The J. G. Boswell Company notified the County of Tulare this week that it is withdrawing the pending application for the Yokohl Ranch master-planned residential and commercial development.
Yokohl Ranch encompasses about 36,000 acres in the Sierra Nevada foothills within an unincorporated area of Tulare County. The property is situated south of Three Rivers and east of Exeter.
Primary access to the property is via Yokohl Drive, which runs through the southern end of the property and functions as a road connecting to eastern parts of Tulare County.
The development was proposed to include custom home sites, semi-custom estates, single-family detached homes of various sizes, and attached townhomes and apartment homes that would total about 10,000 dwellings intended to house a population of about 30,000. The development was also planned to have sites for public schools, a town center, a light industrial center, community parks, playgrounds, hiking and biking trails, fire and police stations, resort lodge, library, public and private golf courses, and water reclamation.
The proposed project, which has been in the works since 2005, wasn’t without controversy. Objections and concerns included loss of habitat and open space, increased traffic and emissions, and water availability.
Cattle grazing to continue
The company’s decision to withdraw its application was based on an analysis of market conditions and economic forecasts that concluded the financial investment necessary to develop and build out the Yokohl Ranch project is no longer justified. In addition, the J. G. Boswell
Company, which is based in Pasadena, stated that its decision is consistent with the company’s goal of building shareholder value by directing resources and efforts to its core agricultural businesses.
“Since the project inception and throughout the extensive entitlement work, J. G. Boswell Company, the owner of Yokohl Ranch Company, has made substantial capital investments in supporting the future of Tulare County for the purpose of developing a top quality, sustainable community in the San Joaquin Valley,” wrote James W. Boswell, chairman and CEO of the company, in a letter dated January 31 to Steven Worthley, chairman of the Tulare County Board of Supervisors, and Michael Spata, Tulare County administrative officer.
Due to its rocky soils and shallow soil depths, the land that is now Yokohl Ranch was found by early settlers to be unsuitable for orchards, row crops, or other intensive agricultural uses. The grassy foothills of Yokohl Ranch have always been considered excellent for cattle grazing, which is its present and, now, future use. The company indicated that it will continue operating the Yokohl Valley Ranch Company as it has since 1963.