After years of controversy and millions spent on lobbying and public relations, the Las Lomas project — 5,500 homes, a hotel and 2 million square feet of commercial space — has died a quiet day. There are few, if any, mourners.
On Thursday, Dan Palmer, the driving force behind the controversial project just outside the city limits north of the Valley, resigned as president of the Las Lomas Land Co. Hillary Orozco Norton, his staff lobbyist, already had left to ply her trade in the lucrative arena created by passage last month of the the half-cent sales tax increase for transportation project.
Then, on Friday, a judge threw out Las Lomas’ $100 million lawsuit against the city.
It was a victory for community groups that mobilized to fight against the development when it appeared to be headed on the fast-track to city approval.
Northwest Valley Councilman Greig Smith, who championed their cause, announced the court ruling today.
“I am delighted that after six years of fighting this ill-conceived project, it appears to be finally dead,” Smith said. “This victory is a great holiday gift for the community.”
Las Lomss had a lot of momentum going for it, despite the opposition of the City of Santa Clarita, but Smith won a 10-5 L.A. City Council vote against it, raising issues of public safety, traffic and environment concerns.