Sustainable Development

The modern consumer is becoming more green savvy every day.  Whether they are in the market for a new home, or looking to operate a business, consumers are beginning to favor green amenities that help the environment and save money.  Government entities are beginning to expect green building elements in projects they consider for approval.  Moreover, State legislation has mandated the consideration of new development’s impact on climate change.

Sustainable development seeks to reduce the impacts on the natural environment, enhance a sense of place, encourage walkablility and access to transit, reduce demand on water and energy, and maintain economic vitality.

Keeping up with quickly changing consumer preferences and the State’s dynamic regulatory framework can be a bit intimidating.  The purpose of this page is to help you navigate the maze of green development issues and make it easier to incorporate them into your projects.


Sustainable Development Programs in Santa Clarita

The City of Santa Clarita is currently implementing a variety of sustainable development programs designed to enhance the quality of life in our community.  Working closely with builders and contractors, these programs will foster greater environmental sensitivity and result in a more marketable product.

  • Community Character and Design Guidelines: These guidelines provide a framework for sustainable development in Santa Clarita for single-family, multi-family, commercial, mixed use and industrial projects.
  • Mixed Use Ordinance:  This ordinance is essential to sustainable development within Santa Clarita by helping to create a mixture of commercial and residential uses that emphasize a sense of place, pedestrianism and public transportation.  Incentives include allowances for increased density, floor-area-ratios and building heights.  (Municipal Code Section 17.35).
  • Non-Motorized Master Plan: The Non-Motorized Master Plan focuses on connections to transit, safe routes to schools that are not automobile dependent, and the relationship between trails and development.  This plan impacts the design and connectivity of these systems throughout the City.
  • Ridgeline Preservation / Hillside Development Ordinance: The purposes of these ordinances are to protect the natural ridgelines within the City and to ensure positive site design.  These ordinances apply to any project in hillside areas with an average cross slope of ten percent or more.  (Municipal Code Sections 17.35 and 17.80.050).
  • PhotoOak Tree Preservation Ordinance: This ordinance provides regulatory measures designed to preserve oak trees within the City.  The many stands of native oaks within the City provide a vital piece of the community’s natural character. (Municipal Code Section 17.51.040).
  • Construction and Demolition Ordinance: The City’s Construction and Demolition Ordinance requires non-exempt projects to divert 50% of inert waste and 50% of construction and demolition waste from landfills.  (Municipal Code Section 15.46).
  • National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit: The municipal storm water NPDES permit issued by the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board requires the development and implementation of a program addressing storm water pollution issues in development.
  • Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board: For information regarding the Los Angeles County NPDES Permit.
  • Manuals and Handbooks: Download manuals and handbooks containing Best Management Practices for construction sties.
  • California Water Quality Control Board: For state-wide information regarding the NPDES program.
  • Castaic Lake Water Agency: For landscape design in Santa Clarita, visit the Santa Clarita Gardening & Landscaping website. 


One Valley One Vision

The One Valley One Vision process began in 2000 with the goal of providing a new general plan document for the entire Santa Clarita Valley.  The new general plan will provide a blueprint for continued sustainable development into the future.

View the General Plan


Green Building Training Programs

Several green building programs have gained notoriety as industry standards for sustainable building design.  Whether you’re building a new home or proposing a commercial center, the following programs will increase your knowledge of the industry and reduce your project’s impact on the environment and satisfy the modern consumer.


  • The College of the Canyons Architecture program is offering their LEED Green Associate prep classes during spring semesters. The classes are online and .5 units each. Look for these class numbers: ARCHT-085, ARCHT-086, ARCHT-087, ARCHT-088, ARCHT-089, ARCHT-090, ARCHT-091, and ARCHT-095.
  • Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED): Developed by the United States Green Building Council, LEED has become the most recognizable green building program in the Country.
  • Become a LEED Certified Professional: A LEED credential provides employers, policymakers, and other stakeholders with assurances of an individual’s current level of competence.

Green Point Rated

  • Green Point Rated: The Green Point Rated system was created by Build It Green, a non-profit membership organization whose mission is to promote healthy, energy and resource efficient building practices in California.

Green Building Certifications

  • Certification Programs: Whole Building Design Guide a program of the National Institute of Building Sciences offers a list of the most commonly used and respected green certifications in the industry. Click the link above and scroll down the page for the table of certifications.


California Green Building Standards

On January 1, 2017 the City of Santa Clarita began enforcement of the 2016 California Green Building Standards Code (CalGreen). For more information regarding building in the City of Santa Clarita, please visit the Building & Safety website.


Recyclers Database

Recycle your Construction & Demolition (C&D) materials

Looking for facilities that collect specific types of construction and demolition debris for reuse or recycling? Search a database of these facilities provided by CalRecycle.