditioned the project to ensure the Lyons Canyon Ranch project will benefit both families and senior citizens, while protecting our natural environment and maintaining public safety.

While the project does propose to remove 162 oak trees, including 13 heritage oaks, more than 1,200 oak trees and 31.9 acres of the oak woodland, including the most sensitive habitat, will be preserved by the project. The county will require that the loss of the oak resource be mitigated by planting 416 additional oak trees. These trees will be planted in a suitable habitat so they can flourish and maintain the resource base. A monitoring period will be established to ensure the planted trees survive and if any of the mitigation trees die, they will need to be replaced and the five-year monitoring period will start over.

Access to local services is also important to both families and senior citizens. While the immediate area surrounding the development today consists of a rural, natural landscape and open space, local commercial and retail services are found within one mile of the proposed development, it is on a major transit corridor and a transportation program is required for the development to facilitate access to nearby services.

Furthermore, project approval, which was granted in compliance with the county's density bonus provisions for senior citizen housing developments, not only promotes a diversity of housing types, but also provides housing to accommodate the growing senior citizen population countywide.

These and many other factors were considered through numerous public hearings and addressed by the Los Angeles County Regional Planning Commission in its unanimous vote for approval. The Board also considered these factors in its intent to approve the project and conditioned the project accordingly.

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