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September 21
1974 - COC's new Cougar Stadium opens for first game of football season; Harbor beats COC, 26-21 [story]


| Wednesday, Jul 11, 2018
 Tejon Ranch from the Tehachapi Crest, with Frazier Mountain in the background. (RangerX via Wikipedia) Tejon Ranch from the Tehachapi Crest, with Frazier Mountain in the background. (RangerX via Wikipedia)

By Nathan Solis

LOS ANGELES (CN) – Environmentalists who say the proposed 12,000-acre Centennial housing development will hurt the undeveloped wilderness in northern Los Angeles County asked a planning commission Wednesday to stop or reduce the scope of the project.

The Centennial project would bring 19,333 homes to the edge of the Mojave Desert and would be a city unto itself, according to the developers who say the project would include schools, an office park, green space, grazing lands, and utility infrastructure.

Developers plan to build the project on the private property of Tejon Ranch, which is comprised of 270,000 acres near Interstate 5 about halfway between LA and Bakersfield. A decade ago, they agreed to conserve 90 percent of the property in an agreement with environmentalists.

But members of the Los Angeles Regional Planning Commission said there are questions left unanswered by developer Tejon Ranch Co.’s application, like meek goals for affordable housing, solar power and electric car charging requirements.

Commissioners also had questions about how many local residents the developer plans to hire to build the development. Commissioner Doug Smith called the developer’s plan to have 10 percent of the workforce come from the area anemic.

“The (Los Angeles County) Board of Supervisors has a 30 percent goal. I think we can do much better than 10 percent,” said Smith.

Commissioner Laura Shell wondered why the developer has no plans to fund the construction for a hospital in the proposed development.

“I sure hope future residents have a bang-up insurance plan to pay for that ambulance transport, or helicopter ride,” said Shell.

Jennifer Hernandez, the attorney representing Tejon Ranch, said the project would be approximately 40 miles from the nearest commuter rail service. That revelation spurred comments about traffic and greenhouse gas emissions on the highways.

LA County resident Snowdy Dodson said the local habitat would not recover from the project.

“I really see this as a precious bit of the environment, a place that mammals and plants depend on,” said Dodson.

Dorothy Johnson, also of LA County, said she has visited nearby Fort Tejon since the 1970s with family. She wanted to know how the developers would get resources to the desert site, including water.

“It’s kind of disturbing,” said Johnson before the commissioners adjourned to give the developers a chance to respond to all their additional questions. “This isn’t a little homestead. You can’t put a water tank on the back of a truck.”

According to the developers, water will come from a municipal water district in nearby Gorman – an unincorporated community of a dozen registered voters and 15 homes on I-5.

The commission will meet again in late August for answers to their questions about the project’s affordable housing and local hiring plans.

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4 Comments

  1. Dan says:

    This is a good article. Thanks! This development would almost surely add thousands of car trips along Freeway 5 as residents make their way down to SCV and parts south for work. Also, there is nothing that suggests our already very tight water supply will improve, but only get worse. Freeway 5 is already a nightmare with too many cars competing with too many big-rigs for space. That downhill stretch as the 5 drops into SCV (heading south) will be a real death alley with folks late for work speeding down the hill, weaving in and out of cars and trucks. It is already nuts along that stretch of freeway.

  2. Gerry Staack says:

    This constant demand for growth in a world with finite resources needs to stop. We must work to achieve a sustainable earth with a sustainable population. Global warming is the giant ape in earths China closet that first needs to be tackled.

  3. waterwatcher says:

    Interesting that they are so worried about this development but allowed the 21,000 unit Newhall Ranch to go through. It has all the same problems, water, habitat issues, river destruction greenhouse gases – oh I forgot. Lennar solved the greenhouse gas problem by putting a plug for electric vehicles in each house. – Water? well, that’s harder. We’ll all just have to use less.

  4. K ferguson says:

    Huge developments like this need to be very certain of where they will get their water, what the impact to driving and travel will be, access to medical facilities, and overall damage to the natural environment that animals and plants depend on to live. This plan to build will lead to greater problems and permanent damage to the area. Please don’t.

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