Letters to the Editor: Centennial suburb will kill one of the few remaining dark-sky areas near L.A.

A view of a brown hilly landscape with trees
A view of a portion of Tejon Ranch set aside for permanent preservation near the site of the Centennial development.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: There is more at stake with the Centennial development at Tejon Ranch than merely atmospheric emissions, which cannot be zero because of car traffic. The businesses and homes planned for this development will also do two negative things. (“If a sprawling suburb ditches natural gas, is it good for the climate?” Dec. 23)

First, they may draw ground water until the aquifer is completely dry. The long-term water needs of a community that size have been overlooked.

Second, Centennial will a disaster for one of the few remaining dark sky areas in Southern California. The area from Frazier Park over to Santa Maria and south to Ojai is one of only a small handful of areas with dark skies for astronomy left in this area. This development will add enough light pollution to effectively end astronomy for all the people who regularly use that area.


The only intelligent way to add more housing in Southern California is to increase density by allowing duplexes, townhomes and condominiums in areas currently zoned for single-family homes. It is the best way to meet housing needs without requiring long commutes or damaging a precious ecological area.

Unfortunately, greed has conquered good sense in this case.

Donald Pensack, Los Angeles


To the editor: Your piece by reporter Sammy Roth did a commendable deep dive into the give and take required between developers and climate advocates when it comes to building a city’s worth of new homes in as carbon-neutral a way as possible.

However, there was no examination of water realities.

Substantially reducing the use of natural gas in new homes is a great thing, but in this zero-sum world of ours, what communities will be giving up their water rights for these nearly 20,000 units?

Mark Sanford, North Hollywood


To the editor: So, a paltry 3,480 allegedly affordable all-electric wonder-homes may be built among the proposed total of 19,333 units? I guess the housekeepers have to live somewhere. After criticism, even the low-ball carbon impact estimate has been drastically increased.

This part of the remote, pristine, gorgeous Tejon Ranch along the Grapevine has been approved to become a “suburb,” but it’s really just damaging, grotesque sprawl.


Frances O’Neill Zimmerman, La Jolla