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DEVELOPER VICTORIOUS IN COURT SKIRMISH.

Byline: JUDY O'ROURKE Staff Writer

SANTA CLARITA -- The city has been ordered to prepare a detailed environmental report before it tries to extend its sphere of influence southward to the Newhall Pass where a developer wants to build a controversial 5,800-home tract.

The ruling issued last Thursday by Judge James C. Chalfant echoes a victory that developer Dan S. Palmer won in 2004, when another judge required Santa Clarita to prepare an environmental impact report before it could attempt to annex the massive project site.

``Judge Chalfant's decision gets us closer to our goal of being 100 percent within the city of Los Angeles and a good neighbor to the city of Santa Clarita,'' said Hillary Norton Orozco, a spokeswoman for Palmer.

Officials in Los Angeles and Santa Clarita have fought the project, located in the unincorporated area between the two cities.

They have proposed splitting the acreage 75-25 -- with Santa Clarita getting the bigger share -- to make it more difficult for Palmer to develop it. The move to enlarge its sphere of influence was viewed as a first step toward annexation.

Palmer meanwhile, is seeking to become part of Los Angeles because of that city's ample water supply.

Chalfant's ruling could delay attempts by Santa Clarita and Los Angeles to divide jurisdiction of the 555-acre commercial and residential project.

Santa Clarita had argued that the EIR was an unnecessary step in the sphere application.

judy.orourke(at)dailynews.com

(661) 257-5255
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jun 13, 2006
Words:243
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