The city of Santa Clarita may conduct an inspection of the property containing the 2.5 acres of solar panels on a Canyon Country hillside to help determine whether or not property owners complied with permits, according to a court ruling Tuesday.
After oral argument in the continued legal battle between Santa Clarita and property owners Canyon View Limited, a Chatsworth judge granted the cityâ€™s request to enter the property, which is the Canyon View Mobile Home Estates at 20001 Canyon View Drive.
The parties must mutually agree on a date for the inspection, which must occur within the next 15 days, the ruling read. Attorneys representing both sides did not return requests for comment on the matter on Tuesday.
With an inspection, the city seeks to â€śassess with further specificity the size, nature and scope of the solar project,â€ť including whether Canyon View violated the conditional use permit or any building codes, read court documents.
The inspection will also help with evaluating claims made by Canyon View that the private residential yards in the property constitute â€śopen space,â€ť to which the city believes the solar project did not comply with a 50% open space requirement, according to the lawsuit.
The cityâ€™s lawsuit claims that property ownersâ€™ â€śunpermitted and unauthorized construction of a 120,000-square-feet hillside solar energy project within a mobile home parkâ€ť violated the cityâ€™s municipal code, maintained a public nuisance and is seeking to have them removed.
Canyon View has argued that it does not have to comply with permits or Santa Claritaâ€™s building codes as it is solely governed by the state, which oversees all mobile home parks. Direct objections to the inspection include that the demand is â€śvague and ambiguousâ€ť and that it is â€śnot relevant to the subject matter of this action nor reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.â€ť
The court determined that Canyon Viewâ€™s objections â€ślacks sufficient specificityâ€ť and that the city â€śproperly seeks the inspection in order to determine compliance with the conditional use permit and/or open space requirement.â€ť
The inspection was also granted on grounds that the cityâ€™s request did not detail a potential privacy violation as it does not seek entry into any residential units or access to any areas excluded from outside view.
A nonjury trial is scheduled for June 8.