LOS ANGELES >> A judge cited environmental concerns in blocking a large-scale residential and commercial project in the Tejon Ranch area 65 miles north of downtown Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff ruled in favor of environmental group Climate Resolve and concluded that Tejon Ranchcorp Development’s environmental review failed to consider the increased risk of wildfire that the 12,000-acre project would pose to the surrounding wilderness.

The Los Angeles County Supervisory Board in April 2019 gave final approval to the specific plan for Centennial at Tejon Ranch, a planned mixed-use residential community located in the northwest Los Angeles County section of Tejon Ranch. The project was to include more than 19,300 homes and over 10.1 million square feet of retail space.

“Court finds county did not proceed as required by law when it failed to analyze the impacts of wildfires beyond the project site,” Beckloff wrote in the 62-page decision dated Monday.

A county representative could not immediately be reached for comment.

From 1964 to 2015, 31 wildfires larger than 100 acres occurred within five miles of the site, including four within the boundaries of the proposed project, according to the Center for Biological Diversity, another party whose separate petition does not. was not granted, but welcomed the judge’s decision nonetheless. .

Almost all contemporary California wildfires are caused by human sources such as power lines and electrical equipment and development is increasing this threat, the center maintains.

“The court’s rejection of Tejon’s development highlights the danger of building in high fire risk areas,” said CBD attorney JP Rose. “The science is clear that developments like Centennial will literally be built to burn and our elected officials cannot continue to minimize these risks through inaccurate environmental reviews. It’s a wake-up call to policymakers across California. “

The CBD maintains that the development would increase daily traffic by 75,000 vehicles, compromising California’s climate goals and generating more air pollution. The court also found that the county had not adopted all possible mitigation measures to reduce the massive greenhouse gas impacts of the development.

The project would also require the construction of an $ 830 million highway which, along with development, would block the movement of pumas, which already struggle to maintain genetic diversity as they are hampered by existing highways and development, according to the CBD. .

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