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Developers Defend Porter Ranch Benefits

September 16, 1990

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.

Barth claims that the jobs created to fulfill the city's jobs/housing balance requirement will not match the income needed to live in Porter Ranch. But official figures show an almost exact statistical correlation between projected income levels of residents and projected income levels for the jobs created.

Barth says there will be more car trips and pollution because of the project. On the contrary, auto trips would be longer and pollution worse without the plan. Not only will Porter Ranch provide jobs and shopping closer to residents but the mitigations required by the plan will result in improved traffic conditions. The South Coast Air Quality Management District says the project will not affect the region's air quality goals.

Barth's allegations can be refuted by a simple review of the public records. However, what is most disturbing is outlandish claim that Porter Ranch Development Co. improperly influenced City Council approval with political contributions. We respond to donation requests from numerous community groups, political committees and charitable organizations.

Nathan Shapell, Irving Feintech


Porter Ranch Development Co.

Beverly Hills

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