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State Supreme Court of Appeals Rejects Newhall Ranch EIR

Newhall Ranch Map

In a 5-2 decision, the California Supreme Court reversed a previous court decision to accept the EIR for Newhall Ranch. Newhall Ranch is a massive master planned community (pictured is the developer's map of development at Newhall Ranch) proposed in Valencia, CA.

The court concluded that the report was flawed in how the project would deal with GHGs and the capture and relocation of unarmored stickleback fish, a species on the endangered list for the last 40 years, and sent the case back to the appeals court. The court's decision is a culmination of a 30-year battle by opponents to block the project, using the California Environmental Quality Act as a weapon. 

Despite this setback, Newhall Land & Farming, a land management company, issued a statement pledging to push on: “We are reviewing the decision of the Supreme Court and will continue to consult and work with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife on appropriate next steps consistent with the court’s guidance. We remain committed to realizing the vision of Newhall Ranch and the significant benefits it promises for the economy and future of Los Angeles County,” according to the Los Angeles Daily News.

Newhall Ranch was first proposed in the 1980s in an unincorporated area of LA County along the Santa Clara River in the western region of Santa Clarita Valley. The massive project would include: nearly 21,000 residences to house a population of 60,000; community and recreational amenities in 6,000 acres of open space; and retail and other commercial space. It also would provide permanent jobs at a 3:1 population ratio. [LADN