COURT RULES IN FAVOR OF TEJON RANCH AND KERN COUNTY REGARDING
RE-APPROVAL OF GRAPEVINE AT TEJON RANCH MASTER PLANNED COMMUNITY
TEJON RANCH, Calif.—(January 22, 2021)—Kern County Superior Court Judge Kenneth C. Twisselman today rejected, in its entirety, the most recent lawsuit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), a Tucson, Arizona-based extremist environmental organization, that challenged Kern County’s December 2019 re-approval of Grapevine at Tejon Ranch, a master planned mixed use residential community.
In December 2016, the Kern County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved Grapevine. CBD sued the following year, and subsequently lost six of the seven issues it raised regarding the sufficiency of the project’s environmental impact report. On the seventh issue—the court ruled that there was a deficiency regarding the internal capture rate used in the traffic study—and ordered the County to submit a revised environmental impact report reflecting the court-ordered additional work – but upheld the remainder of the environmental impact report.
The supplemental re-circulated environmental impact report showing the changes to the internal capture rate analysis was subject to a full public review and comment process and was ultimately re-approved unanimously by the Kern County Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors in 2019. The County’s approval was challenged yet again by CBD, first in a late-hit letter filed one day before the Board of Supervisors met to consider the project, and then again in court.
In today’s ruling, the court rejected CBD’s attempt to re-litigate issues it had already sued on and lost. It also determined that the County’s supplemental analysis of the internal capture rate, as ordered by the court, was complete and in full compliance with the court’s earlier ruling. The court also expressly rejected each of CBD’s new claims, including those that attempted to re-litigate earlier claims that CBD had itself assured the court in writing that CBD would not-re-litigate.
“We are extremely pleased the court thoughtfully and thoroughly considered the issues, found that we had satisfied the court’s original ruling and decided to rule against the claims in this latest lawsuit,” said Hugh F. McMahon, Executive VP of real estate at Tejon Ranch Co. “Once again CBD tried to hijack and abuse the California Environmental Quality Act in their continued attempts to prevent any and all thoughtful and responsible real estate development in California.”
The lawsuit was the 12th legal action filed by CBD against Tejon Ranch and its interests since 2003. CBD’s concerted efforts to likewise delay Tejon Ranch’s Centennial and Mountain Village master-planned communities, which together with Grapevine will provide 35,000 new homes for Californians, only serve to worsen California’s housing shortage and drive home costs ever higher. The lawsuit comes a month after CBD lost yet another lawsuit challenging Tejon Mountain Village.
It’s no secret that Bakersfield and Kern County have some of the hardest working people in the nation. It’s a place where hard work, sheer grit, and determination have been harnessed to feed and fuel a nation. From our award-winning, nationally recognized schools and universities, our deep commitment to agriculture, and a culture that goes back decades (we even invented our own sound), Kern County is No. 1 in oil production and agriculture in the nation. We’re attracting more Millennials to the workforce than ever before. We’re ready to take on new challenges.
Tejon Ranch is proud to be a part of this success. From our job-creating initiatives with Kern County to our increased capacity at Tejon Ranch Commerce Center to attract new business and increase our competitiveness, to building a community and new communities and housing we’re helping add our knowledge and our legacy.
We look forward to continuing to help build a better future for Kern County, Bakersfield—and for all of California.
On Monday, September 9, Kern County, the city of Bakersfield, and local business partners revealed new brands as part of an integrated effort to spur economic development, tourism and talent attraction in Kern County and Greater Bakersfield.
This is an effort that we strongly support and the end result—focusing on the better and boundless opportunities in Kern County—speak to the boundless opportunities at Tejon Ranch. We aspire to establish the highest corporate standards in all of our operations, guided by our core values of quality, environmental stewardship, and visionary innovation.
Bakersfield and Kern County—and Tejon Ranch— have a great story, a rich history, abundant natural resources, unique cultural gems and welcoming, authentic people. Here are some of the ways we are a strong part of the community and offer opportunities for organizations and individuals alike.
- The Tejon Ranch Commerce Center (TRCC) is a 20 million square foot state-of-the-art commercial/industrial development on Interstate 5 just north of the Los Angeles basin. Nearly six million square feet of industrial, commercial and retail space has already been developed, including distribution centers for IKEA, Caterpillar, Famous Footwear, L’Oreal and Dollar General. We’re creating jobs for Kern County residents.
- The Outlets at Tejon is a destination retail location for more than 3.2 million people who live within an hour’s drive of the site.
- We have a deep history of agriculture and today we grow pistachios, almonds, alfalfa, and winegrapes on more than 6,000 acres of land using sustainable methods. We’re proud to feed California.
- We’re longstanding partners with Kern County, and led efforts to develop an Economic Development Incentive Policy that is helping spur growth and job creation at TRCC and throughout the county.
These are just a few examples of how we are embedded into this wonderful community. We’re excited about the new brands, the new look, the energy and the possibilities they bring to all of us. Tejon Ranch is proud to call Kern County home. Let’s get to work!
Tejon Ranch is a California landmark, a land of legacy – bigger than life, rich in history, blessed by nature. 175 years after it was founded as a Mexican land grant, Tejon Ranch still has vast stretches of land that remain in their natural state, a product of Tejon Ranch’s ethic of stewardship.
