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Planning Commission Rejects Quail Brush Power Plant

Residents were fired up at today's planning commission hearing on a proposal to build a 100-megawatt power plant near the edge of Mission Trails Regional Park.

Shortly after the meeting began, opponents of the Quail Brush Power Plant wasted no time searching for ways to defeat the project. During non-agenda public comment some accused commissioners of having a conflict of interest and of ethics violations.

The mood, however, soon settled down once commissioners began expressing concerns about the project.

Commissioner Mary Lydon questioned the site selection. "I think we need to think hard on where we are putting this infrastructure. I would like to know why this site was chosen over any other site," said Lydon.

Spokesperson for Cogentrix, Laurie Zeiber, responded. "The disturbance would be less than in the other locations," said Madaffer. "Biological surveys showed no significant, or minimal biological disturbance. The site is also close to natural gas and transmission lines. Those were some of the reasons why we believe this to be the superior site."

Commissioners weren't buying it. Shortly into committee discussion, Stephen Haase made a motion to reject amending the community plan, essentially shutting down the project.

The motion was approved by a vote of 4-to-1, with commissioner Michael Smiley the only one opposed. Now, the power company is left with only one option; to ask that the city council make the final decision.

*Correction: Lorie Zeiber spoke on behalf of Cogentrix, not Robin Madaffer as was previously reported. I apologize for the error.

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Residents were fired up at today's planning commission hearing on a proposal to build a 100-megawatt power plant near the edge of Mission Trails Regional Park.

Shortly after the meeting began, opponents of the Quail Brush Power Plant wasted no time searching for ways to defeat the project. During non-agenda public comment some accused commissioners of having a conflict of interest and of ethics violations.

The mood, however, soon settled down once commissioners began expressing concerns about the project.

Commissioner Mary Lydon questioned the site selection. "I think we need to think hard on where we are putting this infrastructure. I would like to know why this site was chosen over any other site," said Lydon.

Spokesperson for Cogentrix, Laurie Zeiber, responded. "The disturbance would be less than in the other locations," said Madaffer. "Biological surveys showed no significant, or minimal biological disturbance. The site is also close to natural gas and transmission lines. Those were some of the reasons why we believe this to be the superior site."

Commissioners weren't buying it. Shortly into committee discussion, Stephen Haase made a motion to reject amending the community plan, essentially shutting down the project.

The motion was approved by a vote of 4-to-1, with commissioner Michael Smiley the only one opposed. Now, the power company is left with only one option; to ask that the city council make the final decision.

*Correction: Lorie Zeiber spoke on behalf of Cogentrix, not Robin Madaffer as was previously reported. I apologize for the error.

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Be sure that this will go to the council. And there's an excellent chance the council will overrule the commission and approve it. That has happened countless times to the consternation of neighbors who thought they had prevailed, only to see their objections ignored.

But let's ask the question again. SDGE tells us there is no shortage of power in the area, especially now that Sunrise is in place. We are told that the old waterfront generation plant in Chula Vista is "no longer needed." There are two relatively new "peaker" plants in place in the county, one on Otay Mesa, the other in Escondido. Please explain, somebody, where this new plant would fit into the power supply for the county. In other words, why is it needed?

July 19, 2012

Visduh,

In March, the Santee City Council voted 5-0 against the plant.

Source: Planning Commission Rejects Santee Power Plant | NBC 7 San Diego

July 19, 2012

Drop the obfuscating moniker "Quail Bush" and call it a power plant near Mission Trails Park. Your headline may be technically accurate, but it is misleading.

July 19, 2012

Brush, not Bush. Did you think it was a reference to our most recent infamous President?

July 19, 2012

Misleading? That is the name of the proposed plant. I urge you to read the first sentence where there was no mention of the name. Thanks for your comment.

--Dorian

July 19, 2012
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