Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Where are the Significant Ecological Areas of the Antelope Valley in Los Angeles County, Ca?

We get a number of inquiries regarding the location of these plant and animal wild life areas. We have looked at specific areas of the Antelope Valley which harbor most of the Significant Ecological Areas (SEA) that encompasses stricter land uses. These areas are essentially protected natural locations and by definition a protected area would be a “clearly defined geographical space, recognized, dedicated and managed, through legal or other effective means to achieve long-term conservation of nature, the ecosystem, and cultural values”.
The stricter land use primarily means less development would be allowed, but development is not prohibited. For example a small portion of AVSolarRanchOne’s property is within a SEA Zone.
There is a map supplied by the Los Angeles County Regional Planning department, but as far as we can tell a detailed version is not online, but you can purchase one from the Planning Department. The SEA zone areas that involve the Antelope Valley are mostly on the far west side. Most of these but not all of theses area involve the Joshua Tree Woodlands. Approximately (2) 640 acres parcel areas between 180th West to 190th West Ave C-8 to Ave E-8, Also a large 640 acre Park at 200th West to 210th at Ave E to Ave F, Most of Fairmount Butte south of Ave D (Hwy 138) through the Butte mountains to the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. It also encompasses most of the area from 200th to 210th West from Ave. C-8 to Ave F which includes the Park. Another area is a backward L shaped area from 190th West to 200th West Ave B-8 to Ave D. In addition, there are two large areas which are irregularly shaped from Ave A to A-12 200th West to 220th West. This particular area was owned by Red Dawn SunTower LLC (E-Solar) which they now appear to be selling. It may be because they ran across environmental issues with the Joshua Tree Woodlands. There is another large area which spans the breadth and width of AV SolarRanchOne now owned by First Solar Inc.
This SEA Zone area is generally north of the developing Solar Ranch running 140th West to 180th West from Ave B to Ave D. The SEA zone doesn’t cover all of this area but most of it.
On Antelope Valley’s East Side there are three main Significant Ecological Areas one is the Llano wash where the SEA zone runs the length and width of this along a narrow stream corridor from Ave Z north to Ave M 110th East to 150th East at its widest span. The second area surrounds and encompasses Saddle Butte Park which is 160th East to 200th East Ave J to Ave M. This SEA zone is almost a circle around the Park. The third area is 230th Street East to 260th Street East (San Bernardino County line) from Ave R south to the mountains. Theses three East side areas involve water areas and washes which provide nutrients and protection to small plants and animal life.
There is sparse development in these SEA zones, but large development would most likely be prohibited. Two cases in point are the Fairmount Butte Motor Sports park was within a SEA zone and that project is now cancelled, and also E-Solar is selling most of the land it recently acquired we think primarily because of the Joshua Tree Woodlands. But custom homes have been built and continually are built in these areas, and as we mention part of AV Solar Ranch One’s property is within a SEA Zone.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Environmentalists Say Yes to Solar Land Development But No to MotorSports

Late last year the Fairmont Butte Motorsports Developer bowed to environmental and community opposition. In an open letter to supporters he wrote: I regret to inform you that, after more than eight years of hard work and high hopes, I have decided to discontinue efforts to create our vision for a beautiful new racetrack in the Antelope Valley. As you might imagine, it was an extremely difficult decision
Thomas E. Malloy

We also located a follow up e-mail from County Supervisor Deputy
via the AV High Desert Forum site
November 18, 2010
I have been informed this afternoon the property where the Fairmont Motor Sports park was proposed to go has been sold to another buyer. The buyer is using the property as mitigation land and open space. The Racetrack is no longer a concern as County Regional Planning has been told to stop all work on the project.

Norm Hickling, Deputy to Supervisor Antonovich
Antelope Valley Field Office

The AVSolar Ranch One had passed its EIR (Environmental Impact Report) last September, but the Motorsports proposal couldn’t jump that hurdle. AV Solar Ranch One indicates on their website that their projects have environmental benefits of low visual impact panels (10 feet maximum), no water requirement to produce electricity, avoidance of Joshua Tree Woodlands, and no impact on threaten species. Both projects were situated almost across the road from one another at 170th to 150th West at Hwy 138 (Ave D).

The Joshua Tree Woodlands is part if the Significant Ecological Area (SEA), and virtually fifty percent of the Motorsports Parkway proposal was in the SEA zone. It also appears a small portion of AV Solar is within the SEA zone. LA Regional Planning indicates that the 320 acres of land the Parkway was going to use will now be mitigation land and open space, so this area at 150th West at Hwy 138 will be not be developed. It also looks like much of the Fairmont Butte area will not be developable as much of this area is SEA zone with protected plants and animal life. Property owners should think seriously about buying land in these areas as environmental groups and Los Angeles Regional have drawn a line in the Antelope Valley desert sand. Large developments in SEA zones may face environmental obstacles, but small custom homes on SEA zones have occurred as they have limited impact on the environment.