Friday, February 29, 2008

"Los Angeles" from turning into a vast, broken metropolis stretching from Tijuana to Bakersfield.

From the LA Times:
But it was a reminder, too, that the truly rural outposts of Los Angeles County -- the nation's top agricultural county not so long ago -- are withering away. And this one happens to abut the proposed site of the largest planned community in county history.Neenach -- and a smattering of other forlorn towns hidden between Lancaster and the Grapevine -- will be the subject of a fierce dispute in the coming year over when enough is enough in Southern California.

On one side, advocates will wave studies showing that there are 6 million more people headed this way in the next 20 years, people who will need roofs over their heads. On the other side, activists will point out that once construction starts here -- above the historical northern boundary of the region's development -- there will be nothing to keep "Los Angeles" from turning into a vast, broken metropolis stretching from Tijuana to Bakersfield.

It would all be very apocalyptic-sounding, if only it was the kind of thing that got Neenach bent out of shape.

When the abutting development is built -- if it is built -- it will be called Centennial. It would be the end, for all intents and purposes, of Neenach.

Billed as a "new town," Centennial would be constructed on a chunk of the 165-year-old Tejon Ranch. There would be 23,000 homes, eight elementary schools, three fire stations.


Rob Dawg said...

I did some of the early land use studies back in like 1987. This is not some new idea.

Lone Ranger said...

The most important issue forgotten by the LA Times in this projection is Peak Oil.

Joe Six Pack still seems to think that high fuel prices are are a result of oil company conspiracies to keep prices high, when the reality is simply that supply can no longer keep up with demand.

Suburbia is a flawed social model that has always relied on cheap liquid fuels to allow long commutes, and gas guzzling oversized vehicles. The cheap fuel era is now over, never to return.

Expect gasoline to hit at least $4 per gallon by summer, and to keep increasing in price hereafter.

Expect some form of fuel rationing by 2012.

Add to this the constantly devaluing Dollar, the coming severe recession, (depression?), with skyrocketing monetary inflation.

Most middle class folks will be hard pressed to simply keep what they have.

We’ll be left with vacant highways, and houses inconveniently deployed too far from employment, or anyplace of utility. We will have however, plenty of pissed off people.

In constant Dollars, housing prices will never regain the values seen at the top of the bubble, and the average standard of living has no place to go but down.

Distant suburban developments are destined to become 21st Century ghost towns.

hankmeister said...

someone's been reading Kunstler.

Ichabod said...

Gosh lone ranger, I thought reading Bakersfield Bubble was discouraging! Maybe I should take a leap off a bridge and end it all....

beebs said...

Well, hold your horses. Gasoline shows no signs of going down, and we aren't in summer driving season yet.

Kunstler has a point. We are building suburbs without jobs or businesses to support them.

Adam said...

I'm sure you all remember when there actually were vast, uninhabited areas between L.A. and Tijuana (ag, with orange groves). Now there's just a vast mega-metropolis of similar-looking cities in O.C. Same for Ventura County (back when Oxnard was little but farmland).

However, not all cities "work", and ghost towns are hardly a new phenomenon. Ever been to Calico, or even Painted Rock (Carrizo Plains)? Some brave people will always take the trailing edge for profit and adventure, and leave remnants of their existence for future generations to ponder why.

I don't see why 2008 should be any different.

FWIW, I've always enjoyed the terrain and views out near Neenach, and thought it would make a great area to live, if there actually were a good excuse to live out there!

xs10shell said...

I've had to drive over the Grapevine a lot lately and it seems like a good area for a wind farm not a new city

Lone Ranger said...

Didn't mean to sound like a "doomer".

Folks that accept and understand the new situation will be just fine.

The people that visit this fine blog were well aware of the Bakersfield Bubble, didn't count on a never ending price spiral, and planned appropriately.

I started my own business in late 1979, right in the middle of Stagflation, record interest rates, and fuel prices. We all got through it, and will once again :)