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City approves live-work lofts

Villa Metro development will include 300 homes

Posted: June 21, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: June 21, 2012 1:55 a.m.

The Santa Clarita Planning Commission has approved revisions to a proposed development — planned to include more than 300 homes and 22 live-work lofts — on the north side of Soledad Canyon Road across from the Santa Clarita Metrolink station.

The development, known as Villa Metro, is at the intersection of Soledad Canyon Road and Gladding Way.

It was originally proposed about 20 years ago by Newhall Land and Farming Company, and would have had 407 attached units, 22 live-work units and an 8,000-square-foot commercial space on 30 acres of land, according to a city staff report.

A live-work unit has living quarters and working quarters in a shared space.

The New Home Company is in escrow to purchase the land from Newhall Land Development Inc. and wants to amend the original plan to 315 detached units and gate off the residential portions of the project, said Patrick Leclair, Santa Clarita associate planner. The number of live-work units and the amount of commercial space would remain the same.

The project will have multiple pedestrian access points — including access to the Santa Clara River Trail on the north side of the property — and would eventually include a pedestrian bridge so residents could access the Metrolink station across Soledad Canyon Road, Leclair said.

A 10-foot-tall berm would be installed to block the noise and sight of Soledad Canyon Road.

The live-work lofts would include at least 545 square feet of commercial use in each unit. The lofts would be on the entrance street of the project and would not be gated off, with 22 diagonal parking spaces along the street for customers or guests.

The Planning Commission unanimously approved the development Tuesday night, although more than one commissioner voiced concerns about the number of parking spaces for the live-work lofts and said the developer should consider adding more parking.
“I just hope that you’ve given that a lot of thought,” said Planning Commissioner Charles Heffernan.

Two residents voiced concerns about the health of the Santa Clara River and the potential for contamination of the site, since the former Whittaker-Bermite site is across the street.

John Sherwood of The New Home Company said the company would complete required soil testing for the project before grading begins.

Sherwood said model homes for Villa Metro could open as early as a year from now.


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