NewsCovering Kern County


Tejon Ranch sets new standards for sustainable living

Posted at 4:18 PM, Dec 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-08 21:21:38-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Earlier this year, Governor Gavin Newsom announced landmark climate change goals for the entire state of California.

As the state continues to raise its goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

Affordable, climate-friendly homes are on the way to the Centennial at Tejon Ranch. The map of the project is on the border of L.A. and Kern County and is hoping to help with lower greenhouse gas emissions, help with wildfire prevention, and more.

“Tejon Ranch has this long legacy of environmental stewardship, and we also have a legacy of using our land to meet environmental land in California,” said Barry Zoeller, Senior VP & Corporate Communications & Investor Relations.

That legacy will continue for Tejon Ranch, this time in the form of housing.

Zoeller, with the Tejon Ranch, said this new agreement between Tejon Ranch and Climate Resolve will help address both climate change while bringing more homes to the community.

“We’re able to address the desperate need for housing in California by developing a fire safe, climate-safe, mixed-used masterplan that will be affordable so we can meet that need for housing and also do so in a matter that’s consistent with the state’s policy goals to combat climate change,” said Zoeller.

The planned development includes building nearly 20,000 homes and about 10 million square feet of commercial space.

Bryn Linblad, Deputy Director of Climate Resolve, said 3,480 units will be available for affordable housing with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.

“The homes at centennial aren’t going to have any natural gas hookups to them because we already know there’s viable electric alternatives, so rather than coming back later and. Turning over appliances and making them match with the direction the state is headed, we are getting to the future faster by not even putting in that natural gas infrastructure in the first place,” said Linblad.

A report from Rocky Mountain Institute found that when it comes to zero-emission homes, in 2018, the incremental cost on average across four large U.S. cities showed zero-emission homes were more expensive to build than ones with gas.

However, over time, due to things like increased demand for those projects, that report explains those expenses will drop.

That’s also in addition to those beneficial impacts for the environment according to Linblad. “Any emissions associated with the project, from people driving to and from, they will be offset by new investments and electric trucks and electric vehicle chargers, solar projects and local disadvantage communities, that sort of thing.”

The project will also have around 30,000 electric vehicle chargers and help with wildfire prevention.

Linblad hopes this project will show that addressing housing and climate change go hand in hand.

“I think we’re showing with this agreement that developers and climate goals and meeting the housing crisis that these goals can go hand in hand, I don’t think going into this we were seen as likely allies but we’re trying to show that it is possible to sort of meet objectives at once.”

Lindblad also said they are confident in the footprint this project will leave going forward.

However as of right now, according to Tejon Ranch, there is no set date yet of when the project will start.