Newhall Ranch project raises concerns among Santa Clarita residents

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (KABC) -- A long-debated project expected to bring new homes, schools and parks to the Santa Clarita Valley is one step closer to reality - but not everyone supports it.

The board of supervisors approved the massive project, which would bring more than 20,000 new homes within Newhall Ranch.

The Landmark Village and Mission Village communities will be developed on 293 acres.

Critics went to court and said it would hurt the environment with greenhouse gas emissions. They also said it would damage the Santa Clarita River and endangered species of fish.

"Longterm projections for this area are increasing heat, longer periods of drought and water shortages," said Cheryl Gilmore of Santa Clarita. "Building an additional 21,000 housing units here is simply not rational."

Supporters said it would greatly ease the county's housing shortage.

"We can create a place that generates jobs," said housing developer Emile Haddad. "Something that is very much needed: housing in a market that is in desperate need of housing."

After years of litigation, there were changes to the plan. The developer said he committed to net-zero emissions and there will also be 10,000 acres of open space.

"In my humble opinion, this is a scam and the Supreme Court will see it as that. The pollution will still be there," said resident Darrell Park.
Copyright © 2022 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved.