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5,499 New Housing Units Coming Soon to Middle of Nowhere

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The cookie cutter's going to have to work overtime on Newhall Ranch, the mega-planned community slated for undeveloped space next to Six Flags Magic Mountain. Yesterday the County Board of Supervisors approved the environmental impact report for the project's second phase--the Mission Village--which will contain more than one and a half million square feet of commercial and retail space, 4,055 housing units, an elementary school, 580 acres of open space, and three preserves for the rare spineflower species of flower. In the past, Mission Village has been called "the vibrant urban core" of the Newhall Ranch development without even a trace of irony. Earlier this month, the Board of Supervisors approved the Landmark Village component of Newhall Ranch, which will consist of 1,174 condominiums, 270 single family homes, retail centers, and parks. That makes 5,499 new residential units approved so far this month for those of you keeping track at home.

The LA Times reports that while the developer and groups like the Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation are keen on the construction-related jobs that will be created, environmentalists and local groups are wondering if the need outweighs the impacts. The LAT quotes Lynne Plambeck, president of the Santa Clarita Organization for Planning and the Environment, who says: "This is like fantasy land," adding that her group and others could sue to stop the project.

As a fun political aside, the LAT mentions that Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky curiously "stepped out of the meeting" yesterday while the development was under consideration. Yaroslavsky was the only member of the Board to oppose Newhall Ranch in 2003 and he was absent from the vote regarding Landmark Village earlier this month.
· Mission Village, the urban core of Newhall Ranch, approved by County Regional Planning [The West Ranch Beacon]
· County Supes OK First Phase of Newhall Ranch Project [Curbed LA]
· L.A. County OKs Newhall Ranch development's second phase [LA Times]