Tejon Ranch: The Battle Between Environmentalists & Developers

A new development is in the works that would cover a 270,000-acre property near Antelope Valley, about an hour and a half away from bustling Los Angeles.

The sprawling landscape is home to several wildlife habitats. More recently, The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved the Tejon Ranch development to be built, which covers 5,800 acres. The boundaries of Tejon cover all the way from San Joaquin Valley to the Sierra Foothills and across to the Mojave Desert.

So far, two environmentalist organizations have requested the construction of the project be halted until a review is completed.

The groups have also asked for a judge to overturn the county’s approval of the development, which was finalized in April, as reported by Curbed.

The main concern of environmentalists who are opposed to Tejon Ranch argue that it will damage sensitive habitats, add to the region’s “burden of commuter traffic”, and emit greenhouse gas emissions.

Additionally, the Daily Mail reports that the land is considered the largest piece of contiguous property in California, held by a single owner.

However, to ensure environmental protection, developers have implemented measures to promote electric vehicles and comply with the per-capita greenhouse emissions for the state’s 2030 and 2050 targets.

The massive development is projected to create more than 20,000 permanent jobs, 25,000 construction jobs, and a $31 million annual public revenue surplus for the country.

More specifically, 19,000 homes and 8.4 million square feet of commercial space.

Biological Diversity reports that the Tejon Ranch Company received $15.8 million from California taxpayers for “conservation easements” on 62,000 acres of the land.

In terms of reaching a solution, Tejon offered a deal in which it would set aside 90% of the ranch for conservation and fund a conservancy that would be run by the company and environmental groups.

Groups that have agreed to this deal include Audubon California, Endangered Habitats League Natural Defense Council, the Planning and Conservation League and the Sierra Club, as stated by the LA Times.

However, the land continues to be owned by Tejon Ranch rather than other groups or organizations.

Residents will be looking to see how Los Angeles County creates a deal between conservationists and developers, as well as if construction on the project continues.

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