The cost of the environmental impact report prepared for the $1-billion Ahmanson Ranch housing project near Calabasas will be nearly $576,000 if Ventura County officials agree to a final increase.
The County Board of Supervisors will consider a request Tuesday by the consultant on the project to raise the cost by $69,800.
The rising cost of preparing the report has been attributed, in part, to the voluminous response from the public, which prompted some revisions in the document.
Many residents in the Las Virgenes area testified against the project, saying traffic out of Ahmanson Ranch would overwhelm Calabasas and neighboring communities in Los Angeles County.
The increase marks the fourth time that the cost of the report has gone up. The county signed a contract with the consulting firm of Fugro-McClelland (West) Inc. on Feb. 4 to do an environmental impact report for $300,000.
The developer pays for the cost of the report, and Ahmanson Land Co. has already deposited the funds with the county for the final increase.
Last month, the supervisors approved construction of the controversial project in the rolling hills south of Simi Valley. The deal includes dedication of nearly 10,000 acres of public parkland, as well as 3,050 dwelling units, two schools, a library, a fire station, a sheriff's station and a town hall.
The cost of the environmental impact report first went up in August by $60,000 because of delays and revisions in the project, according to a report from the county's Resource Management Agency. The money allowed the consultant to finish the draft of the report.
Another increase of $68,000 was made in October because of consulting services provided during public hearings and for preparation of the final report. Because of the volume of responses to the report, the consultant sought $78,000 more in November. And the final $69,800 was requested in December because of the "very short time frame" needed to complete the final draft, officials said.