Homeowner Assoc. Opposes Quail Brush Power Plant, Mayor Doubts City Can Help

The Sunset Greens Homeowner Association submitted a resolution opposing the peak power plant proposed to be constructed near Santee, and the Mayor explains why the city can't help oppose it.

Last week the Sunset Greens Homeowner Association submitted a resolution to the CA Energy Commission opposing the which is proposed to be built in the hills just north of Santee (a copy of the resolution can be found in the media box).

The Sunset Greens Community is situated in western Santee, bordering , and in an area that could be affected by the project.

The resolution in is broken into seven points, including pollution, noise, increased traffic and property value loss; it is fully quoted here:

  1. The Project will add to peak time pollution during the hottest times in the surrounding area particularly in SGHOA that includes a majority of non-air conditioned homes.
  2. Noise from the project will be a because so many residents rely on the quiet for using natural ventilation to cool their often open, but locked, homes during day and night. This project would destroy the evening silence of one the few areas nestled into a natural setting and in the quietest urban areas in San Diego County.
  3. The project will create downward pressure on already devastated in the closest neighborhoods. While other areas of San Diego may recover, the properties here will.be impacted because potential buyers will have to approach in full view of the 24,000 square foot main building of the proposed project.
  4. The natural desire to accelerate the return on the $150M investment will create pressure to run the power plant at times outside the peak time. if not all the time.
  5. Present "peak time" demands may soon become the norm resulting in this project running continually.
  6. Stated efficiencies of this project will encourage the sale of more efficient and less expensive energy to distant consumers, further pressuring the continuous use of the project-not just in peak times.
  7. Traffic in the vicinity of Mast and Highway 52 is already severely impacted for 4-5 hours per day; construction will create long delays and traffic snarls. Other traffic servicing the project will create more pressure on this already difficult section of highway.

The City Council said that they would be discussing the project in closed session at the , but they added that because the project is proposed to be built on City of San Diego land (the same land that the city has ), there is likely little the Council can do to oppose it.

According to , legal costs for the city to fight the power plant project would likely exceed $100,000 and it seems that the City of Santee has no clear legal recourse to oppose SDG&E, the City of San Diego or the Landfill operator.

"I would not support the City spending that much money opposing a project under very unfavorable legal conditions," Voepel said. "This would, in my opinion be a fight that we probably could not win."

"If the Sunset Greens Homeowners Association has $100,000+, to spend on a questionable legal action and would agree to be responsible for any legal costs to the city, I would consider working with them," he said.

Voepel cited the City of Santee's as a result of the state .

"We are in very tough times and the times just got tougher with the state taking our property tax money," he said.

A , informational hearing and public comment period will take place Jan. 25. .

