RAPID/BulkTransmission/California/Aesthetic & Recreational

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California Bulk Transmission Aesthetic & Recreational Resource Assessment(17-CA)

Developers should be aware that the potential effects of transmission projects on visual resources has been a challenge in siting transmission facilities. Transmission line projects may cause visual contrast within the landscapes they cross due to their length, size and the regular geometric forms of the transmission towers. These projects may affect sensitive viewers (i.e., residents, recreationist, etc.) located along the right-of-way.

The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires an assessment of the potential for significant impacts with respect to visual resources. The CEQA guidelines to assess impacts to visual resources and aesthetics include the following criteria:

  • Would the project have a substantial adverse effect on a scenic vista?
  • Would the project substantially damage scenic resources, including, but not limited to trees, rock outcroppings, and historic buildings within a state scenic highway?
  • Would the proposed project substantially degrade the existing visual character or quality of the site and its surroundings?
  • Would the project create a new source of substantial light or glare which would adversely affect day or nighttime views in the area?

When analyzing these criteria, four response choices are available:

  • Potentially Significant Impact
  • Less than Significant Impact with Mitigation
  • Less than Significant Impact
  • No Impact

Developers should review local government resource management plans, comprehensive plans, regulations, ordinances, and other land planning documents in order to identify any scenic resources that should be addressed in CEQA analysis.

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Determine Which State and Federal Permits Apply

Use this overview flowchart and following steps to learn which federal and state permits apply to your projects.