Attorneys for Newhall Land & Farming Co. will meet with prosecutors Monday in an effort to settle a criminal charge the company is facing for bulldozing a streambed on the site of the proposed 21,600-home Newhall Ranch subdivision.
The Los Angeles County district attorney charged the company in September with one misdemeanor count of altering a streambed after officials from the California Department of Fish and Game noticed the damage in a flyover of the site near Santa Clarita.
The company, which has pleaded not guilty to the charge, faces up to $1,000 in fines if convicted. If a settlement is not reached, a jury trial will begin next week in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Newhall Land was also the subject of a recent investigation by state Fish and Game officials who suspected the company was destroying habitats of the San Fernando Valley spineflower, a state-listed endangered species, on the site of the proposed subdivision. Fish and Game investigators searched the site in May and found evidence of the flowers.