AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant “There are no viable candidates or bona fide alternatives that would have all the features of the property,” Tobin said. “After the court decision came through, we went through the process of considering (alternatives) but nothing even came close.” The Needham Ranch property is favored because it is near the Antelope Valley (14) Freeway, distant from homes and commercial developments and offers room to grow along with Santa Clarita’s population, he said. The population could top 450,000 in 25 years, projections have shown. An earlier attempt to build the facility at the former Keysor-Century plastics plant was derailed by objections to at-grade railroad crossings that would be used by trash trucks, lodged by Metrolink and the Public Utility Commission. On Oct. 18, Santa Clarita planning commissioners approved Burrtec’s plan to build a 178,200-square-foot building on the eastern end of the property. The facility was expected to be the park’s first occupant. In November, the state Court of Appeal ruled a lower court had erred in approving the industrial park’s environmental impact report, calling a section describing water supply for the park inadequate. Senior planner Jeff Hogan said the water section of the report should be revised by the summer, and he hopes the court will have reviewed it by the fall. If the report is approved according to that rough schedule, Hogan said grading for the park could begin the following summer. A franchise agreement between the city and Burrtec said construction on the recycling center was to begin no later than Apr. 15, 2005, with an opening by Feb. 15. Pending the court’s decision, the groundbreaking was rescheduled to May 2 with an opening date 10 months hence, said Travis Lange, the city’s environmental services manager. “The court’s decision has superseded everything else,” Tobin said. In November, an attorney for the city downplayed the court ruling, characterizing it as a “fix-it” ticket. Mark Gates, developing Needham Ranch, has been working on the project for about 15 years. The 160-acre industrial park is planned on Sierra Highway, south of San Fernando Road, and would include light-industrial and commercial buildings on 580 acres. The undeveloped areas would consist of parkland, trails and open space dedicated to the city. The city has reserved the right to purchase the facility from Burrtec. The city was relying on the facility to help meet a state mandate to divert 50 percent of its trash from landfills by 2005. “Recycling does not end at the deadline of 2005, it goes on,” Lange said. “Each year we’re going to need to meet the 50 percent diversion. The need to reduce our dependence on landfills is going to continue.” Judy O’Rourke, (661) 257-5255, firstname.lastname@example.org 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SANTA CLARITA – Construction of a state-of-the-art recycling center – due to open this month in Santa Clarita but beset by delays – might get under way about mid-2007. The facility is expected to occupy a portion of the Needham Ranch business park planned on Sierra Highway, but a court decision that favored environmental groups over the developer has pushed back a scheduled Feb. 15 opening and has even blurred a formal construction start date. “You’d love to have everything fall into place without any problems arising, but life’s just not that way. If an issue comes up, you do your best to find out what is the appropriate response and keep on going,” said Chuck Tobin, development director for Burrtec Waste Industries, the city’s exclusive commercial waste hauler slated build the facility. While Burrtec has explored properties elsewhere in town, a preferred alternative has been elusive.