Gas Leak Could Halt New Development in Porter Ranch
The LA County Local Agency Formation Commission, which controls annexations by the City of LA, is considering a moratorium on expanding LA’s boundaries for new housing development in the Porter Ranch area.
The request for a moratorium came from County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, who represents the Porter Ranch area, due to fumes from a leak at Socal Gas Co’s gas storage facility near Aliso Canyon (pictured), which has been leaking for the past two months and making residents sick.
More than 2,000 residents have been temporarily relocated at the expense of SoCal Gas, and nearly 3,200 people are in the process of being placed in temporary housing. The fumes cause headaches and nausea.
According to LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, who appeared on the local NBC network’s NewsConference Sunday morning, SoCal Gas says it will take up to six months to fix the leak, which he called “unacceptable.” The city is already seeking legal remedy to force SoCal Gas to speed up progress at the leak site and resolve complaints by residents who have not yet been evacuated or have issues with the accommodations provided.
The Commission’s executive officer, Paul Novak, questions whether the agency has the authority to impose a preemptive annexation moratorium, but says that the agency’s lawyers are studying the matter. The moratorium would halt new development in the area, including Hidden Creeks Estate, a 188-home gated community, proposed by Texas-based Forestar Real Estate Group on a site next to Porter Ranch. This site is in an unincorporated area of LA County, but is proposed for annexation to the city.