5. Alternative 4: Re-Routing of New Right-of-Way Along Haskell Canyon
During the public scoping meeting held on July 14, 2005, it was requested that SCE find a new route for the proposed project that would avoid traversing through the Veluzat Motion Picture Ranch (Veluzat Ranch or ranch) and planned development in the Santa Clarita area. Specifically, the owners of Veluzat Ranch, which use the ranch for shooting television shows and motion pictures, expressed concerns regarding the proposed Project's effects on the ranch's operations. The development of Alternative 4 took into consideration the need to avoid possible conflicts with ranch operations, which could include interference of the transmission line with aerial filming and/or ground filming, as well as the possibility of disrupting filming due to maintenance activities, which would result in traffic and noise impacts to the ranch. Other concerns voiced by the owners of the Veluzat Ranch are that the transmission line may generate EMF and electronic interference that would disturb the electronic equipment used during filming.
Therefore, Alternative 4 circumvents Veluzat Ranch in order to address the concerns discussed above, thereby avoiding detrimental impacts to the economic viability of the ranch as a result of compromised operations. As shown in Figure B.4-12 in the Final EIR/EIS, Alternative 4 follows the same route as the proposed Project except for a 3.1-mile segment between Mile 17.5 and Mile 20.3 of the proposed Project. At Mile 17.5, north of Haskell Canyon Road, the transmission line for Alternative 4 would divert from the proposed project route and proceed in a southerly direction as the proposed project route shifts to the west-southwest. Traveling in a new ROW on ANF lands within the ANF, the transmission line would continue southwest for about 0.5 miles, then south for another 0.8 miles, crossing approximately 0.3 miles of private land in-holdings (non-ANF), before leaving the ANF. Once leaving the ANF, the transmission line would continue south another 0.7 miles before turning east for roughly 0.3 miles along the base of a hill. Just north of the City of Santa Clarita, the transmission line would make an abrupt turn to the south-southwest (about 90 degrees) and continue for about 0.2 miles before entering the existing Pardee-Vincent 500-kV ROW, where it would head west for approximately 0.6 miles and rejoin the proposed project route at approximately Mile 20.6 (proposed Project Mile 20.3).
Alternative 4 would require 2.5 miles of new ROW (in addition to the 1.1 miles of new ROW at the Antelope Substation), of which one mile is on lands in the ANF. The transmission line would terminate at the Pardee Substation. The total length of this alternative would be 25.9 miles.
For Alternative 4, as with the proposed Project, the USFS would issue a 50 year-term Special Use Easement authorizing the construction, use, and maintenance of the long-term transmission line infrastructure, 12.5 miles long, within a 160-foot-wide ROW, on ANF lands. Any ground disturbing activities during construction on ANF lands and outside the proposed 160-foot-wide ROW, would be authorized by one or more temporary Special Use Permits. Additional resource studies would be necessary to authorize the temporary Special Use Permit for work outside the proposed 160-foot-wide ROW (e.g., secondary marshalling yards, pulling and splicing set up sites, helicopter staging areas).
In addition, this alternative would require several amendments to the ANF Land Management Plan, including changing the Scenic Integrity Objectives along the proposed utility corridor (see Table A.5-3 in the Final EIR/EIS); relocating approximately one mile of the 1,000-foot-wide Saugus-Del Sur utility corridor to follow the Alternative 4 route on ANF lands (the towers would be placed centerline of the relocated utility corridor); as well as modifying the Forest Standard relating to the Pacific Crest Trail (S1) as regards this project.
A detailed discussion of the facilities needed to construct the proposed project under Alternative 4 is set forth at pages B-98 to B-103 of the Final EIR/EIS.