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California sprawl is what people want. Approve the Centennial project

California sprawl is what people want. Approve the Centennial project
The site of the proposed Centennial development from Highway 138 in northwest Los Angeles County. (Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: The remote location of the Tejon Ranch Co.’s Centennial development — to be voted on Dec. 11 by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors — makes it an unlikely bedroom suburb for L.A.

Centennial is intended to become, in function, a separate city. If realistic business zones and incentives are set up, this will happen. The concern that Centennial is in a high-risk fire zone is a valid one, but proper design and fire-resistant construction can address a problem that most of California has avoided dealing with until recently.

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The problem of greater greenhouse gas emissions due to transportation will fade away with the proliferation of electricity-powered mobility.

Compact communities with people living elbow-to-elbow may improve sustainability, but they do not create satisfied populations. The universal attraction of California sprawl proves it to be the people’s choice. Let it continue.

Social engineering by government regulation seldom leads to happy people.

Judith Rigney, Long Beach

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To the editor: There are reasons in addition to fire risk that Centennial should not be approved. The site lies near the intersection of the San Andreas and Garlock faults, making this a high-risk location for a catastrophic earthquake.

The footprint of this massive development will have a devastating effect on the native flora and fauna of the region. The project would cover an area of pristine habitats that support uncommon plants and animals. Connective wildlife corridors will be cut off. Spectacular wildflower displays and some of the last native grasslands in the state will be exterminated.

This leapfrog sprawl will undermine the state’s efforts to curb global warming by putting thousands more cars on our highways every day. California’s natural heritage is put at risk by the project.

Anthony Baker, Rancho Palos Verdes

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