Action Sets Stage for City to Annex 50 Square Miles

A countywide commission took the first step Wednesday toward allowing the city of Palmdale to annex 50 square miles of largely rural land, drawing groans from residents of the scenic Leona Valley, part of which is included in the tract.

The county Local Agency Formation Commission voted unanimously to include the area in Palmdale’s sphere of influence. The designation gives the city more clout in county planning discussions for the area and sets the stage for annexation of the land, which would increase Palmdale’s size by more than half.

The land is the site of one of Southern California’s largest proposed developments, the 7,200-dwelling Ritter Ranch. Palmdale’s City Manager Bob Toone said the city probably will seek to annex Ritter Ranch later this year.