The Mission Trails Regional Park Task Force met on Thursday and discussed the Quail Brush Power Plant, a project in the approval stages that would be constructed and operated on the border of and Santee.
The purpose of the Task Force "is to advise the various public bodies on matters relating to the development of the regional park" and to "facilitate inter-agency cooperation in the implementation of the park's master development plan."
Though it wasn't on the agenda, , City of Santee representative on the Task Force, wasted no time in bringing up the issue of the Quail Brush Power Plant in asking the Task Force to . He asked that it be docketed on the agenda for the next meeting, and that the board send letters to relevant agencies showing their opposition.
The Task Force reacted favorably to this idea. San Diego Councilmember and two other Task Force members said they might have to recuse themselves from the vote due to conflicts of interest (sitting on other boards that might hear the issue), and would check with attorneys. Though, a quoram would still exist to vote on the matter.
County Supervisor Dianne Jacob said her office had already written a letter supporting Santee and opposing the plant.
The Task Force decided they will discuss the issue at the July 19 meeting as an agenda item, a vote is likely at that time.
The Task Force didn't want to discuss the matter too in-depth, because it was not on the agenda for the meeting, but members put in their two-cents.
"I'm not convinced they've [Cogentrix] done enough outreach to communities in San Diego," Emerald said. "That kind of transparency is important to me."
About 15 residents in opposition to the power plant attended the mid-afternoon meeting, half of them to highlight their opposition. And, about nine of them spoke to the board in opposition, none in favor.
Here are a few public comments that caught the board's attention:
"Thousands of people hike up and this is ?"
"You want to re-open the ? This plant will affect that area."
"This project shows egregious disregard for community planning, which has been a long struggle for San Diegeo County... it's a slap in the face of 30 years of community planning."
, with Preserve Wild Santee, said the Task Force should seriously consider the precedent that would be set if the .
Jacob referred staff to come back with a report on the concept of the "overall preservation of Mission Trails Park" and the precedent of encroachment on the park.
The Task Force also asked that a timeline of the California Energy Commission project approval process be laid out for them to see.
More will be revealed at the .
On another note, the San Diego River Coalition voted on Friday to send a letter of opposition to the San Diego Planning Commission, San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, San Diego City Council and CEC Commissioners. More about that meeting will be published soon.