Disney moves forward with ABC Studios project at Golden Oak Ranch

A half-century ago, Walt Disney leased a horse ranch in Placerita Canyon to shoot episodes of “The Adventures of Spin and Marty” from the classic ABC series “The Mickey Mouse Club.”

Disney liked the property, with its rich variety of meadows, oak groves and mountains, so much that he began buying up land, eventually accumulating 890 acres. Over the decades, the storied Golden Oak Ranch, located in an unincorporated area of northeast Los Angeles County, has been used as backdrop for countless Disney TV shows and movies, including “Old Yeller” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.” 

Now Walt Disney Co. is moving closer to transforming part of the historic movie ranch into one of the largest high-tech production developments in the last decade – and the public will soon get its first say on the project.

PHOTOS: Golden Oak Ranch

Disney proposed plans in 2009 to build a multi-hundred-million-dollar production center for ABC Studios, complete with a dozen sound stages, offices, mill shops, writer bungalows and a commissary.

The Burbank-based entertainment conglomerate recently completed a key stage in the planning process – a draft environmental impact report – and will hold the first of several public hearings on the development and its impact on June 4.

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-- Richard Verrier, Los Angeles Times

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