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Visions of rolling green hills

Posted: January 5, 2011 8:17 p.m.
Updated: January 6, 2011 4:30 a.m.

Construction of a Castaic high school on developer Larry Rasmussen’s Romero Canyon property will directly affect properties around the location, providing infrastructure to the area currently remote from public services. The Ion Communities location just north of Rasmussen’s was also considered for a school location, while some residents are lob...


Editor’s note: Second in a series on properties near the proposed Castaic high school site.

Eight years ago, anyone driving up Hasley Canyon Road in Castaic to check out the Hasley-Sloan site, which was then proposed for a high school, would have driven past 430 acres of undeveloped land.

Santa Monica-based developer Dan Palmer drove past it and had a vision.

He called his vision Los Valles. For a long time, anyone wanting a glimpse of that same vision could view a Hasley Canyon Road billboard or visit the company’s website; both showed a woman in a plush white bathrobe looking leisurely over her balcony at beautiful rolling green hills.

Now the woman, the green hills, the grand vision, plans for 200 luxury homes, the golf course and, of course, Los Valles, are all gone, never more real than the billboard vision.

The website now offers up a computer screen as barren as the 430 dusty acres on the other side of a wire fence on Hasley Canyon at Del Valle Road.

The only mention of Los Valles online is in a litany of court documents filed with the United States Bankruptcy Court in the District of Nevada spanning the last four years.

‘Back to the drawing board’
On Feb. 5, 2010, a court settlement was reached between USA Commercial Mortgage Company, the Los Valles Land & Golf LLC and its guarantor, Dan S. Palmer Jr., over monies borrowed to build the golf course.

Phone messages left at the Santa Monica offices of Los Valles developer Palmer Investments last month were not returned.

As far as officials at the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning are concerned, the original Los Valles project is dead.

“We’re going back to the drawing board,” said Ramon Cordova of the planning department, who oversees county development projects in the Santa Clarita Valley.

“It’s our understanding that the bank has taken over the project,” Cordova said.

“It could still be a golf course. The project has been approved and the expiration date on that project has a few years to go,” he said.

Possible school site?
Last July, the William S. Hart Union High School District voted to build a high school for Castaic on developer Larry Rasmussen’s property in Romero Canyon.

Dean Paradise, a recently elected Castaic Area Town Council member who is opposed to the Romero Canyon site, said if the bank is willing to sell, a portion of the Los Valles land could be included in the list of alternate sites listed in the environmental impact report required for the school.

“If the bank is interested in selling it, I think that it could be a viable alternate site,” he said. “It’s something that should be explored.”

Palmer won approval for Los Valles in 2007 as the “Hasley Golf Course” with 429 acres offering 14 recreation lots and 209 homes, including a water well and water tower, seven storm drain lots and one golf course.

Some Castaic residents interviewed by The Signal in October 2008 said they were told the Los Valles course would be open for play in summer or fall 2009.

“We still refer to it as the Hasley Golf Course,” Cordova said.

Friday’s Signal looks at the Hart district Facilities Foundation land and.


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