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What’s Next For The Tejon Ranch Project After Judge Blocks Construction Due To Wildfire Risk




Tejon Ranch, 270,000 acres of sprawling private land 70 miles north of L.A., is seen in a stock photo.
Tejon Ranch, 270,000 acres of sprawling private land 70 miles north of L.A., is seen in a stock photo.
Photo by Ian Lee/Flickr Creative Commons

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A long-running plan to build a community of 19,000 homes on vast Tejon Ranch north of Los Angeles has been halted by a judge who cited high wildfire risk.

Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff on Tuesday rejected Los Angeles County’s approval of the developer’s environmental impact report, effectively blocking construction. The judge cited aspects of the environmental review concerning fire danger and additional greenhouse gases generated by vehicles, the Los Angeles Times reported. The ruling does not kill the project on the southern flanks of the Tehachapi Mountains near the Kern County border, the newspaper said, but it does threaten to delay it significantly.

The Center for Biological Diversity, one of the project’s most vocal opponents, hailed the judge’s decision. The project’s developer said the ruling would merely delay construction. The Centennial development has faced significant opposition since it was proposed by Tejon Ranch Co. in 1999. Opponents cite impacts on plant and animal habitats, earthquake and wildfire hazards, traffic congestion and pollution, among others. Advocates say Centennial would bring housing, jobs and revenues to the county, as well as needed infrastructure in the region 70 miles (112. kilometers) north of downtown Los Angeles.

Today on AirTalk, we’ll talk about what’s next for Tejon Ranch and hear how environmental advocates plan to work with the developers as the project progresses.

With files from the Associated Press

We invited Tejon Ranch Company to join our discussion, but they could not make someone available to speak with us at the time of our interview.

Guests:

J.P. Rose, staff attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity; he tweets @JPRose5

Ethan Elkind, director of the Climate Program at Center for Law, Energy & the Environment at UC Berkeley; he also leads the Climate Change and Business Research Initiative on behalf of UC Berkeley Law and UCLA Law