L.A. City Council Officially Opposes Newhall Ranch
City takes united position against massive development, fearing negative impacts.
Led by Councilmembers Richard Alarcon, Greig Smith and Tony Cardenas, the Los Angeles City Council passed a resolution Tuesday morning to oppose the county planning commission’s approval of the Newhall Ranch Specific Plan and Landmark Village Development.
The vote was 14-0; Councilwoman Jan Perry was absent. The resolution solidifies the city’s position before the issue is considered by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors. Newhall Ranch officials expect the issue to be agendized in May.
Alarcon told KHTS that he considered the resolution a way to address internal as well as external problems of communication.
“I don’t know why we didn’t participate in the discussion before, but I know we should have,” he said. “I partnered with Councilmen Smith and Cardenas because if this project goes through, it will greatly impact the traffic flow on the I-5 south from Newhall and increase congestion in the districts of Councilman Smith, Cardenas and my district in particular.
A question of available jobs seemed to drive Alarcon’s resolution; he contends that the Newhall Ranch proposal does not include sufficient employment for the 70,000 individuals expected to live in the development.
Newhall Land Vice President Marlee Lauffer disputes that idea, pointing out the jobs/housing ratio in the community of Valencia, which has three permanent job positions for every working resident.
She hopes that said that the city’s actions will facilitate more communication.
“This will allow the city staff to go back and review the Newhall Ranch planning documents,” Lauffer said. “We thought this (resolution) was a little surprising and premature, but as we told them today, we are happy to sit down with LA City and show them the reams and reams of EIRS and reports.”