Environmental Groups Are Suing To Stop Fragile Grasslands From Becoming A Planned City

Nestled in the far northern fringes of Los Angeles County, the undeveloped plains of Tejon Ranch are a portal back to California’s earliest days. One of the last of the native grasslands that used to cover the state, its 270,000 acres of gently sloping hills and golden, oak-dappled meadows are a haven for hundreds of native plant and animal species, including several on the national endangered species list. But soon, all of that might change.

In April, after decades of debate over the land’s fate, the county approved a plan to build a 6,700-acre development on the privately owned property. Called Centennial, the master-planned city would bring 19,000 mostly single-family homes and 8.4 million square feet of commercial space to the remote area—a move that environmental groups warn would result in massive habitat loss and pollution.

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