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Rancho and its knee-jerk response

Perhaps it’s because they own horses or are fiercely protective of their equine-centric way of life, but whatever the motivation, no one can argue that Rancho residents aren’t active and engaged, or that they don’t know how to organize.

While those are all attributes that can contribute to high quality of life, the neighborhood’s propensity for knee-jerk reaction against any new proposed development there could be a case of too much of a good thing.

Take the latest proposal, for instance. Certainly, a 120-unit condominium project was an easy target, and so the developer — in this case, New Urban West — overhauled the proposal into 50 single-family homes, and even offered to partner with stable operators to offer one year of free stabling to the first 10 buyers.

It’s a rare occasion when a developer so dramatically revises its plans to accommodate neighborhood sentiment, but this week, the developer’s appeasement appeared to have gained little ground, when dozens of residents crowded City Hall to again rail against the revised project.


In a world where capitalism and profit don’t exist, perhaps the 5-acre lot that housed a GM training center could be turned into a horse playground. But in the greater Los Angeles area, a piece of land like this will surely have developers salivating until it is “turned.”

With that in mind, perhaps for once the good people of Rancho can face the inevitable and not chase away a developer by rejecting everything out of hand. A future developer with more political influence may not be so accommodating.