On March 21 the Los Angeles County Regional Planning Commission will hold a “Centennial Specific Plan Project” land-use hearing about Tejon Ranch’s most ambitious plan yet. The hearing will be in downtown Los Angeles, far away from the proposed State Route 138 intersection where this 19,333-home subdivision with 1 million square feet of commercial and industrial parks would be built.
It took major wrangling to gain access to the letters submitted in 2017 by citizens to the planning department. We called on two attorneys and filed a public records request to get copies of these public documents that were received over six months ago by L.A. County, but not yet made public. We thank Jodie Sackett and Regional Planning staff for sending the material this week.
In this and in next week’s newspaper, we will give you an overview of public comments and concerns.—Patric Hedlund, TME
Gregory Medeiros, V.P. of Centennial Founders, came to speak with the board of the Golden Valley Municipal Water District in Gorman late last year. He spoke about the plans for the project he has worked on for 18 years, and about Centennial’s desire that Gorman’s water district serve as the water agency for Tejon Ranch’s sprawling development.
Golden Valley has one well. It serves about 200 people and the roadside businesses of Gorman. Rose Bryan, president of the three-person board, said she couldn’t help laughing.
Tejon Ranch’s plan envisions over 60,000 residents in 19,333 homes, plus industrial and commercial parks and an extensive wastewater treatment operation.
Medeiros understood the source of her amusement. “Don’t worry, he said, “nothing is going to happen for another 10 years.”
Bryan, who lives in Gorman, recalls joking with Medeiros and her neighbors since 2004 about the giant project that was going to shift into high gear “any day now.” Spring after spring passed without the company and its development partners moving forward, until some of them went bankrupt in the real estate crash and the Great Recession that began in 2008.
When the Draft Environmental Impact Report finally came out in 2017, concern was expressed about the short time residents were given to finally get a chance to review the massive amount of technical data.
Rose Bryan, Mar Preston of Pine Mountain Club and Merrylou Nelson of Antelope Acres wrote letters requesting a 30-day extension. Debbie Ehms of the Lakes & Valleys Gazette in Lake Hughes and Helen Henry said a 2,000 page document and the long-term significant impacts to their rural community and the Antelope Valley justified an extension. They mentioned the failure of the county’s online system to operate without crashing. Ginger Stout of the Antelope Acres Town Council spoke of how little time was allocated for citizens to read and collaborate with community neighbors when highly-paid 40-hour/week professionals “have been developing the plan for 17 years.”
Rose Bryan wrote that she was disappointed by insufficient information in Planner Jodie Sackett’s presentation at a public hearing, and by the blank CD given to her and others.
Richard Despain of Lancaster asked that an extension be refused. Anne Burnaugh of Frazier Park, Despain, Bob Smith and Richard Smith (Golden Valley Real Estate broker) all wrote that they support the Centennial project.
Several of their letters were based on a template that said basically the same thing, in much of the same words. They said the planned community was “smart development” and “self-sustaining.”
Burnaugh said she has lived in the area for 30 years and is still surprised that there is “so little progress in this area.” She said there is need for employment and economic growth, as well as medical facilities.
The L.A. County Planning Commission land-use hearing at 9 a.m. is in Room 150 of the County Hall of Records (320 W. Temple St., L.A. 90012).
Make your public comments at the hearing and before to firstname.lastname@example.org
See TRC’s Centennial project Environmental Impact Report and public comments online [click on the hotlink at www.MountainEnterprise.com] and at the Frazier Park Library.
to be continued
This is part of the March 9, 2018 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
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