The Centennial Story
Housing experts agree that the "old" patterns of growth must change. They believe homebuilders need to focus on master-planned communities that address housing as well as other needs, from open space and resource preservation to jobs, schools, shopping and health care. Centennial is one solution for working families and seniors, and an ideal site for this kind of development - a unique, self-sustaining "hometown" where they can live, work and play in homes they can afford.
Centennial will be located on the Tejon Ranch near the Kern County/Los Angeles County border (near the junction of I-5 and SR-138), on land that is relatively flat, does not have endangered species on it, and has been used for cattle grazing for more than 100 years. Centennial is envisioned as a stand-alone community that would bring a wide range of housing, jobs, medical facilities, cultural amenities, educational institutions and recreation to an area whose residents currently lack most of these services. The Centennial Founders, a partnership of Tejon Ranch Company, Pardee Homes, Lewis Investment Company and Standard Pacific Homes, is committed to working in conjunction with the area's current and future residents to shape a community that benefits everyone with an array of services, employment options and open spaces. Centennial is still in the early stages of planning, but the Founders anticipate beginning construction on the 20-year project by 2011.
Located near the junction of I-5 and SR-138, Centennial, in a figurative sense, also would be at the intersection of old and new. According to initial planning, about half of the approximately 11,700 acres will be permanent open space. About 6,000 developed acres would include numerous villages made up of neighborhoods, stores, offices, schools and parks - creating a hometown atmosphere. Centennial’s planners envision a broad mix of housing for all income levels - from apartments in more vibrant areas to low-density neighborhoods and active adult living. The goal of Centennial is to work in conjunction with the area’s current and future residents to shape a community that benefits everyone with an array of services, employment options and open spaces. For this reason, Centennial Founders has formed an advisory board of local, regional and national experts and are engaged in regular dialogue with residents. Based on these discussions, the group intends to create a hometown where everyone’s quality of life is enhanced.
Respect for Natural Resources
Enhancing quality of life goes beyond developing an area where home, work and school are within an easy walk or drive. In the case of Centennial, it also means preserving the beauty and resources of the surrounding area. In addition to the former grazing land projected for development, initial Centennial plans call for 5,600 acres set aside as permanent open space, including parks, trails, greenways and golf courses. In addition, more than 80 percent of the open space is slated to look as it does today.
Centennial Founders brings with them a philosophy of respect for the land and its natural resources. A sensitive land plan would preserve most of the hundreds of indigenous oak trees on the site, and the community would be served by a variety of water sources and would incorporate energy and water-saving conservation and recycling programs.
By the time the final phase is built, Centennial is designed to be a place where the availability of local jobs enables a significant percentage of residents to work in the same community where they live, minimizing long commutes. A public transportation system, which would give residents other options, is also a component of initial planning. As part of the planning process, an extensive environmental analysis will be prepared, and the public will have the opportunity to offer input.
The Need is Real, and Centennial Would be a Solution
According to the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) and the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 200,000 families and seniors in Kern and Los Angeles counties live in substandard housing, or simply can’t find any housing they can afford. Some of these families include teachers, firefighters and seniors who deserve to be able to buy a house in the community where they work. Relying exclusively on infill and suburban expansion will not satisfy the demand for housing. Centennial would provide quality housing for these families. By incorporating jobs, medical facilities, shopping and entertainment, Centennial also will help improve the standard of living and quality of life for most everyone in the vicinity. Centennial is one proposed solution to providing much-needed services, quality housing and an economic boost to the area along the Los Angeles County and Kern County border.