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A Car Is Optional At New Vista Canyon Development In Santa Clarita

A rendering of Lincoln Place, a street featuring retail, office, entertainment and services in the Vista Canyon development in Santa Clarita

With a new rail line and walking and bike paths at JSB Development’s 185-acre Vista Canyon site, there might not be a need for a second car.

Building around the city’s new Metrolink transit center, JSB Development is developing the first sustainable community in Santa Clarita, JSB Development President James Backer said. 

“Sustainability is a growing trend in our industry,” Backer said. “It has great benefits for all.”

A rendering of a three-story office/retail building along Lincoln Place in the Vista Canyon development

Santa Clarita is the third-largest city in Los Angeles County and about an hour's drive — or Metrolink ride — north of downtown Los Angeles.

JSB Development is building a transit-focused, mixed-use community that when fully built out in the coming years will feature 1,100 residential units, nearly 1M SF of commercial and retail space, a new Metrolink station and 21 acres of recreational areas, Backer said.

Ideally the homes might feature solar panel roofs and the town center will have charging stations for electric vehicles, Backer said. 

JSB is also constructing a “water factory,” a recycled water facility that once completed will be turned over to the city for operation. Water from the Vista Canyon community, such as toilets, shower and kitchen, will be treated and recycled for landscaping, irrigation and other uses throughout the community and other parts of the city.

The project is one of at least two large residential and mixed-use community developments in the growing Santa Clarita Valley area. 

FivePoint Communities in September reached a $25M settlement with an environmental group to clear the way to develop the $13B, 21,500-home Newhall Ranch project in Newhall Ranch. FivePoint officials have previously said they plan to develop a net zero community when it comes to greenhouse gases.

A rendering of Vista Canyon metro station in Santa Clarita

A former farm and agriculture area, JSB Development purchased the parcels that make up the Vista Canyon site in the mid-2000s. JSB Development owns about 135 acres of the 185-acre site. The rest belongs to the city, Backer said.  

After a few hiccups, the company began developing the land in 2015. Around the same time, the city decided to place a Metrolink transit center and bus depot in the Vista Canyon location.

The station will be within a half mile of the Vista Canyon community. The station will connect to the Burbank Airport and downtown Los Angeles, Backer said.  

“We believe strongly that this will make it easier for people to connect to things and places they want to connect to,” Backer said.

The community will also feature a bike and walking trail. Backer said he envisions a place where people could live and take a train, walk or bike to work.

“With this development, we feel that the idea of having a bus in town or a train might have people reconsidering having a second or third car," Backer said. "The car is optional here." 

The development is under construction with the first residents expected to move in sometime in 2019.