10 June 2016

Three Possible Futures for Tres Hermanos Ranch?

As reported yesterday in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, the Tres Hermanos Ranch, long owned by the City of Industry, is now the subject of a dispute between the city and an Orange County developer about its future.

According to the paper, the state-run oversight board to the former Industry redevelopment agency has ordered the city to submit its proposal for what to do with the 2,500-acre ranch by 31 August.  Industry had put the property up for sale and then pulled it off the market when there was a change in the city council majority and a new staff  in 2015.  The question now is whether the city can afford to buy the ranch given its high market value as the last large undeveloped property in the area.

Meantime, G.H. America, Inc. and Irvine-based South Coast Communities are angling to buy Tres Hermanos for a development of 1,881 houses that would bring approximately 7,500 residents and offered $101 million for what could be a $1.1 billion project.  The developer is accusing the city of violating the conditions under which former redevelopment property is to be sold and the funds used for fire districts, schools and other entities.

Tres Hermanos Ranch could become the location of a preserved recreation area, a solar farm, or nearly 2,000 homes for almost 8,000 residents, according to an article in yesterday's San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
The ranch had long been said to be valued by Industry as a location for a reservoir that could generate hydro-electric power.  An attorney for G.H. America, however, claims that there is a behind-the-scenes manuever to direct the land towards a 1,000-acre solar farm and trying to skirt the terms of the law that deals with former redevelopment agency holdings.  All that city officials would say of late was that the ranch was desirable for repurchase "for open space and recreation."

One of the owners of the development company stated that there would be 600-800 affordable housing units, an additional 336 built in areas allowing only 1 home per five acres, 18 acres for commercial purposes, and a mixed-use zone of 20 acres.  He stated that "about 40 percent would be open space, leaving a good portion for trails."

Fomer Los Angeles County district attorney Steve Cooley, who now works for land developers, weighed in on the issue, claiming there was no reason for the city to try to buy the ranch and thwart what he called a "high quality" development.

Meanwhile, local preservationist Claire Schlotterbeck was quoted as saying that she and others in the Save Tres Hermanos organization are looking to have a conservation group buy the land to preserve it from development and devote it to recreation.

To read more, click here.

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