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Supervisors OK permits for Disney Ranch project

Posted: January 7, 2014 6:28 p.m.
Updated: January 7, 2014 6:28 p.m.
 

The Walt Disney Company’s plan to boost filming at its Golden Oak movie ranch in Placerita Canyon sailed over another hurdle Tuesday as the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved permits for the proposal.

The project is slated to add new sound stages and hundreds of thousands of square feet of structures to the Golden Oak Ranch, which is a major filming site for both ABC Studios and Disney.

Tuesday’s votes authorize construction of indoor filming studios and supporting facilities, including parking, providing final approval from Los Angeles County.

At a meeting in August, county supervisors approved two different versions of the project, one that would allow the Walt Disney Company and ABC Studios to build about 555,950 square feet of structures with 12 sound stages, and the other to build 510,000 square feet of structures with eight sound stages. The permits approved Tuesday allow construction for either plan.

Those new sound stages and structures are expected to occupy approximately 58 acres of the 890-acre movie ranch in Newhall, with much of the project being built on construction pads left over from construction of Highway 14 in the 1970s, according to Adam Gilbert, director of corporate real estate for Disney.

Lynne Plambeck, a local environmental activist and president of the Santa Clarita Organization for Planning and the Environment, reiterated a number of concerns with the project Tuesday, including the amount of water it will demand.

“We are in the worst drought in the state of California in decades, if not ever, and yet our water agencies are out there saying we have plenty of water,” said Plambeck, who sits on the board for the Newhall County Water District.
Cam Noltemeyer, another local activist and member of SCOPE, said the project will compound traffic problems in the area.

“No one’s addressing that; you’re just adding to the problem,” she said.

Proponents of the project say it will yield an economic and employment boon.

According to estimates, construction would create an additional 3,152 new jobs and have an economic impact of $522 million, while the project itself would create 2,854 part- and full-time jobs and generate $533 million in annual economic activity.

Lmoney@signalscv.com
661-287-5525
On Twitter @LukeMMoney

 

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