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/ DEVELOPMENTS IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY

2,545-Unit Housing Development Gets OK

September 27, 2000

VALENCIA — Despite years of opposition from environmentalists, Los Angeles County supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved a 2,545-unit housing development on the banks of San Francisquito Canyon Creek.

The action grants the Valencia Co. permission to grade a 966-acre canyon area into neighborhoods for houses, condominiums, apartments and a shopping center. The development includes a 15-acre park and sites for elementary and middle schools.

The West Creek project was approved just days after an administrative law judge in San Francisco called for further studies to determine whether the water company can adequately meet the needs of all of the new development cropping up on the hillsides north of the Valencia Town Center. The water company is owned by Newhall Land & Farming Co., the area's major landowner and parent of Valencia Co.,

Lynn Plambeck, a Newhall county water district board member and outspoken critic of sprawling new development, said Tuesday she is frustrated by the supervisors' action.

"We've been telling them that there is a problem here. The reason this is incredibly poor planning is that there is not a realistic water supply at all."

A Superior Court in June ordered Newhall Land to conduct a comprehensive study of water availability for its 22,000-home Newhall Ranch development at Castaic Junction, the largest residential project in Los Angeles County history.

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