Many Years in the Making
The Santa Clarita Valley’s rich history of rail, water, gold, oil and cattle embodies the promise, potential and progress of Southern California. The long history of the land is fundamental to the growth we see today and Vista Canyon hopes to embody the spirit of that history.
The same year Abraham Lincoln was elected to the presidency, 1860, Colonel Thomas Finley Mitchell arrived in California to seek his fortune in gold. A decade later his purchase of a 160-acre ranch in Soledad Canyon made him the area’s “first official resident.” He turned his sights to cattle ranching and bee keeping.
As America continued to grow and evolve, so did the area that would become Vista Canyon. In 1870, the 25th Amendment was added to the United States Constitution granting the right of women to vote. The area’s mining activities grew and families gradually moved to surrounding areas. Mitchell’s landholdings expanded to some 1,000 acres. Another Canyon pioneer, John Lang, established a 1,200 acre ranch, hotel and stagecoach stop in nearby Shadow Pine.
The Mitchells, the Langs and neighboring Stewart family organized the Sulphur Springs School District, California’s second school district. Martha Taylor Mitchell taught the first classes inside the kitchen of her adobe home.
Progress continued with the completion of the railroad. Student enrollment grew so the “school” was moved to a wooden schoolhouse built on property donated by the Mitchell family. Henry Mayo Newhall granted the right-of-way through land here for the first railway connecting San Francisco and Los Angeles.
The City of Santa Clarita was incorporated.
Vista Canyon purchased the land for the new development and began creating the proposed master plan incorporating the inputs received from the community, real estate professionals and consultants. This land use plan was submitted to local authorities in Spring, 2008 and the Environmental Impact Review process was initiated. After City approval in May, 2011, progress slowed on the project as a local group of activists sued Vista Canyon in June, 2011 to block continued development.
After annexing the land for Vista Canyon in 2012 the development faced continued litigation. As the hearings on the project continued, Vista Canyon continued to prevail. In 2014 the project’s future was assured through a decisive victory in the appellate courts. Vista Canyon reached a final settlement with the activists in 2015 and the project grading and development finally started in 2015.
2020 marked a series of historic milestones for the project. First, the anchor Gensler building finished construction and became ready for occupancy. In September Vista Canyon’s multifamily residences were completed shortly before KB Homes welcomed the first single family residents to the community.