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Environmentalists Sue to Stop Project

October 21, 2000

A Santa Clarita environmental group Friday filed suit to halt the massive Tesoro del Valle development, saying Los Angeles County illegally issued a grading permit for the 1,109-home project without assurance of a water supply.

The Santa Clarita Organization for Planning the Environment is seeking to halt bulldozers that started work this month on the 489-acre parcel along the west banks of San Francisquito Canyon Creek north of Copper Hill Drive, said Babak Naficy of Los Angeles, the group's attorney. A court order will be sought Wednesday to temporarily stop the grading, Naficy said.

"Clearly, some damage has been done," he said. "The project is massive and will require massive grading. But we want to be positive, and think we can stop it from getting worse."

Developer SunCal Cos. of Orange had planned to service homes in the project with connections to the Valencia Water Co., but the state Public Utilities Commission on Thursday prohibited the water company from extending its services without first proving it has enough water to supply more homes.

Representatives for the developer and the county counsel's office could not be reached Friday for comment.

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