Canan Tasci, Staff Writer
Created: 12/22/2011 12:55:33 PM PST

CHINO HILLS – The state Supreme Court has denied a city petition to review its case against the installation of high-voltage power lines in the city.

The city’s attorney was informed that the Supreme Court declined to review a Court of Appeal’s decision on the city’s efforts to fight the route on which Southern California Edison has plans to build 200-foot transmission towers through the city.

Officials have argued the route in which Edison is using to build the Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project is “overburdening the easement over city property.”

“It’s disappointing, yes, unexpected, no,” Mayor Art Bennett said. “It’s rare that the state Supreme Court will take these things under advisement and hear these issues.”

The Tehachapi project – which runs through a five-mile stretch of Chino Hills – plans to bring wind-generated electricity from Kern County to the Los Angeles Basin.

The $2.1 billion project is slated to be completed in 2015 and is part of the Golden State’s mandate to generate more sustainable energy.

City officials have said they want Edison to create an alternate route through the state park or underground lines.

Transmission poles and towers are being erected within Edison’s existing right-of-way corridor from Chino Hills’ western border near Tonner Canyon, then northeast to Peyton Drive and continuing east to the 71 Freeway and eventually reaching Mira Loma.

For four years, the city has fought Edison, with a lawsuit, arguing that the easements in the city are too narrow for the expanded power corridor. The city’s battle with Edison has cost $2.4 million.

All is not lost though, Bennett said.

Last month, the PUC ordered Edison to stop construction on its expanded power line project and ordered it to present “feasibility, cost and timing” for five alternative routes in two months.

Edison is expected to “serve testimony, with supporting data” on the alternative routes by Jan. 10, according to the PUC.

“We’re at the mercy of the CPUC like we were initially, and now the CPUC has a better understanding why we are concerned about the overburdening of the right-of-way given that they have all seen what these towers look like and how close they are to homes,” Bennett said.

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