State Supreme Court Decision on Newhall Ranch Could Delay Development for Years

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A divided California Supreme Court on Monday threw out an environmental impact report for Newhall Ranch, a planned community in the Santa Clarita Valley — an action that a dissenting justice said would delay development by years.

The California Supreme Court on Monday rejected the environmental impact report for the massive Newhall Ranch development northwest of Los Angeles. Justices said the report failed to fully consider the project’s impact on greenhouse gas emissions and for not adequately protecting the endangered unarmored threespine stickleback, shown. (Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

The California Supreme Court on Monday rejected the environmental impact report for the massive Newhall Ranch development northwest of Los Angeles. Justices said the report failed to fully consider the project’s impact on greenhouse gas emissions and for not adequately protecting the endangered unarmored threespine stickleback, shown. (Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

The state’s highest court, in a ruling written by Justice Kathryn Mickle Werdegar, faulted the environmental report for failing to fully consider the project’s impact on greenhouse gas emissions and for not adequately protecting the endangered unarmored threespine stickleback, a fish.

Justice Ming W. Chin, in a dissent, said the environmental impact report could be easily corrected but the continued litigation would delay the project by years.

“Delay the project long enough and it has to meet new targets, and then perhaps new targets after that,” Chin wrote. “ All this is a recipe for paralysis.”

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