Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, October 16, 2018

Contact: J.P. Rose, (408) 497-7675, JRose@biologicaldiversity.org

Lawsuit Seeks Key Environmental Documents for City-sized Development in L.A. County

LOS ANGELES— The Center for Biological Diversity sued the L.A. County Department of Regional Planning today for failing to release records regarding Tejon Ranch Company’s controversial Centennial development. The Center is seeking communications between the department and Tejon following an inadequate environmental review process for the 19,000-unit project.

“L.A. County’s review process seems to have been heavily influenced by Tejon, which will make millions if this harmful sprawl development is approved,” said J.P. Rose, an attorney at the Center. “County residents have a right to an informed, transparent review process for land-use decisions that will harm our environment and quality of life.”

Proposed for the northern edge of L.A. County in an area subject to high wildfire risk, Centennial would spread over 6,700 acres (the equivalent of about 5,000 football fields). It would add 75,000 new vehicle trips a day to the region’s already-clogged freeways, undermining California’s climate goals and generating air pollution.

Centennial would destroy a large portion of the Antelope Valley Wildlands, which contain some of the most beautiful wildflower fields remaining in California. Rare wildlife like the San Joaquin kit fox and California condor would also lose their homes.

Under the California Environmental Quality Act, the environmental impacts of the project and potential alternatives must be thoroughly analyzed. L.A. County planners released environmental review documents that failed to meet this mandate.  

“The environmental document only considers a couple of different developments, each over 6,000 acres,” said Rose. “How can the Board of Supervisors make an informed decision when planning officials didn’t even take a look at alternatives to the developer’s proposal?”

In June 2018 the Center requested all records of communications between department staff and Tejon’s staff, consultants and attorneys, including emails, correspondence and text messages. While the planning department has responded that it’s in possession of such records, it has failed to make them public.

Today’s lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.6 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

www.biologicaldiversity.org

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