2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: 23 Oct 2003 20:13:15 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Admiral questions Tejon Ranch development
On October 21, 2003 Admiral J.L. Betancourt, Department of Defense
Regional Environmental Coordinator for the Southwest, sent a letter to
California Governor-Elect Arnold Schwarzenegger, warning that a proposed
development in northern Los Angeles County may seriously impact military
readiness activities within the state.

Speaking for the Department of Defense (DoD), Betancourt wrote, "We face
numerous challenges operating in California. Sustaining DoD ranges in
the face of new development is a strain on our installations. Extensive
environmental regulations impact our ability to train and to operate.
Regulatory challenges also exist with respect to transferring closed
bases to enhance the local community.... One such challenge is the
proposed Centennial development."

He explained, "we call your attention to the proposed Centennial
development project in the far west end of the Antelope Valley near the
intersection of Interstate 5 and California Highway 138. Beginning in
2006, the 25-year project proposes to build over 14 million square feet
of commercial property, as well as 23,000 housing units ranging from
apartments to low-density neighborhoods to active adult living. This new
city, Centennial, represents a small portion of the larger Tejon Ranch.

"The proposed Centennial development underlies a number of military
training routes crucial to maintaining highly perishable pilot skills
necessary for safe execution of one of the most demanding phases of a
combat mission. These routes connect the heavily used R-2508 flight
complex with sea operating ranges, Chocolate Mountain Aerial Gunnery
Range, and interior ranges in Nevada, Arizona and other inland areas.
These military training routes are essential to ongoing operations at
[Naval Air Station] Lemoore, [Naval Air Station] Point Mugu, [Naval Air
Weapons Station] China Lake, [Naval Air Field] El Centro, [Marine Corps
Air Station] Miramar and Edwards Air Force Base. Additionally, they
support the pre-deployment training of carrier battle groups and
facilitate mission critical testing of remote weapons systems and
unmanned airborne vehicles."

The Admiral proposed, "Regarding the proposed Centennial development,
the military services seek the assistance of your Office of Planning and
Research in facilitating discussions with Los Angeles County, the
project proponents, and other stakeholders including the U.S.
Navy/Department of Defense on development issues and options for the
11,700 acre property."

He added, "This letter and enclosure focus on the pending Centennial
development in Los Angeles County. Our military training routes,
however, continue over portions of the Tejon Ranch in Kern County that
also are the subject of development discussions. We therefore request
you consider a joint planning mechanism to facilitate coordinated master
planning of the entire Tejon Ranch, across local jurisdictions, with
special consideration of input from DoD regarding military training and
testing requirements."


Lenny Siegel
Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
c/o PSC, 278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545
Fax: 650/961-8918

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