Newhall Ranch developer get greenlight after decades-long dispute

FivePoint reached a settlement with environmental groups

Sep.September 26, 2017 12:00 PM
Newhall Ranch rendering with Emile Haddad (Credit: FivePoints Development)

Finally, after twenty years and a $25 million settlement, Santa Clarita will receive more than just a Netflix show.

The developers behind the highly-contested Newhall Ranch reached a deal with environmental groups on Monday and are moving ahead on their plans to build along the Santa Clara River, the Daily News reported.

As part of a settlement with environmental groups, FivePoint Holdings must set aside $25 million to conserve the river and water shed, and must include 10,000 solar installations and 25,000 electric vehicle chargers in its large commercial and residential project.

The settlement also prevents any developer from building on 9,000 acres of land in Ventura County, which is now set aside.

“This is a tremendous settlement that provides for added protections for Native American resources and the environment and allows one of the nation’s most innovative new communities to take an important step forward — addressing California’s housing crisis and fueling the region’s economy,” Emile Haddad, CEO of FivePoint, said in a statement.

FivePoint first proposed the project in the 1980s.

Since inception, it has met resistance from several organizations including Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, the Wishtoyo Foundation, the Center for Biological Diversity, and the California Native Plant Society. Opponents claimed the $13 billion, 21,500-home development intruded on Native American and ecological resources.

Two conservation groups — Friends of the Santa Clara River and the Santa Clarita Organization for Planning and the Environment — are still unhappy with the deal that was reached, however, and refusing to drop their own lawsuits against the developers.

The Newhall Ranch project has been looking promising for the developers since July, when the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved plans two of the five villages proposed. Construction can begin as early as this fall, according to developers. [DN] [SCPR]Natalie Hoberman

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