Alan Stuart March 09, 2012 at 01:21 AM
The reality is that climate change is real and proven (over and over again). We need to stop wasting fossil fuels and move toward sustainable, localized, renewable energy of which, natural gas burning is not. I address climate change, although I barely scratch the surface of the issue in my article here: http://bit.ly/xpOgQB also see here: http://bit.ly/A1Yt7U
Western Council March 09, 2012 at 03:53 AM
Ok so it has been established that yes the plant is proposed to be in SD on the Santee border line. Exactly who's interest in SD over this plant and why is now a good question to ask. Obviously Congentrix and sdge. Who in SD truly needs it and wants it alongside their park? Yes natural gas is cleaner but not safer. The question for Santee is why could the fire dept and other authorities except a dangerous thing like this? Remember 2003? 2007? The plant aint going to keep the people of SD/Santee much cooler on this issue alone. Even if Caltrans created a new exit ( crazy 1/2 exit away from mast blvd) for traffic evacuation issues, a pipeline and all of the Santee noise ordinance would still apply here in yes SANTEE. So please anyone with common sense and authority speak up over this thing! It's much more than an eyesore. And let's try to get with SD as well and discover what true energy needs this thing can possibly provide our county and see if there is a way we can move it someplace else if it is so important
Joe Spencer March 09, 2012 at 04:27 AM
I thought it was John's brother Hal that was in charge of the land (Pinnacle Pete) which is going to be used for the construction project.
Retha Knight March 09, 2012 at 04:41 AM
Reduce your risk by using the Air Quality Index (AQI) to plan outdoor activities – www.airnow.gov **Effects of Common Air Pollutants** >>Respiratory Effects -Symptoms: •Cough • Wheezing • Phlegm • Shortness of breath • Chest tightness >>Increased sickness and premature death from: • Asthma • Bronchitis (acute or chronic) • Emphysema • Pneumonia >>Development of new disease: • Chronic bronchitis • Premature aging of the lungs **Effects on Cardiovascular Function** >>Symptoms: • Chest tightness • Chest pain (angina) • Palpitations • Shortness of breath • Unusual fatigue >>Increased sickness and premature death from:• Coronary artery disease • Abnormal heart rhythms • Congestive heart failure • Stroke If you enjoy your quality of life, Stop the Quail Brush Power Plant! Act NOW before it is too late! www.stopthesanteepowerplant.org
Western Council March 09, 2012 at 05:05 AM
Natural gas plants emit poision waste too. Yes they are a much less than coal ( like hell EPA would even allow a thing like this ) and a little bit better but NO they aren't any better for residents and wildlife in proximity. So for the benefit of SD park users, border residents and SANTEE. Lets evaluate what interests are important in this proposed area and what energy needs are truly important and come together and find another home in a better location, with no opposition for the quail brush needers. I am asking as a citizen not a council chair or developer. I am speaking for a total interest as well. Can the land be renegotiated, and can it go elesewhere in an area that would produce little or no adverse effects to human welfare,wildlife, city zoning, traffic, real estate etc? Is there an area such as this with transmission line access? Common now there got to be a solution somewhere here. I would like to see a finer 2013 for our county :)
rudy reyes March 09, 2012 at 05:37 AM
www.reyesforsupervisor.com I have been trying to help this community organize a speakers groups to go to the San Diego city council and work with them on this project. I am running for 2nd Dist. County Supervisor. I would be the "finer 2013 for our county :)" Rudy Reyes
rudy reyes March 09, 2012 at 05:58 AM
Point: Around 2nd meeting for the stop Santee power plant our council men started appearing. Stating that "they didnt know until this group told them!" Acting shocked and working the crowd. I admit i too was impressed to see them, helping... Slowly we have seen the same Council make odd moves, such as removing signs, and family profiting(parking lot). I went to the last Mission trail Park Regents meeting, looking through the minutes from their last meeting. I saw Congentrix had done a presentation where they had "meet with four of the five Santee Council. And had approval" I was shocked because this! They said they didn't know to the group! After research i found that a Patch article confirmed this fact! So why lies? Anyone else notice this?
Retha Knight March 09, 2012 at 06:09 AM
STOP THE SANTEE POWER PLANT RALLY is planned from 6:00 am to 9:00 am on Monday, March 12th. to catch the morning commute at West Hills and Mast Blvd. Bring a sign & Rally public awareness & support. Together we'll send the message loud and clear: NO POWER PLANT HERE! www.stopthesanteepowerplant.org
Retha Knight March 09, 2012 at 06:45 AM
Yes amazing that the Santee City council did not know anything about the proposed Quail Brush power plant. John Minto just happened to show up at our meeting on the same evening that the Quail Brush power plant was finally posted on the Santee city website! The Santee city council knew about the power plant since November 2011. Cogentrix has been smoozing with our city council all along and probably the San Diego City council too! They need to realize that they are elected public servants and need to not only think of the $$$ but also the pollution such a project will bring with it. Both the San Diego City Council as well as the Santee City Council should speak out loudly against this proposed INDUSTRIAL power plant on the border of Mission Trails Regional Park - a treasure to all of San Diego County. They need to realize that SAN DIEGANS take our beautiful city and our health very seriously! We are proud that our city does not have the pollution of Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside counties!
