The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Thursday unanimously approved zoning changes for a controversial housing development near Newhall.
The action by the five-member board clears the way for Dale Poe Development Corp. to build the first phase of a project that is expected to include 4,378 single-family homes, condominiums and apartments on 3,057 acres.
Such large-scale development has been assailed by the newly formed Santa Clarita Valley Homeowners Coalition, which has argued that schools, roads, water supplies and fire and sheriff's services will be overwhelmed by the region's surging growth.
The group has called for a moratorium on development in the area that would bar zoning changes and amendments to the county's general plan until a study is completed on effects of development.
Jan Heidt, a Newhall bookstore owner and the group's spokeswoman, said homeowners are worried about how the county fire and sheriff's departments will serve the estimated 13,000 residents who would live at the Poe development.
"How does it all fit into the big picture?" Heidt asked Thursday. "Those questions are not resolved."
But Heidt praised a provision of the zoning permit that requires Poe to assist in building schools.
Evan Murphy, a spokesman for the Agoura-based development firm, complained that homeowners challenging the project "enumerated a lot of things as problems that are not problems." He said the planning and public hearing process had been adequate to assess the project's effect on public services.
Murphy said the company would help widen roads leading to the project, including expanding the Lyons Avenue interchange with the Golden State Freeway.
The zoning permit requires that Poe help pay for off-site road improvements.
The first phase of the project is to include 1,888 units, about one-third of them single-family homes and the rest apartments or condominiums, on 397 acres west of the Golden State Freeway along McBean Parkway.
Construction could begin in two years, a company official said.