Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Significant Ecological Land Areas of Los Angeles Counties, Antelope Valley, To Buy Or Not to Buy SEA Land?
The Antelope Valley and Surrounding areas of Santa Clarita, and parts of Kern County have significant ecological areas (SEA) which were designated in the county's 1980 General Plan. They are intended to protect wildlife migration corridors and valuable habitat for native plants, birds and mammals. Los Angeles County officials define a significant ecological area as an important habitat for native plants and animals or fragile land or water area. Some of the plants and animals in these areas are the Joshua Tree Woodland, alkali scrub, scrub oak, creosote, California poppy, wildflower grasslands, ephemeral streams, burrowing owls, ground squirrels, desert tortoise, bobcats and coyotes.
The name, number and location of these areas near Antelope Valley are San Francisquito Cyn. (19) north of Valencia endangered fish Santa Clara River(23) Santa Clarita Valley endangered fish Edwards AFB (47) north of Lancaster endangered plants Big Rock Wash (48) Antelope Valley wildlife habitat Little Rock Wash (49) near Palmdale wildlife habitat Rosamond Lake (50) N.E. of Lancaster alkali sink Saddleback Butte east of Lancaster wildlife refuge, State Park (51) desert wildflowers Alpine Butte (52) east of Palmdale wildlife, wildflowers Lovejoy Butte (53) east of Palmdale wildlife habitat Piute Butte (54) east of Palmdale birds, wildlife Desert-Montane east of Palmdale wildlife habitat Transect (55) Ritter Ridge (56) west of Palmdale Joshua trees Fairmont & Antelope west of Lancaster refuge for birds buttes (57) of prey Portal Ridge/Liebre near Gorman diverse plant life Mountain (58) Tehachapi Foothills (59) near Gorman wildflowers Joshua Tree Woodland (60) N.W. of Lancaster Joshua trees Kentucky Springs (61) south of Palmdale Great Basin sage Lyon Cyn (63) Valencia woodland habitat Valley Oaks Savannah (64) Valencia valley oak habitat
Growth in these unincorporated SEA areas of the Antelope Valley is limited but not prohibited. There is currently development in these areas, and homes can be built in the Joshua Tree Woodlands, but you will not see urban sprawl like there is in Lancaster and Palmdale, Ca. The SEA areas are guided by the Los Angeles County Antelope Valley Area Plan. The Area Plan designates each property for a particular land use, such as rural residential, urban residential, commercial, or agriculture. In addition, the Area Plan includes a movement plan for trails, bike routes and highways, provisions for the protection of environmentally sensitive areas, and specific policies for each town in the unincorporated area. There was a proposal to preserve over 200,000 acres of Eastern and Western Antelope Valley as a Significant Ecological Zone. That plan earlier this decade would have limited the development of any home in an SEA area to one home per ten acres. Those targeted areas included the Joshua Tree Woodlands and most of the Eastern Antelope Valley from the city limits of Lancaster and Palmdale to San Bernardino County. That proposal was not adopted. Recently there have been a number of Solar Facilities which have gotten approval at of near SEA Zones, so there has been development in or near these areas. In addition a recreational racetrack is nearing approval near the poppy reserve.
Land investors who own land in these areas or those who plan to invest should consider the positives and negatives of any investment in a SEA zone as development is restricted. Some of these areas could be mitigation areas, where the Bureau of Land Management would approve a developer to develop in another area if they buy a SEA zoned area and donate its use and protection to the park service. This mitigation exchange is quite common. Investment due diligence is necessary when making a long term investment.