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County OKs 1,260 homes

Skyline Ranch, Canyon Country development, will set aside 1,770 acres as open space

Posted: December 7, 2010 10:24 p.m.
Updated: December 8, 2010 4:30 a.m.
 

Skyline Ranch — one of the largest jigsaw pieces fleshing out the Santa Clarita Valley’s land-development picture — received final approval from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

Close to 2,200 acres in Canyon Country, Skyline Ranch stretches approximately one mile from the edge of the Angeles National Forest south to Sierra Highway. The development, hammered out by Pardee Homes, was shaped in large part with input from the community.

“I was very impressed with the developer and how they tried to alleviate problems,” said Al Ferdman, president of the Canyon Country Advisory Committee, shortly after Tuesday’s decision by county supervisors.

“They came to our group, kept us informed and listened to what the community was saying and adjusted their project accordingly,” Ferdman said.

Most notable among the changes made to the emerging vision of Skyline Ranch was how Pardee resisted the temptation to build roads that meet up with adjoining roads, Ferdman said.

The prospect of increased traffic in and out of the eastern edge of Canyon Country was a big concern for people already living in the area.

Instead, Pardee will leave alone existing dead-end streets that stretch into the development area.

“The developers are taking care of their own traffic, building one collector road from Plum Canyon Road to Sierra Highway, with no houses built along the collector,” Ferdman said.

In July, county supervisors unanimously approved a draft of the developer’s plan to build 1,260 homes in Canyon Country on about 2,170 acres between Sierra Highway and Whites Canyon Road, south of Vasquez Canyon Road.

The draft was then subject to public hearings and adjustments before Tuesday’s final approval.

About 80 percent of the project — 1,770 acres — will be preserved open space under the plan.

“They had entitlements to build farther north, but they’re keeping a third of that land as open space,” Ferdman said.

Pardee expects to build about three houses per acre on 400 acres.

The Skyline Ranch plan also comes with: an 11-acre park, an elementary school, 25 open space lots, 13 debris basins and four water tanks.

“This is a large project,” said Alejandrina Baldwin, the county planner overseeing Skyline Ranch. “This is also a good example of collaboration between the applicant, the county and the city of Santa Clarita. Everyone worked well together on this.”

Having worked with city and county officials for the last seven years, Los Angeles-based Pardee Homes is expected to begin grading in 2011.

Homes can be expected on-site by 2013.

There are a handful of areas among the 2,170 acres that are not included in the approved plan, giving the map a Swiss-cheese appearance.

Three of the areas left out of the Skyline Ranch plan are 10 acres each in size. One of the excluded areas, in a particularly hilly section near Arline Street, is about 40 acres, described on some planning documents as a “donut hole.”

The development is in line with the joint county and city of Santa Clarita general plan, One Valley, One Vision, according to planning documents.

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