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Quail Brush Considering Changes to Reduce Visual Impact

"In response to concerns raised by the community, we have asked our engineers and scientists to explore options for modifying the plant's profile."

A recent "Staff Status Report" from the California Energy Commission (CEC) shows that Cogentrix, the company applying to build a gas-powered power plant near Santee, is considering changes to the project (read report here).

"Staff is aware that in response to public comment, the applicant is considering
making some modifications to the profile of the proposed project," reads the report.

Cogentrix confirmed that the company is considering ways to reduce the visual impact of the planned 100-foot-tall exhaust stacks, 30-foot-tall water tank and other potentially high-profile structures on an 11-acre site near the , viewable from Santee.

"In response to concerns raised by the community, we have asked our engineers and scientists to explore options for modifying the plant's profile," said Quail Brush Project Manager Lori Ziebart.

"We recognize there have been concerns expressed about the Project, and are working hard to address these issues."

The Santee on a resolution showing the to the proposed project based on the city's General Plan Objectives, policies that seek to "preserve and protect the SR-52 gateway and it's panoramic views, to preserve and protect the natural amenities within , and to ensure that land use incompatibilities" are fully disclosed, analyzed and mitigated.

The CEC reports that the "didn't appear to change public opposition to the project." The large turnout, number of speakers and presentation of a petition with more than 1,000 signatures opposing the power plant clearly impacted the Commission.

In order to build the plant, Cogentrix must get approval from the CEC and the city of San Diego Planning Commission must rezone the power plant site from open space to industrial.

The applicant said they will go before the "for the sole purpose of requesting a of our pending request to initiate a Community Plan Amendment."

Ziebart said the continuance will give Cogentrix staff time to analyze issues and concerns expressed by the community.

The CEC said the public workshop scheduled for April has been cancelled because of the delay to the Planning Commission decision and requests by the applicant for extenions in data collection. A new workshop will be scheduled.

Stephen Goldfarb April 19, 2012 at 02:59 PM
A power plant company reportedly has wide latitude when first looking for a site. But once committed, the company has expent a large amount of capital and effort. It is unlikely that the company will readily go elsewhere. They can be expected to defend the original choice. The company has listed two alternate sites, but the alternates are also in East Elliott. The company's effort to improve visual impact does not go very far to address the public's concerns.
Angela April 19, 2012 at 04:12 PM
I don't see a request for continuance on the April 26 SD Planning Commission Agenda. http://www.sandiego.gov/planning-commission/pdf/agenda/2012/pcagenda120426.pdf
Steven Bartholow (Editor) April 19, 2012 at 10:12 PM
FYI- It won't show up on the agenda because Cogentrix has to ask for the continuance at the April 26 meeting. More from the company about the continuance: http://santee.patch.com/announcements/quail-brush-request-for-60-day-extension
Margie Logue April 20, 2012 at 02:31 AM
I was reading Cogentrix reports last night. In response to Kevin Brewster, who had a question about the "stagnant" air in Santee, Cogentrix described the model they set up to test the air. They explained how it worked and that it had been taking air measurements every hour, every day for 3 years. This was the info they would turn in. They stated the model was "near the proposed facility." They placed their model on Overland Ave. in Kearny Mesa, about 6-7 miles away from Santee. It would be on the other side of the hills in an area that gets off-shore breezes. Just like Santee, huh. What can be done about this deception?
Santee Homeowner April 21, 2012 at 10:45 PM
Margie pleasse continue to read the Application at the CEC website, you will find more than one disingenious statements by Cogentrix. For example they claim there is zero stationary pollution sources at the site now, so their baseline pollution allowance should start at zero. This excludes the thousands of cars that sit idling on hwy 52 and the intersection of Mast and WH Pkwy. The regulated analysis papers over this rush hour carbon monoxide with a background air quality number taken from the San Diego Harbor. (per CEC) The SDCAPCD and the CEC air quaility analysis is owned lock stock and barrel by the Same corporate powers doing business as usual.
Doug Curlee April 22, 2012 at 01:19 AM
where this is all apparently heading is about where i thought it would, after talking to jack dale.. it's most likely that the plant design will be modified, and the effects of the plant mitigated as muich as possible.. but there will be a plant of some type there..i'd bet the house and farm on that one.. doug
Pauline Kedward April 26, 2012 at 06:42 PM
Still don't get it the rezoning of Open Space to commercial is unacceptable.
Steven Bartholow (Editor) April 26, 2012 at 08:57 PM
It would actually be rezoned to industrial
Pauline Kedward April 27, 2012 at 12:27 AM
Whoops sorry I meant industrial thanks for correcting this.
Santee Homeowner April 27, 2012 at 12:42 AM
Looks like the West end of Santee, the seniors along Mision Gorge Rd. park users and a few schools are betting their house and farm. If the CEC is so inept to allow this unnecessary abomination, I am moving. You can bet most of the West end will move as well. Property values per CEQA regulations are not allowed to be consider in their analysis.
Santee Homeowner April 27, 2012 at 12:47 AM
You will have a few thousand people that recently had their lifes work plundered by the very owners of this power plant via the home equity heist. Then they want to put this abomination in their park and further wreck their lives. Santee reidents should go to their houses dump toxins on their lawn and steal their lifes work, see how they like it.

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