Tejon Ranch housing project dealt legal blow over environmental report

Ruling involves Grapevine development, but could affect larger project plans in LA

Los Angeles /
Aug.August 01, 2018 09:00 AM
Part of the 270,000-acre Tejon Ranch property (Credit: Matthew Dillon via Flickr)

UPDATED August 1, 9:29 a.m.:

A state judge dealt a blow to the Tejon Ranch Company’s plans to develop one of its large planned communities on the edge of Los Angeles and Kern counties.

Judge Kenneth Twisselman II, a judge with Kern County Superior Court, sided with opponents in finding that the county’s environmental report fell short because it didn’t take into account the impact of increased car traffic on the proposed 8,000-acre Grapevine development.

While the ruling applied to Grapevine, it could have implications for the 12,000-acre Centennial project, another Tejon planned community that’s been bogged down in a battle with opponents for a decade.

The court said it will decide next February what parts of the environmental impact report must be redone. In his ruling, Judge Twisselman said the county had only calculated the impact of car traffic based on projected traffic numbers, without going a step further to figure in any margin of error.

The decision was a win for the project’s opponents, who have challenged Grapevine over its expected impact on the local rural ecosystem. It would be developed on land inhabited by a number of animals and plants native to the region. One litigant, the Center for Biological Diversity, claims the project would “suck up about 2.6 billion gallons of water per year” from the nearby Kern River, and that it would add 1 billion miles of car travel to the state’s total.

The larger Centennial development, which is about 60 miles north of L.A., has been criticized for similar reasons. The Centennial site is at an earlier stage than the Grapevine project. Grapevine already received approvals from Kern County, while Centennial needs the approval of L.A. County to move forward.

Centennial would take three decades to complete and include 20,000 homes and 10 million square feet of commercial, retail, and civic space. Some locals say that civic space, like the school and emergency services station that are part of the plans, are desperately needed in the rural area.

Tejon Ranch Company is a publicly traded company that owns the 270,000-acre Tejon Ranch Property. It agreed to leave 90 percent of the property untouched in the late 1990s, when it first planned developments there.

The company says the projects will help address the state’s housing crisis. Critics say there are better ways to alleviate a housing shortage than building in rural areas dozens of miles from the cities that need the most housing, like L.A.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Renderings of One Beverly Hills and Beny Alagem. (One Beverly Hills, Getty)
Beny Alagem’s $2B Beverly Hills project gets go-ahead
Beny Alagem’s $2B Beverly Hills project gets go-ahead
The San Pedro Fish Market is one of the top-grossing restaurants in the U.S. (Getty, Facebook via San Pedro Fish Market and Restaurant / Photo Illustration by Alison Bushor for The Real Deal)
San Pedro Fish Market plans new “supersize” restaurant
San Pedro Fish Market plans new “supersize” restaurant
The Chateau Marmont (Getty) and protest signs (Unite Here Local 11)
Chateau Marmont workers say iconic West Hollywood hotel misused rescue funds
Chateau Marmont workers say iconic West Hollywood hotel misused rescue funds
Small Business Administration administrator Isabel Guzman (Getty, iStock)
Starved for relief: Restaurants seek $76B, far more than budgeted
Starved for relief: Restaurants seek $76B, far more than budgeted
Goodman CEO Greg Goodman and a rendering of the facility. (Goodman)
Goodman’s massive logistics center will target e-commerce tenants
Goodman’s massive logistics center will target e-commerce tenants
California is waiting to adopt the CDC maskless decision. (Getty)
California still says mask up at office, for now
California still says mask up at office, for now
Hudson Pacific Properties CEO Victor Coleman with 3400 Hillview and 3176 Porter (Getty, HPP)
Hudson Pacific posts profit after 2 straight quarters of losses
Hudson Pacific posts profit after 2 straight quarters of losses
Mariposa on 3rd
CGI Strategies secures $42M loan on Koreatown apartment complex
CGI Strategies secures $42M loan on Koreatown apartment complex
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...