2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: 24 Oct 2003 20:14:16 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Tejon Ranch - development vs. overflights
Military Appeals to Gov.-Elect to Intervene in Development

An admiral's letter to Schwarzenegger suggests that a new city planned
for Tejon Ranch be relocated so it won't disrupt flight training.

By Daryl Kelley
Los Angeles Times
October 23, 2003

Fearing that construction of a new city on Tejon Ranch would end
low-level training flights from six military bases, a top Defense
Department official has taken the unusual step of asking Gov.-elect
Arnold Schwarzenegger to intervene in the development of the proposed
23,000-home community, and perhaps move it from the Tehachapi Mountains
to the southern San Joaquin Valley.

Navy Rear Adm. J.L. Betancourt, writing on behalf of military services
in California, said that development of the new city of Centennial, near
Gorman, would interfere with the training of Navy, Marine and Air Force
combat pilots and would likely have "severe impacts" on the nation's
military readiness.

Federal regulations prohibit military flights lower than 1,000 feet over
cities, while military pilots often train at elevations of just 200

"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," Betancourt said Tuesday in an e-mail to Schwarzenegger.

Betancourt requested that Schwarzenegger's statewide planning office
devise a regional strategy to consider Centennial and two other projects
planned on sprawling Tejon Ranch along Interstate 5 in Kern and Los
Angeles counties. A new law gives that office expanded powers in
resolving development disputes related to the military.

Just what Schwarzenegger will do with the request is uncertain, since he
is not yet governor and is only now selecting his top advisors. Until he
is sworn in, Environment Now, a Santa Monica nonprofit group, is
advising the governor-elect on issues concerning Tejon Ranch.


Environment Now's Myerson, who is overseeing a detailed study of Tejon
Ranch, said the military's objections created a rare opportunity for
environmentalists to work with the Department of Defense to create a
better project.

"Oftentimes, we don't find enough in common between our two
perspectives, and this is certainly one instance where there is a lot of
commonality," he said. "Nobody is trying to halt development. It's just
a matter of where the development is most appropriate."


For the entire story, see


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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