Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Did a Union Just kill hundreds of Jobs and Economic Growth for Palmdale, California?

The city of Palmdale was ready to complete a deal with Kinkisharyo International a Japanese company who agreed to build a $60 million factory on a city owned property. Kinkisharyo has a $890 million contract to build potentially hundreds of light rail cars for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. But now the company is taking its project to another state and many indicate a union is to blame. The plant would have employed 300 at a 400k square foot plant. The plant known as Site 9 was a warehouse space used in numerous movies like “Pirates of the Caribbean”, and “Terminal”. This would have been a big economic opportunity for the City of Palmdale as Kinkisharyo International recently moved its U.S. headquarters from Boston to El Segundo, Calif. Palmdale Mayor Ledford was recently quoted this summer as saying "I believe this is just the beginning of a manufacturing renaissance here in the Antelope Valley,”. An environmental group backed by the International Brotherhood Workers Union Local 11 challenged the company. They produced an appeal claiming that construction of the proposed factory would violate state environmental laws. The union wanted to organize the plant without any interference from the company, but the company said no. So the Union backed the environmental group which turned the project into a potential environmental hazard. “They are using California’s environmental laws as a pretense to put leverage on the company to get what they want,” Kinkisharyo spokesman Coby King told Thus the Unions demands were not met so they used environmental laws of water rights to reduce “dust spores” which killed the deal. Initially the Union push the card check agreement. Which is a plan also approved by the Obama administration? Card check is where a company must accept a union if the majority of workers accepts the union. A union spokesperson said they didn’t kill the deal, and that it was the environmental laws, but Kinkisharyo is now looking to build their plant in another state. Kinkisharyo paid $2 million to fight to build the plant in Palmdale. It looks like it is too expensive to do manufacturing business in California.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Rural Land in Antelope Valley May Soon Lose Significant Value, While Other Areas will be Subject to a SEA Zone Restrictions

We have posted before regarding the upcoming proposed changes by Los Angeles Regional Planning under their Town and Country Plan. Many parts of the valley are changing from rural residential land allowing one home per 2 acres currently to Rural Land 20 (RL-20) allowing one dwelling per 20 acres. This is happening all over the valley from the far west to the far-east in places like High Vista, and east of Lake Los Angeles. Other areas like of Redman, and Roosevelt and Tierra Subida. Other areas are changing from the current one home per 2 acres to one home per 10 acres for a domicile RL10. This may drastically reduce the value of many parcels that are not in the city limits of Lancaster or Palmdale. A great number of these parcels are under 5 acres and even if you own a 10 acre lot but the zoning in that area maybe changing to RL 20 you may only be able to build one home on the property. It appears that parcels that are currently 2.5 acres will be allowed to build one home on the property. But parcels that are 20 acres or more with a zone change to RL 20 will only be able to build one home on the property, so property owners with large parcels of 40 or 80, or even 160 acres will only be able to build one home on that property per 20 acres. This will make a huge impact on larger parcels, and less on smaller parcels. Most of the west side county areas are targeted to be zone RL-10 with some exceptions. The county seems to want these rural areas to be country ranch land or farmed land. The best solution for these areas maybe farming if there is enough water, or alternative energy if approved. There have been meetings and invitations have been sent out earlier this year, and there last meeting was on September 27th 2014. Other changes are SEA zones. SEA zones are Significant Ecological Zones. These are areas where burrowing owls, kangaroo squirrels and the desert tortoise live. They will also include areas where the Joshua trees and poppy flowers grow naturally. Most of these SEA zones are near waterways like the Little Rock wash, and even near the duck ponds between Hwy 14 eastward to 10th Street West from Ave H north to Ave E. In this area virtually everything north of Ave G maybe in a SEA zone. The SEA zones run along the mountains along the west side from generally Lake Elizabeth area to Centennial and Gorman. The good news is that many areas the zoning has change positively. 90th east to 105th East running on Palmdale Blvd is proposed to all be Commercial Zoning. Also from Ave F south to G and almost all of the area from Division to 15th Street East will be industrial/Manufacturing zoned M1 or M2. There is also some land west of Division near Sierra Hwy that will be Industrial zoned. Additionally, land running along Hwy 138 from 72nd Street East to 90th Street East is proposed to be Commercial land, and a few areas will be Industrial. The maps and the details of these proposed zoning changes can be found via the Los Angeles Regional Planning’s website under their Town and Country plan. LA County doesn’t want much growth in the outskirts of Lancaster and Palmdale. There may be some influence from UN Agenda 21, which we have written about not long ago. Agenda 21 is implemented locally, but push globally to reduce development drastically to its current levels and allow much much more open space and areas for plants and animals.