Environmental group drops suit over 6,700-acre Tejon Ranch project
Developer’s concessions satisfy Climate Resolve, wildfire risks remain sticking point for court
The developers behind the Centennial at Tejon Ranch project have cleared a big legal hurdle on the proposed 6,700-acre project.
The nonprofit group Climate Resolve has agreed to drop a lawsuit that’s effectively blocked the project since Los Angeles County approved it in 2019, according to Yahoo! Finance.
Climate Resolve registered support for the project after developer Tejon Ranch Co. included green energy and fire protection and prevention measures for the chunk of land on a northern edge of L.A. County.
Tejon Ranch committed to “net zero [greenhouse gas] emissions by reducing to zero all emissions through significant on-site and off-site commitments,” according to a press release.
The developer said it would install around 30,000 electric-vehicle chargers around the 19,300-home community and “provide incentives to support the purchase of 10,500 electric vehicles.”
Lastly, Tejon Ranch will fund “on-site and off-site fire protection and prevention measures, including fire-resilient design, planning, and vegetation management with benefits to neighboring communities.”
In exchange, Climate Resolve will drop its 2019 lawsuit against L.A. County for approving the project. The organization argued that the county failed to account for wildfire risks and greenhouse gas emissions.
The deal will still need to be approved by Judge Mitchel Beckloff of the L.A. Superior Court, who was handling the suit.
Beckloff separately threw out 20 other claims filed against Tejon Ranch Co. by Climate Resolve, the Center for Biological Diversity and the California Native Plant Society. The judge did cite wildfire risks the project could pose to neighboring areas in deeming its initial environmental impact report insufficient. That objection remains to be settled to the court’s satisfaction.
The Centennial at Tejon Ranch project has been in the works for two decades and has faced consistent opposition over the years, mostly from environmental groups.
The project has faced more than a dozen other lawsuits over the years. Tejon Ranch Co. in 2008 resolved a number of those actions when it agreed to preserve 240,000 acres of the Tejon Ranch property.
[Yahoo! Finance] — Dennis Lynch