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A destructive development

May 12, 2008

Re "Homes, homes on the range," May 8

Construction of the sprawling Centennial and Tejon Mountain Ranch projects, 26,000 homes in three urban villages 100 miles north of downtown Los Angeles, spells jeopardy for the California condor and our regional environmental sustainability.

Southern California must stop sprawling outward. It costs governments untold millions to serve the 70,000 or more drivers getting in line on Interstate 5 and to pay for new firefighters to protect the "village center" from being devoured in the next brush conflagration.

Though I applaud the environmental groups' attempt to protect the majority of Tejon Ranch from development, now is not the time to entitle luxury estates and fancy golf condos set among the grandeur of the Tehachapi Mountains. We should encourage new residents to settle in 26,000 infill homes spread throughout existing cities like Downey, Sylmar and El Monte, where jobs, public services and alternative transportation already exist, and leave the condor to live out his old age in peace.

Jack Eidt

Director of Planning

Wild Heritage Planners

Los Angeles

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After 26,000 homes are built in the Tejon Ranch wilderness, how long will it be before some new residents start complaining about its wildlife "invading" their yards?

Denise Hildebrand

Newport Beach

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