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Tejon Ranch Calls New Environmental Lawsuit ‘Unconscionable’

The Center for Biological Diversity has filed a lawsuit against Tejon Ranch Co. and Kern County over the County Board of Supervisors’ re-approval of Grapevine at Tejon Ranch, a master planned residential community. The lawsuit, filed Friday in Kern County Superior Court, challenges the project on environmental grounds in that the supplemental recirculated environmental impact report, approved by Kern County supervisors last month, failed to adequately analyze and mitigate biological, air quality, greenhouse gas, public health, traffic and fire impacts. The center seeks to have the court order the county to set aside any approvals on the project based on the supplemental recirculated environmental impact report. The lawsuit states that “approval of the project would form the basis for a development project that would proceed in violation of state law.” In a lengthy statement, Tejon Ranch characterized the center as “an extremist environmental organization” that wants to re-litigate many of the issues on which it already sued and previously lost. After Kern County originally approved the Grapevine at Tejon Ranch, the center sued in 2017 over the insufficiency of the project’s environmental impact report. The court ruled against the center on six of the seven allegations. On the seventh, the court ordered that the approval be set aside and that a revised environmental impact report be done because of a deficiency regarding the internal capture rate used in the traffic study. The center did not comment on the internal capture rate, either in writing or at the hearings held by Kern County, prior to raising these issues in its lawsuit, Tejon Ranch said in its statement. “To sue again over issues that previously the court ruled in favor of Tejon Ranch on, and on an issue it did not even raise for consideration by Kern County, is unconscionable and a huge waste of taxpayer dollars,” the company’s statement said. Shares of Tejon Ranch (TRC) closed up 1 cent, or a fraction of a percent, to $15.85 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
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