A vision for a self-sustaining community in Canyon Country is one step closer to reality.
Officials are hoping to make a splash with the Vista Canyon project that’s been nearly two decades in the making.
“(The community) would have about 3,500 people living here and probably closer to about 5,000 people working here at some point,” said JSB Development President Jim Backer of the sprawling 185-acre plot of land.
Vista Canyon is nestled along the Santa Clara River between Sand Canyon Road and Jakes Way.
Crews broke ground on the project in July 2015 and the fruits of their labor are starting to become apparent.
Backer says his team looked to the future to make the community more accessible.
They’re constructing a Metrolink station and a transit hub for bus riders.
Their hope is to bring everything together in one place.
“We’re trying to make it so easily attainable that you really could walk, you don’t really need a car to go everywhere. That was one of our goals in the beginning,” said Backer.
Hikers and bikers alike can enjoy 10 miles of walking, biking, and hiking trail and 25 acres of parkland and 75 acres of open space.
Another goal was to build a neighborhood that relies on its own resources. From design to construction, Vista Canyon is designed to respect the environment and to minimize its carbon footprint.
“We are sustainable. We have a water factory on the west side that treats the liquid portion of the sewer and makes it available for recyclable water that is used in all the irrigation,” said Backer. “We create more water on an annual basis than the entire project uses. Domestic and recycled.”
That aspect of the project continues to be carried out as construction crews laid purple pipe throughout unfinished neighborhoods Monday. The pipes will eventually connect to the site’s water factory located on Humphreys Parkway.
Construction worker transporting a reclaimed water pipe on Monday 030722. Lauren Hannah/Canyons News
Planners marked the completion of one phase of the project this week.
A new park opened on the east end.
The park includes a playground with sensory musical elements, three pickleball courts, two tennis courts, a full basketball court, an outdoor picnic gazebo and the Mitchell River House for event reservations.
“This is sure to be a very popular spot for weddings. The ladies are already looking at it,” Santa Clarita Mayor Laurene Weste said during a ribbon-cutting ceremony last week.
Santa Clarita Mayor Laurene Weste cutting the ribbon at the park opening on Monday 030722. Lauren Hannah/Canyons News
The completion of this park will help attract a wide array of locals to the Vista Canyon community.
“I’m looking forward to seeing residents of all ages enjoy the beautiful Vista Canyon park and all the opportunities and amenities that it gives,” Weste said.
Still awaiting completion is the hotel, the bridge over the Santa Clara River, the office campus, the town center, retail stores, and additional park land.
Backer hopes to have the project completed in the next five to seven years.
“What we’ve tried to bring to the table is a commitment to excellence and to making something great,” said Backer.