2 Tejon Ranch area Projects get quickie review deadlines by Kern County
excerpts of various stories:
For Immediate Release, June 11, 2009
Gag Order Remains as Tejon Project Moves Forward;
Group Vows Lawsuit to Force Disclosure of Secret Condor Documents
LOS ANGELES— The Center for Biological Diversity today informed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of its intention to go to court over the agency's failure to make public important documents related to Tejon Ranch. The lawsuit, believed to be the first of its kind, will be filed under the Endangered Species Act, which requires the release of documents related to proposed Habitat Conservation Plans. Tejon Ranch has proposed such a plan for its Tejon Mountain Village project to obtain protection from the harm it will cause the California condor…
In 1997, just as officials with the Condor Recovery Team were starting to release captive-reared California condors to the wild, Tejon Ranch sued the Fish and Wildlife Service to curtail the condor recovery program and relegate the condors to a special status without protection under the Endangered Species Act. Tejon's legal arguments, although arguably specious and at best very weak, were not seriously opposed by the government, which instead settled the case for what is believed to be a sweetheart deal that has resulted in the current plan and take permit application.
In 1999, at Tejon's request, the entire record for the lawsuit was sealed by court order and the case indefinitely stayed, leaving the case (and the order) active for the past 10 years. The terms of the order are not limited to just court-filed documents, though, as the order includes all documents "related" to the settlement in any way, apparently including documents related to subject of the settlement: the proposed plan, condors, and Tejon's development plans. The Service has since demonstrated its willingness to give this language as expansive a definition as possible.
Tejon Mountain Village Impact Report Review Clock Ticking Down
It's Here: Tejon Ranch's Leaning Tower of DEIR
By Patric Hedlund
If it were a blind date—or a new neighbor ringing the doorbell—you'd find a six-foot stranger on the front porch, gawky and inscrutable, standing there for your consideration. Quickly. If you can pay the price.
In fact, it is plans for a major addition to the neighborhood that the Mountain Communities have been invited to speed-read thoroughly, analyze and critically evaluate in writing before July 13. The Tejon Mountain Village draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) is 15 notebooks, 13 of them 5.5 inches thick, two others adding four more inches, plus two rolls of large maps. They add up to a tower nearly six feet tall, about 21,000 pages long. Kern County will charge citizens who seek to access the full report $2,833, Planning Department Project Manager Craig Murphy said Tuesday, June 2.
"The county has been given only three full copies," Murphy said, and they are all in Bakersfield, restricted to county offices. Instead, for public review, the county has a set of four CDs and is placing what they call an abbreviated "hybrid" report in the local library, (a petite 2.5 foot stack available during limited hours).
The review process appears to have been put on a fast track by the Kern County Planning Department, even as the public is still considering the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's 5,200-page habitat plan for the 27 endangered and threatened species (including the California Condor) that may be killed or disrupted by the building and operation of Tejon Mountain Village. Public comments for that are due by July 7. Meanwhile, the DEIR of another major development, Frazier Park Estates, is scheduled to be released for public comment on June 5…
…The URL for the DEIR is www.co.kern.ca.us/planning/pdfs/eirs/envirodoc.pdf. It works for Windows.
Keats also wrote in his June 3 email, "Oh, and on the TMV DEIR and [the Frazier Parks Estates] DEIR [and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service habitat conservation plan]—it's worth everybody individually submitting requests for extensions on these deadlines as soon as possible, based on the size of the documents and the three different but near-simultaneous deadlines."
Richard, Beene, editor of the Bakersfield Californian thinks Tejon Ranch is a good deal….
Overlay of Centennial, Tejon Ranch Development
Even the Injuns done sold out: Ritter Ranch breaks ground.
Up Above: The Geography of Suburban Sprawl
in Southern California's Antelope Valley
Matt Jalbert, 1995
Tejon Mountain Village, Frazier Park Estates projects up for comment
Details of two master-planned communities proposed near Frazier Park are about to undergo public scrutiny.
The county Planning Department on Wednesday released a draft environmental impact review of Tejon Mountain Village, a project spread over 26,417 acres that would include up to 3,450 homes, 750 hotel and resort units and 160,000 square feet of commercial space, as well as two golf courses and open space.
Sometime next week the department plans to circulate a draft environmental review of Frazier Park Estates, an 846-acre development that has been scaled back to contain 662 homes, a 41-unit housing complex and 104,475 square feet of commercial space…