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Letters to the Editor: L.A. County, kill Tejon Ranch’s Centennial project once and for all

A portion of the Tejon Ranch land planned for development as the Centennial community is seen in 2018.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: The legal ruling against the Centennial project gives Los Angeles County supervisors another chance to reject the Tejon Ranch Co.'s plan to build a sprawling city larger than Griffith Park on beautiful, fire-prone wildlands.

As people with two of the organizations that raised these issues with the county and before the court, we believe Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff’s ruling is a signal that local officials across California must consider the serious risks of building in highly fire-prone areas. About 95% of wildfires in California today are caused by human sources like power lines.

As California struggles with destructive wildfires and a climate emergency, building sprawl projects like Centennial increases ignition risks, puts more people in harm’s way and destroys irreplaceable habitat. L.A. County supervisors should reject this destructive project and embrace safer, environmentally friendly land-use policies.

J.P. Rose, Los Angeles, and Nick Jensen, Sacramento

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Rose is a staff attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity; Jensen is the conservation program director of the California Native Plant Society.

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To the editor: California does not have a housing crunch. There is plenty of luxury housing. There is plenty of housing too far from jobs and transit centers. The crunch is with housing that people can afford.

In the city of Los Angeles, the median household income is about $62,000; in the Antelope Valley, where the Centennial development will be built, it is $52,000. The Antelope Valley has the highest percentage of empty housing in Los Angeles County.

A typical household spending the recommended 30% of its income on housing in the Antelope Valley probably cannot afford a two-bedroom apartment there; in Los Angeles, a median-income family definitely cannot afford a two-bedroom apartment.

According to apartments.com, there are nearly 18,000 apartments available in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, the average rent for two bedrooms is $3,620, equating to an annual income of more than $130,000, twice the median.

Again, stop talking about a housing crunch. We have plenty of housing. It’s just too expensive. The last thing we need is more expensive housing.

Katherine Gould, Glendale


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