Louise Armitage said her house has been rattling on a daily basis since Edison contractors have been grading behind it in the 2400 block of Paseo del Palacio, off Eucalyptus Avenue.
Grading and compacting have been under way for four months in preparation for the burial of 500 kV lines in the easement north of Paseo del Palacio and south of Calle Bienvenida, west of Calle Madrid, part of the Tehachapi project to transmit electricity from wind farms in Kern County.
Mrs. Armitage has not been too timid about voicing her concerns publicly, despite her activism with Hope for the Hills, the organization that battled Edison to take down the 200-foot towers installed in 2011.
Her husband, Bob Armitage, also involved with Hope for the Hills, said their main concern is structural damage. “Our house shakes like a small earthquake six to eight hours a day,” Mr. Armitage said.
Mrs. Armitage and her son Robert Armitage pointed out tiny cracks spreading on the patio. They have been taking photos of the cracks and videos of the construction.
“We understand the noise,” Mr. Armitage said. “I won’t concern myself with that, but I am concerned about the structural damage as a result of the heavy equipment. I don’t want to be walked over by Edison.”
He said some may wonder why a couple involved with battling the towers would be concerned about the burial of the lines. “I understand the question ‘Are you ever going to be happy?’ and I don’t want to be known as a troublemaker, so how do you keep the people happy?” he said. “It’s a good question.”
Mr. Armitage said the real question should be posed to Edison. “Why didn’t Edison go through the Chino Hills State Park?” he said. “There was a better way to do it, but Edison didn’t go that way.”
Mrs. Armitage looked over the dirt slope that now abuts her back yard. “They are pushing dirt from here to there, over and over,” she said. “This is the first time Edison has buried 500 kV lines.”
Mrs. Armitage said she has spoken to eight neighbors who have similar complaints. She has complained to Edison, she added, and has documented the exchanges.
City engineer Steve Nix said the city reviewed Edison’s plans and knows what is occurring, but does not conduct inspections for anything related to the Tehachapi project other than when conduit is placed across a city street.
“In that case, we inspect it like any other utility,” Mr. Nix said. “We watch the installation and restoration of the improvement, but only within the street’s right of way corridor.”
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