governor-elect is warned in a letter that national security is at stake
if a city is built on Tejon Ranch near area where pilots train.
November, 09 2003
Excerpted from the Los Angeles Times
In a recent letter to Gov.-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger, a top Department of Defense official asked him to intervene in the proposed development of a large new city on Tejon Ranch, just across a rural street from Harris' house.
Military officials acknowledge that the letter is an opening salvo in a campaign to protect their interests as California grows by a projected 25 million people by 2040. Policy and planning experts also see the letter as the opening of a new chapter in California land-use disputes.
In the case of the sprawling Tejon Ranch, the state's largest privately owned property, Betancourt requested that Schwarzenegger ask the statewide planning office to devise a regional strategy to consider Centennial and two other projects planned for the ranch along Interstate 5 in Kern and Los Angeles counties.
Currently, counties may meet voluntarily to discuss a regional planning issue, but that cooperation is not legally required.
The military's pressure for a regional solution has created unusual alliances. Environmental organizations, often at odds with the armed services, share the military's desire to limit development of land that is open space.
Already, the Legislature has strengthened the military's hand. In 1999, it created the California Defense Retention and Conversion Council, partly to study strategies for the long-term protection of lands adjacent to bases. Last year, it passed a law requiring local governments to consider the effect of new developments on military facilities.
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