State Commission Votes to Move Power Line Towers Underground

Chino Hills residents cheered as a state commission voted to move the 200-foot-tall transmission lines underground

Homeowners opposed to power lines towering above a Chino Hills neighborhood were handed a victory Thursday when the California Public Utilities Commission voted to move the utility lines underground.

The commission voted in favor of moving the lines from atop their 200-foot-tall towers in a 3-2 vote Thursday in San Francisco. Some Chino Hills residents -- who fought for years to bury the lines -- boarded a bus Wednesday night to attend the meeting.

Other residents at city hall cheered as the vote was announced on a big-screen monitor.

The Southern California Edison transmission lines, built on land owned by the utility company since the 1940s, bring wind-generated electricity to consumers. They can be seen through much of the city, prompting protests and even musical opposition.

"It means quality of life here in Chino Hills," said 25-year resident Diana Keros. "I can't imagine living anywhere else."

Protesters, including the group Hope for the Hills, successfully lobbied the state public utilities commission to halt construction and seek alternatives. Thursday's vote to move 3.5 miles of the Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project underground marks a major victory for the group, which cited community aesthetic, health and safety in calling for the wires to be moved underground.

The city spent billions of dollars in a legal battle over the towers. SoCal Edison said placing the lines underground would make the system less reliable.

Details regarding a timeline for tower relocation were not immediately available. 

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