Environmentalists protest outside Hyatt Regency Irvine
Eight people from the Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity gathered with signs and condor models Tuesday morning outside Hyatt Regency Irvine on Jamboree Road to protest plans for Tejon Ranch.
The Tejon Ranch Co., which was holding its annual stockholders meeting at the hotel, plans to build two towns with a total 26,400 homes and an industrial complex in its 270,000-acre area between Los Angeles and Bakersfield.
The protestors claim the development will increase traffic on the Golden Gate (I-5) Freeway, hurt the ecosystem and endanger the California condor, which was on the brink of extinction until 1992.
"We urge the stockholders to be responsible and protect this species," protest coordinator Ileene Anderson said.
Tejon Ranch vice president Barry Zolder said the company plans to dedicate 100,000 acres chosen by scientific study as a permanent land preserve. He added that the publicly-owned company has a responsibility to help alleviate California's housing shortage.
Zolder urged Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity to work with the company, not against it.