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Lancaster ‘remote’ venue changed for Centennial public hearing

Site west of Neenach where more than 19,000 homes are proposed in Centennial Specific Plan. photo for the Signal by Jeff Zimmerman

Residents wanting a say in plans to build more than 19,000 homes near the Kern County line can view proceedings at a remote location regional planners set up in Lancaster.

Anyone who doesn’t want to drive to downtown L.A. but still wishes to learn about the Centennial project at Wednesday’s meeting can also head to Lancaster to participate.

County planners, however, want the public to be aware that the originally scheduled site of the remote location has been changed. It’s still in Lancaster, but at a different location.

“Instead, the location will be the Lancaster Library at 601 W. Lancaster Blvd., Lancaster. The hearing will begin at 9 a.m.,” said Mitch Glaser, assistant administrator of the Current Planning Division of the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning. “We will be providing an opportunity for remote testimony again.”

The downtown hearing takes place in Room 150 of the Hall of Records, 320 W. Temple Street, Los Angeles, at the same time.

John Musella, spokesperson for Centennial at Tejon Ranch, would like the public to keep a few things in mind Wednesday.

“Centennial is part of the larger vision of Tejon Ranch, which worked with the Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, Audubon California, the Endangered Habitats League and the Planning and Conservation League to preserve and protect 240,000 acres of Tejon Ranch,” he said.

“That agreement identified the highest-quality habitat areas on the ranch, preserving 90 percent of the land,” he said. “It was a huge win for the environment and open space preservation.

“When we look at how the county and our region looks at future growth and economic development, Centennial has been part of the planning process for decades. The county’s general plan includes Centennial as an appropriate location for growth,” he said.

Musella also mentioned the economic benefits to the area the project plans to bring, as well as efforts to preserve the natural environs.

“Centennial will create 19,000 new homes including 10 percent affordable units, as well as 23,000 new jobs and $39.1 million in tax revenue to L.A. County,” Musella said. “Centennial will power the community with its own clean, renewable energy, including achieving 2016 CALGreen Tier 1 measures, use state-of-the-art water conservation measures, and with over 95 miles of trails and clustered development, it will allow the future residents to walk and bike to work, schools and retail services,” he said.

One of the concerns about Centennial — expressed by citizens at a public hearing in Tesoro del Valle and by county planning commissioners — is the project’s impact on traffic for residents in the Interstate 5 corridor.

“When the draft environmental impact report was circulated last year, Regional Planning staff received comments regarding potential traffic impacts, including increased traffic on Interstate 5,” Glaser said in March. “The final environmental impact report will include responses to these comments.”

That report is expected to be in the hands of commissioners at Wednesday’s meeting.

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