Los Angeles is in desperate need of housing, but environmental conservationists say a massive residential community planned for northern L.A. County would be a big mistake.
A conservation group has sued the county Board of Supervisors to stop Woodridge Capital Partners’ 3,150-unit Northlake housing project.
In an effort to preserve the wilderness, environmentalists argue the 1,330-acre development will increase the risk of wildfire damage and harm local wildlife, according to a report by Courthouse News Service. The Center for Biological Diversity and Endangered Habitats League also claims the county based its approval on a “legally inadequate” environmental impact report.
The supervisors approved the plan to build the community near Los Padres and Angeles national forests last month.
Century City-based Woodridge would build the project in two phases in an undeveloped region located north of the Santa Clarita Valley, near Castaic Lake. It is about 45 miles north of Downtown L.A. The development will include 38,700 square feet of “community commercial uses,” as well as parks, recreational facilities, a school and a fire station. Ten percent of the total number of units would be set aside as affordable.
CalFire designated the project area a “very high fire hazard severity zone,” and in December, the county approved a resolution acknowledging a “new era of threat from wildfires,” driven in part by residential development in fire-prone areas.
The lawsuit also argues that the development will cut through a wildlife passage between the two forests, hindering the local mountain lion population, and bury 3.5 miles of Grasshopper Creek.
The lawsuit seeks a court order to block the development until an adequate environmental impact report is performed. [Courthouse News] — Gregory Cornfield