Court OKs massive development north of LA

An aerial view of the Santa Clara River.
An aerial view of the Santa Clara River.
brewbooks/Flickr (cc by-nc-nd)
An aerial view of the Santa Clara River.
File photo: A tractor makes it way through irrigated fields along in the northwest corner of Los Angeles County near Santa Clarita, Calif., Wednesday, May 21, 2003.

A California court has cleared the way for a massive housing development in the Santa Clarita Valley.

The Los Angeles Times reports Thursday's decision by the 2nd District Court of Appeal restores a permit issued by the Department of Fish and Wildlife that granted the Newhall Land and Farming Co. permission to alter the Santa Clara River as part of construction.

The court found that an environmental report adequately analyzed the project's potential impact on endangered fauna and flora and Native American cultural artifacts.

The newspaper says the ruling does not end the legal challenges. Jason Weiner, an attorney with the nonprofit Wishtoyo Foundation, says an appeal to the California Supreme Court is likely.

The Newhall Ranch project includes a planned community of 60,000 residents about 35 miles north of Los Angeles.