Nick Jensen | Why L.A. County Should Reject the Centennial Development Plan

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

On July 27, Kern County Superior Court Judge Kenneth Twisselman II ruled against Tejon Ranch Corp.’s Grapevine development. The ruling emphasizes that Tejon has inadequately estimated the number of car trips.

Twisselman saw through Tejon’s smokescreen. Massive, leapfrog housing developments like Tejon’s Grapevine and Centennial projects will result in a dramatic increase in traffic for the residents of Santa Clarita, Bakersfield and beyond. By any means these projects are boondoggles – they are wasteful, pointless vehicles of deception.

Even bigger than Grapevine, the Centennial Specific Plan proposed by Tejon Ranch would build more than 19,000 new homes in the northernmost portion of Los Angeles County. Centennial would perpetrate a traffic disaster for the Santa Clarita area, adding more than 75,000 new long-distance vehicle trips to local roadways each day. Residents of Centennial would have to endure one-way commutes ranging from 45 to 60 miles.

Tejon has admitted that, with a price tag of $30 billion, extending rail service to Centennial is cost-prohibitive. Simply put, Centennial will never be served by affordable and efficient mass transit. Centennial would also require the widening of Highway 138, a project that will cost taxpayers more than $800 million. This equates to a taxpayer subsidy to Tejon that would divert funds from other Southern California transit projects that we desperately need to improve our quality of life.

The good news is we have a choice. We can demand that the L.A. County Board of Supervisors reject the Centennial Specific Plan in favor of affordable housing development close to mass transit services. Please ask our supervisors to stop Centennial.

Nick Jensen

Southern California Conservation Analyst

California Native Plant Society


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