Environmentalists Sue To Stop Tejon Ranch Development

Environmentalists are suing to stop a 5,000-acre development at Tejon Ranch, a picturesque property 60 miles north of Los Angeles made famous by the Chandler family that once owned the Los Angeles Times.

The suit claims that Kern County let the Tejon Mountain Village project go forward without regard for its potential impact on the California condor. Plaintiffs also say the development's water use and potential air pollution were discounted.

The Center for Biological Diversity is the lead plaintiff in the case. Director Adam Keats tells Associated Press that California "will suffer" if the 3,500-home project gets off the ground.

It's one of two developments being considered for the ranch purchased by Times publisher Harry Chandler in 1912. Despite the belief among some family members that the property should remain as part of the Chandlers' holdings, the ranch was sold in the late 1990s, leading to the formation of the publicly traded Tejon Ranch Co.

However, 240,000 acres of the property, about 90 percent, was set aside as a preserve under a deal struck with environmental groups last year.

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