Tom Vyse March 10, 2012 at 08:21 PM
Alan - Yes, burning fossil fuels does release carbon dioxide and it does affect the climate. Personally, I would be amazed if the dominant species on this planet, whatever it was, did NOT affect the climate. Plus, bringing carbon from underground and burning it puts it back into the carbon cycle of Life. The more CO2, the more Life. Doing this is perhaps, in the long term, the most positive thing that humanity has ever done for nature: bring the remnants of long dead plants and animals back into the circle of life. Yes, the weather will change. Yes, there will be losers, but there will also be winners - many of them. It's really kind of amazing, in a positive way.
Doug Curlee March 10, 2012 at 09:23 PM
i'm no scientist, and i admit it.. but i do remember enough from high school and college to recall that burning fossil fuels does indeed create carbon dioxide..which combines with organic material to produce sugars.. the byproduct of the process produces, as a waste..OXYGEN.. the process is called photosynthesis..and without it, all air-breathing life on this planet wouild have been long dead..in fact, would never have existed.. just thought i'd make that point in passing.. doug
Doug Curlee March 10, 2012 at 09:23 PM
i'm no scientist, and i admit it.. but i do remember enough from high school and college to recall that burning fossil fuels does indeed create carbon dioxide..which combines with organic material to produce sugars.. the byproduct of the process produces, as a waste..OXYGEN.. the process is called photosynthesis..and without it, all air-breathing life on this planet wouild have been long dead..in fact, would never have existed.. just thought i'd make that point in passing.. doug
Retha Knight March 11, 2012 at 07:17 PM
CO can cause harmful health effects by reducing oxygen delivery to the body's organs (like the heart and brain) and tissues. At extremely high levels, CO can cause death. Exposure to CO can reduce the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood. People with several types of heart disease already have a reduced capacity for pumping oxygenated blood to the heart, which can cause them to experience myocardial ischemia (reduced oxygen to the heart), often accompanied by chest pain (angina), when exercising or under increased stress. For these people, short-term CO exposure further affects their body’s already compromised ability to respond to the increased oxygen demands of exercise or exertion.
Retha Knight March 11, 2012 at 07:19 PM
Natural gas power plants are significant air pollution sources, releasing hazardous air pollutants, global warming pollution and fine particulate matter. Natural gas releases the greenhouse gas methane, which, ton for ton, traps 25 times more heat than carbon dioxide. Unfortunately, we cannot know the quantity of greenhouse gas emissions from natural gas because American companies are not required to report their greenhouse gas emissions. In September 2009, the Obama Administration took steps to mandate reporting of heat-trapping gases, but the oil and gas industries were exempted from reporting. All other industry reporting will not begin until 2011. http://www.energyjustice.net/naturalgas
rudy reyes March 11, 2012 at 08:33 PM
tom and doug: i am a scientist! CO2 carbon dioxide is NOT CO carbon mono-oxide! Carbon di-oxide is in nature, carbon mono-oxide is not a natural made chemical. CO is very dangerous, normally we want each carbon atom to join with 2 oxygen atoms to make the carbon dioxide. If there are not enough oxygen atoms available the carbon atom will join with 1 oxygen atom and make carbon monoxide.
rudy reyes March 11, 2012 at 08:36 PM
Carbon Monoxide is a waste product. Carbon Dioxide is found in nature and displaces Oxygen that we need to live. Carbon dioxide is heavier than air and it will suffocate people if it builds up. Carbon monoxide is also heavier than air but more importantly it is a deadly poison and will attack soft tissues in the human body and do severe damage. While we do not want either of the gases to be accumulating in our home, carbon monoxide poisoning is a much more serious matter.
Tom Vyse March 11, 2012 at 09:03 PM
What's your degree, Rudy? As far as carbon dioxide "displacing" oxygen, what are their relative concentrations? How much displacement occurs; how much does the partial pressure of oxygen decrease? If you go from sea level to 5,000 ft., how much does the partial pressure decrease? Which is greater? Don't forget the argon in the exhaust gas, either. It is far greater than the CO content, and in concentration, can suffocate people completely.
Tom Vyse March 11, 2012 at 09:08 PM
Retha - Natural gas does not "release" methane, it IS methane. Once burned, it becomes CO2 and H2O. The decomposing stuff in the adjacent landfill Releases methane. The purpose of "Energy Justice" is to shut down everything except wind and solar; to basically shut down everything that actually works.
rudy reyes March 11, 2012 at 09:44 PM
