SPHERE HALTS LAS LOMAS CITY EXTENDS INFLUENCE TO BLOCK NEW TRACT.
Byline: Eugene Tong Staff Writer
SANTA CLARITA Santa Clarita, city (1990 pop. 110,642), Los Angeles co., S Calif., suburb 30 mi (48 km) NW of downtown Los Angeles, on the Santa Clara River; inc. 1987. Situated in the Santa Clara valley and nearby canyons, Santa Clarita includes the former towns of Canyon Country, - The Santa Clarita City Council voted to extend its sphere of influence south into the Newhall Pass Newhall Pass is a mountain pass in Los Angeles County, California, USA. Historically called San Fernando Pass and Fremont Pass, it separates the Santa Susana Mountains from the San Gabriel Mountains. - fulfilling its pact with Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. to halt the 5,800-home Las Lomas development proposed there.
The unanimous decision Tuesday would split the 555-acre project site southeast of the junction of Interstate 5 and the Antelope Valley Freeway The Antelope Valley Freeway is a freeway in Los Angeles and Kern counties in southern California. It is signed as California State Highway 14 along its length. It connects Greater Los Angeles to the rapidly developing Antelope Valley. at the ridgeline ridge·line
Noun 1. ridgeline - a long narrow range of hills
arete - a sharp narrow ridge found in rugged mountains between the two cities. The city of Los Angeles
The move will leave roughly 75 percent of the land in Santa Clarita's sphere, preventing developer Dan Palmer from annexing the project to Los Angeles for its water supply.
Carlyle Hall, an attorney representing the Santa Monica-based developer, said he was not surprised by the action.
``The writing's on the wall,'' he said after the vote. ``We will now take a look at our options, including litigation An action brought in court to enforce a particular right. The act or process of bringing a lawsuit in and of itself; a judicial contest; any dispute.
When a person begins a civil lawsuit, the person enters into a process called litigation. .''
The vote was postponed about a month when the city received a letter from Hall implying a possible lawsuit.
Hall argued that the city's attempt to submit the sphere change to the county Local Agency Formation Commission without a full environmental impact study violates a Superior Court decision in a 2004 lawsuit challenging a city plan to kill Las Lomas by annexing parts of the site.
Judge Dzintra Janavs ruled a ``negative declaration'' inadequate under state environmental law, and required a full environmental impact report before the annexation.
But the City Attorney's Office contended that the ruling doesn't apply to the sphere of influence amendment, which differs from annexation. Declaring a sphere of influence allows cities some say in developments near their borders.
``Obviously, we have a difference of opinion,'' Hall told the council at Tuesday's meeting.
Prior to the vote, Bart Reed, executive director of the Sylmar-based nonprofit The Transit Coalition, urged the council to order the sphere change. He believes Las Lomas will worsen traffic congestion The condition of a network when there is not enough bandwidth to support the current traffic load.
congestion - When the offered load of a data communication path exceeds the capacity. in the Newhall Pass, which already sees some 250,000 vehicles on weekdays, according to 2003 state Department of Transportation figures.
``The traffic situation in this particular area can be horrendous,'' he said. ``It is extremely important the city of Santa Clarita assert its influence and extend its sphere of influence to the property.''
Eugene Tong, (661) 257-5253