William Barth's Sept. 2 commentary criticizing the city's approval of the Porter Ranch plan claims that development requires tremendous increases in public service and infrastructure costs that far outweigh increases in tax revenues. While this may be the case with other developments, it is not true of Porter Ranch.
Porter Ranch Development Co. is paying for all of the infrastructure within the specific plan area, such as roads, sewers, utilities, parks, etc. Outside the specific plan we are providing more than $50 million in transportation infrastructure improvements throughout the entire northwest San Fernando Valley.
These "hard" infrastructure costs are in addition to millions of dollars in permit fees, sewer fees, water hookups, etc. the company will be required to pay. These benefits go to the city of Los Angeles before any increases in tax revenue are taken into account. In Porter Ranch's case, full build-out will produce about $38 million--in today's dollars--annually in new tax revenue. These new revenues will more than cover many "soft" infrastructure costs, such as police and public health services.
Porter Ranch Development Co. is donating land for a municipal building, a library and a fire station. We are building the fire station and furnishing all of the equipment, including fire trucks, to the city free of charge.