Much of what people see and experience today on Tejon Ranch is what they would have seen hundreds of years ago. This is due to the fact that Tejon Ranch has been intentionally well cared for. And today, it’s also protected by California’s largest and most significant private conservation agreement.
That same stewardship ethic is also a part of all of our operations, from agriculture to real estate development.
We are building on that legacy for the next generation by creating jobs and new communities while still preserving 90% of our pristine land.
To learn more the ranch’s stewardship ethic, listen as Barry Zoeller and Mike Campeau take a look inside the culture of stewardship that permeates every aspect of Tejon, its programs and future development.
Welcome to Episode 14 of the Tejon Ranch History Podcast! End of an era. When Edward F. Beale died in 1893, his death marked the many changes that had occurred at Tejon Ranch during the mid-1800s. He was witness to and participated in many events related to Tejon Ranch and beyond, from fighting in the Mexican/American War, carrying news of the California Gold Rush to Washington, D.C., exploring the unknown Southwest, and serving as California’s Surveyor General. Beale was also an active voice in civil rights. After his passing, the Ranch transitioned and was soon on the path to a new direction. Listen to learn more! http://traffic.libsyn.com/tejonranch/TR_history_podcast_ep_14.m4a
Welcome to Episode 12 of the Tejon Ranch History Podcast! This episode focuses on the trials and tribulations of J.J. Lopez, an early and important resident of Tejon Ranch. Picture this: You’re in the midst of desert with a herd of 16,000 sheep, leading the way to get them through the hot, stifling heat, with a lack of water and food. And there’s no turning back. That’s the scenario Lopez was faced with. Did he make it to Green River, Wyoming as planned? Listen to learn more and find out:
Welcome to Episode 11 of the Tejon Ranch History Podcast!
This episode focuses on one of California’s worst droughts in history. By the mid-1800s there were more than 125,000 sheep grazing at the Ranch and plenty of crops and other wildlife. Of course, this being history, there was a hitch. California suffered a serious drought, with absolutely no rain in 1877. The Kern River dried up completely. And vegetation died. How was Tejon Ranch able to recover? Listen to learn more.
Welcome to Episode 10 of the Tejon Ranch History Podcast! This episode focuses on Edward Fitzgerald Beale and the behind-the-scenes action he took at Tejon Ranch to purchase the land. You might be surprised to learn that he and his family mostly resided in the nation’s capital while the care of the Ranch was assigned to others. Regardless, when he purchased four Mexican land grants that totaled 270,000 acres—real estate roughly equivalent in size to metropolitan Los Angeles— the price for an acre was a whopping 11 cents! Listen to learn more.
Welcome to Episode Nine of the Tejon Ranch History Podcast. By 1860, Tejon Ranch was the largest settlement in Southern California. However, it would soon become deserted. With the American Civil War starting in 1861, troops were diverted to battlefields across the country. Pleas from Ranch residents and leaders to keep the Ranch guarded were ignored. By 1861, every mule and wagon was loaded up by the U.S. Army and marched out as residents of Tejon Ranch sadly watched. It was a challenging time for the Ranch needless to say and many changes were now on the horizon. Listen to learn more!
Come visit and wander with us this winter!
Don’t let winter slow you down and prevent you from visiting Tejon Ranch. In fact, we encourage you to visit us during the winter. If you belong to our Explorer Membership you can access our thousands of acres of stunning hills and valleys—all changing for the upcoming winter. Before you visit, check out how to prepare and what sights you’ll be able to see this winter, written by our own Mike Campeau.
There’s a chill in the air. Yes, it will be colder, but only on some days. This being California, most of the winter days at Tejon Ranch tend to range in the high 60s to low 70s (try explaining that one to your east coast relatives). Tejon Ranch is located in what I call the “Bermuda Triangle” of weather. We are located at the convergence of the Sierra Nevada mountain, the Mojave Desert and the California coast—and the weather can change here in a heartbeat because of that.
Be prepared for any kind of weather. Dress in layers. And, since our weather can change—it might be warm in the morning, but by afternoon it could be raining—dress so you can strip down or add clothing. If you’re out and about and it starts to rain and get swampy, cut your hike short and get back to base.
Take in the changing landscape. California is often accused of not having four seasons. That’s not the case here at Tejon Ranch. As winter approaches (and rains come—at least during previous seasons) the foliage falls off the tress, the grassy hills and valleys turn bright green, and the sun is out and bright. This is the perfect combination for a hike or our popular trail rides with your favorite horse, or one of ours.
Our wildlife changes, too. The animals at Tejon Ranch tend to congregate this time of the year. For instance, our elk gather in large “bachelor” groups, providing more presence for guests and more opportunities to take pictures of them and other animals on the Ranch.
Enjoy our snow. Tejon Ranch is never going to be a major skiing destination but we do provide some fun snowy activities (when we have snow). Many visitors have used snow discs for gentle, family friendly snow sledding, built snowmen, and used our beautiful snowy hills and valleys to take some amazing winter photographs.
We hope you visit us this winter. Remember, dress appropriately, be prepared, bring a camera (it’s hard to believe we’re only 90 minutes from Southern California) to take some spectacular winter photos, and most importantly, have fun and get outside.
For more information on joining our Explorer Membership and getting access to the ranch to hike (as well as biking, camping, photography and other fun activities) contact Christine Hollis at (661) 663-4284 or firstname.lastname@example.org