QUARTZ HILL  — Members of the Association of Rural Town Councils hope the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will delay the public hearing for the proposed Centennial mas­ter-planned community to allow time for a more com­plete traffic study.

The L.A. County Region­al Planning Commission voted Aug. 29 to recommend the project for approval to the board of supervisors. The board is expected to con­sider the project in De­cember, although a date has not yet been set.

Proposed on about 12,300 acres along Highway 138 west of 300th Street West, Cen­tennial calls for 19,333 homes on the 150-year-old Tejon Ranch at the far reach­es of the northwestern Antelope Valley.

The population will be an estimated 57,000 at full build-out, which is expected to take more than 20 years. Plans also call for 10 million square feet of business park, retail, commercial, light industrial, civic and med­ical buildings. That would also be brought on in proportion to the con­struc­tion of homes. More than 5,100 acres of the 12,300 acres will remain as natural grassland or oak wood­lands, with hundreds more acres in parks and other open space, according to an environmental impact report prepared for Los Angeles County.

The project is expected to create 23,000 permanent jobs and 25,000 jobs during construction. Centennial would generate $31.3 mil­lion in taxes and fees annu­ally for Los Angeles County.

Los Angeles Coun­ty Metropolitan Trans­por­ta­tion Authority and Caltrans of­ficials are studying widen­ing the two-lane Highway 138 into a six-lane freeway for about eight miles east of Interstate 5 to 300th Street West, then a four-lane ex­press­way the remaining 28 miles from 300th Street West to the Antelope Valley Freeway.

“The expansion of the 138 is directly tied to the Centennial project, but the county says we don’t need to evaluate the impacts of Caltrans’ expansion, they’ve done that. But no­body has adequately an­alyzed traffic impacts to the Lakes and Valleys and Antelope Acres, as well as the Antelope Valley Area Plan,” ARTC Director Susan Zahnter said.

Zahnter said up to 10% of the project can be accommodated by the exis­ting conditions on High­way 138, according to the draft environmental re­port. From 10% to 75% de­pends on the expansion of Highway 138 to six lanes to 300th Street West. Beyond that, the project depends on an additional lane on each side that was not an­ticipated by Caltrans or the Three Points Town Council.

“The six-lane freeway would­n’t end at 300th Street, it would end at Three Points Road,”  Zahn­ter said.

Zahnter said she would like to meet with Supervisor Kath­ryn Barger’s Field Dep­u­ty Donna Termeer to ar­range a meeting with Cal­trans, Public Works and Regional Planning, if nec­essary, to figure it out be­fore the board of su­per­visors considers it.

“I would like to request that the hearing be pushed out to the end of January,” Zahnter said, adding there may not be enough time to accomplish what she wants with the holiday season upcoming.

Acton Town Council member Jacki Ayer sug­gest­ed they recommend the proposed Centennial proj­ect be limited to 20% until after the Highway 138 ex­pansion project is com­plete.

In response to Zahtner’s request the ARTC agreed to write a letter requesting a meeting with county officials and an extension for the public hearing before the board of supervisors.

“These people are going to find alternate routes through the Valleys, es­pe­cial­ly if there’s a quick off-ramp in our community,” Zahnter said.

To share your opinion on this article or any other article, write a letter to the editor and email it to editor@avpress.com or mail it to Letters to Editor, PO Box 4050, Palmdale CA 93590-4050.

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