A development agreement to build 1,544 homes in the northern community of Saugus was approved by a 5-0 vote of the Regional Planning Commission Wednesday.
The joint project by Paragon Homes of Santa Monica and Davidon Homes of Walnut Creek consists of four housing tracts along 743.3 acres of land north of Copper Hill Road.
"We think it will take about two months (for the development agreement) to come before the Board of Supervisors, and construction would commence in the first quarter of 1994," said Brian Catalde, Paragon Homes vice president.
The Los Angeles County Regional Planning Commission also approved a tentative tract map for the project Wednesday.
Saugus Union School District officials are counting on a seven-acre plot set aside by the developers at the end of Cypress Avenue, to build Seco Canyon Elementary School. The school is to open in September, 1994, with a capacity for 700 students, and relieve current overcrowding at Helmers Elementary School.
A group of Saugus residents collected more than 550 signatures in May, asking for modifications to the project to reduce its impact upon the surrounding neighborhoods.
The petition called for cutting the number of homes to 1,307, forgoing construction on primary or secondary ridgelines, reducing the project's 11.7 million cubic yards of grading and setting aside a different parcel of land for Seco Canyon Elementary School.
Although the project has proceeded with few of the requested changes, the Planning Commission in May did stipulate that Copper Hill Road must be extended to Rye Canyon Road before the 301st home is completed to alleviate additional traffic into the area.
"It's a much better project, and I'd say 95% of the concerns have been addressed," said Cathy Culotta, who participated in the petition drive.