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60-Day Delay for Quail Brush Power Plant Rezoning Decision

The San Diego Planning Commission grants Cogentrix request for a continuance on vote.

Read more about the Quail Brush Power Plant Project

Facing a crowd with signs reading "Stop the Santee Power Plant," the San Diego Planning Commission decided Thursday to grant Quail Brush Genco (Cogentrix) a requested 60-day continuance. In June, the Commission will decide whether to investigate if the plant can be located where it is planned, in the .

In order to build the plant, the city of San Diego Planning Commission must re-zone the power plant site from open space to industrial and Cogentrix must get approval from the California Energy Commission.

The Planning Commission voted 4-2 to grant what is now the second continuance to this decision.

The usual opposition to the plant was in the crowd along with about 40 cohorts: Van Collinsworth with Preserve Wild Santee, , the and the Stop the Santee Power Plant protesters.

Congressman Bob Filner spoke against the continuance and San Diego City Councilmember Marti Emerald spoke in favor of it. Others in favor of the continuance included the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and various local construction and electrician unions.

"I would ask for the continuance to continue the community outreach to discuss the need or desire to buid this power plant at ," said Emerald.

"I don't think it's a chance for outreach, it's a chance to propagandize," Filner said to the Commission.

"They [Cogentrix] are scared of all the people here... they don't want all this testimony to come up about saving Mission Trails Park," he said.

Other public speakers were continually reminded only to speak about the issue of the continuance and not the merits of the placement of the power plant, the topic which most speakers had come to address.

, Project Manager for the Quail Brush project, told the Commission the continuance was necessary for a number of reasons.

"We plan to take this time to work on addressing the issues raised by the public and to provide more information in response to those concerns," said Zeibart.

"We are working with staff to modify plant design to address issues raised about visibility," she said.

She added that the design changes aren't planned to affect already released emissions statistics.

When asked for specifics about what outreach Cogentrix is considering in these 60 days, Ziebart replied:

"This will give us more time to meet with local residents and community groups that are interested in learning more about our proposal to enhance energy reliability in the region."

Many public speakers claimed that Cogentrix was manipulating the permit approval process, that this request for continuance was a ruse.

"This delay is their attempt to prevent organized resistance to gain strength," said one speaker.

Other speakers worried that the delay would affect oppositions ability to intervene in the CEC process of approval.

"I don't think the Planning Commission really understands what's going on with this project," said .

The Planning Commission will meet again on June 28 to decide whether to initiate an amendment to the East Elliot Community Planning Area, where the plant would be built.

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Nancy April 27, 2012 at 10:22 PM
What's the best thing for the citizens to do now?
Santee Homeowner April 28, 2012 at 12:28 AM
Nancy, Please email the CEC and voice your opposition, the commisioners do read the emails. . ESolorio@energy.state.ca.us Then email the San Diego Planning Commision planningcommission@sandiego.gov Please visit http://www.stopthesanteepowerplant.org and sign up to follow the blog, you will be informed of the latest things to do. Surf the blog and also like the FB page http://www.facebook.com/SanteePowerPlant http://solarjohn.blogspot.com/2008/08/design-and-build-off-grid-solar.html
Retha Knight April 29, 2012 at 09:36 PM
Mission Trails Regional Park Citizens’ Advisory Committee (MTRP CAC) meets this Tuesday, May 1st @ 6:30 pm at the visitor center of MTRP. We must band togeather and show strong opposition to the MTRP CAC. "SAVE MISSION TRAILS REGIONAL PARK!" Join us, bring friends/family and let everyone there know that you oppose a power plant being built on the border on MTRP! The power plant is a THREAT to our Health, our Park, our Community and our Property Values! You can bet Co gen tricks will be there with their "community outreach." NOTHING says recreation like 11-smoke stacks spewing millions of tons of Air Pollutants on the border of MTRP and surrounding communities...IT'S SO HEALTHY TO BREATH and not at all harmful...!!!!!!!
Retha Knight April 29, 2012 at 09:45 PM
Our regular Tuesday community outreach meeting at Carlton Oaks Country Club will take place this Tuesday, May 1st at the Mission Trails Regional Park CAC meeting at the visitors center. "SAVE MISSION TRAILS REGIONAL PARK" go to http://www.stopthesanteepowerplant.org
Patty Kay Mooney May 09, 2012 at 01:19 AM
Now Maggie, why would you bad-mouth Bob Filner for standing up with us against Quail Brush power plant??? I don't see anyone else taking a stand. Not Fletcher, not Dumanis, not DeMaio, not Sanders..... A ten-time Congressman - elder statesman, if you will, has some klout and I for one am very happy to have him stand beside us against this asinine power plant.

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