tom; 2 degrees in Archaeology. Before the advent of human-caused release of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, concentrations tended to increase with increasing global temperatures, acting as a positive feedback for changes induced by other processes such as orbital cycles. There is a seasonal cycle in CO2 concentration associated primarily with the Northern Hemisphere growing season. CO2 is an acidic oxide: an aqueous solution turns litmus from blue to pink. It is the anhydride of carbonic acid, an acid which is unstable in aqueous solution, from which it cannot be concentrated. In organisms carbonic acid production is catalysed by the enzyme, carbonic anhydrase. CO2 + H2O H2CO3 CO2 is toxic in higher concentrations: 1% (10,000 ppm) will make some people feel drowsy.[7] Concentrations of 7% to 10% cause dizziness, headache, visual and hearing dysfunction, and unconsciousness within a few minutes to an hour. The higher the elevation, less usable oxygen in atmosphere therefore toxins are in higher concentrations in higher elevations. How emissions are creating the "Ozone hole" Regarding Argon: Argon is slightly less than 1 percent of the atmosphere. It is drawn in with the air and passes through the engine unchanged, except for temperature. Because there is Argon in the atmosphere all around us that even car engines draw in as part of the induction process.
Tom Vyse March 11, 2012 at 10:00 PM
Bravo, well done!!
Doug Curlee March 12, 2012 at 12:45 AM
rudy.. you claim to be a scientist.. prove it.. give us, in however many words it takes you, the explanation of photosynthesis..and the role carbon dioxide plays in giving us the oxygen without which we'd all be long dead.. shouldn't be too hard to do.. doug
Doug Curlee March 12, 2012 at 12:45 AM
rudy.. you claim to be a scientist.. prove it.. give us, in however many words it takes you, the explanation of photosynthesis..and the role carbon dioxide plays in giving us the oxygen without which we'd all be long dead.. shouldn't be too hard to do.. doug
rudy reyes March 12, 2012 at 05:20 AM
doug:I guess i can school you, Photosynthesis is a chemical process that converts carbon dioxide into organic compounds, especially sugars, using the energy from sunlight. Photosynthesis occurs in plants, algae, and many species of bacteria, but not in archaea. Photosynthetic organisms are called photoautotrophs, since they can create their own food. In plants, algae, and cyanobacteria, photosynthesis uses carbon dioxide and water, releasing oxygen as a waste product. Photosynthesis is vital for all aerobic life on Earth. In addition to maintaining normal levels of oxygen in the atmosphere, photosynthesis is the source of energy for nearly all life on earth, either directly, through primary production, or indirectly, as the ultimate source of the energy in their food, the exceptions being chemoautotrophs that live in rocks or around deep sea hydrothermal vents. The rate of energy capture by photosynthesis is immense, approximately 100 terawatts, which is about six times larger than the power consumption of human civilization.
James Jones March 12, 2012 at 05:59 AM
Why didn't you just post the link? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photosynthesis
Joe Spencer March 12, 2012 at 06:54 AM
THAT is HILARIOUS James!!! Copied and Pasted word for word as if he was "schooling" Doug.... In an earlier post Rudy said: "Tom and Doug I am a scientist".... yet he needs to go to Wikipedia to copy and paste their information. Thats as good as him claiming he doesnt smoke and playing stupid when i said I found two pictures of him smoking on his facebook page...acting like he didnt know they existed. My third grade daughter has more intelligence than him.
Tom Vyse March 12, 2012 at 09:46 AM
Rudy, you've been busted! James, thanks for catching this one. Rudy, what was your source for the quote you sent to me? I actually thought you wrote it. Bad me!! Oops, just found it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide. Plagiarism doesn't get you a lot of points in this world.
Joe Spencer March 12, 2012 at 03:32 PM
OH man...multiple cut and paste responses from Rudy.....lol WOW Rudy....is this REALLY how credible you make yourself look when you are running for an elected position? If it weren't so pathetic it would be funny.
Scott March 12, 2012 at 03:34 PM
It nice to see that everyone is getting along, but this NOT a power plant it’s a Peaker Plant and for the people that don’t know what a Peaker Plant it’s a small power plant that is only used when power is needed or when the power is lost (we go dark). Also, SDG&E is not building this plant, but I think SDG&E dose owns the power lines and the Natural Gas that will be running the plant. And the last time I read Natural Gas is the best way to go its clean burning and the EPA will be on site if this Peaker Plant is used. The EPA has to check to make sure that the air quality is clean and not in violation of the clean air act. This Peaker Plant will give us jobs and money back into the city id the cards are played right. Therefore, for the people don’t what this plant please call SDG&E and tell them to please have your power turned off.
rudy reyes March 12, 2012 at 03:56 PM
i didnt realize i needed to source.
Tom Vyse March 12, 2012 at 04:45 PM
Oh please, Rudy, that is soooo weak to say you didn't realize you needed to "source". Now you make me doubt that you actually have your degrees. I would guess that every college requires you to at least use quote marks when you are quoting the work of others. To not quote and present the information as if it were your own is virtually the Definition of plagiarism. Please try to raise your standards.


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