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City Wants Another Chance to Discuss SDG&E Project

The San Juan Capistrano City Council believes the public didn't get enough opportunity to weigh in on a proposal that includes demolishing a historic building.

The San Juan Capistrano City Council will ask the California Public Utilities Commission to hold another public meeting to discuss impacts of SDG&E’s proposed upgrade project because it didn’t get the word out in time for a meeting held last month.

“I just don’t feel our residents had enough lead time,” said Councilman Larry Kramer of the Jan. 23 meeting, during which city officials and residents expressed grave concerns about the proposed destruction of a historic building.

Among other items, the $500 million project would rebuild the San Juan Capistrano substation and include additional equipment to serve all of South Orange County should the main substation at Talega fail, basically two substations in one.

The state Public Utilities Commission is the lead agency that will say yea or nay on the project.

Grant Taylor, director of development services, said he wants to push the PUC consultants to seriously consider other locations.

“San Juan stands to bear the brunt of the impacts,” Taylor said, not the least of which would replace a 1918 building in the gateway to the city’s historic downtown area with two 50-foot, modern buildings and a 10-foot wall.

The council also voted Tuesday to ask the PUC to extend the period in which the public can give input about the project and its potential environmental impacts. The comment period ends Feb. 8, and the council is asking for another 45 days.

The so-called scoping meetings are part of the initial process that kicks off an intense environmental review. A San Diego Gas & Electric spokesman said a draft version of an environmental report could be ready as early as late summer.

Smokey Bear February 06, 2013 at 08:02 PM
Whoah, they cant destroy a historical building, we have laws against this, plus its bad enough that they don't even care what the people think about nuclear power, let alone spending 500 mil !! Why cant the use solar, figure it out, hire some more scientists for this purpose!! SONGS SUCKS
Penny Arévalo (Editor) February 06, 2013 at 08:06 PM
They can as long as it's "mitigated" in some way (meaning they have to find a way to make up for the loss of a historical resource). If the PUC decides there is no mitigation measure that addresses the loss enough, then it can consider alternative sites (which will be presented in the EIR as a possibility). This project doesn't really have anything to do with SONGS (which is operated by Edison).
Smokey Bear February 06, 2013 at 10:02 PM
Well isn't SONGS SDG&E, this is the same people. Plus how can you replace history? I love History & when I go to other cities & see all of the history, which is awesome by the way, I then come back home & I see how little regard they have for anything historical, Hollywood is a huge example of this. We can't let them destroy San Juans historical value! Please tell me when we have a chance to rebute? Thanks
Penny Arévalo (Editor) February 06, 2013 at 10:07 PM
SONGS is operated by Edison, which is a separate entity from San Diego Gas & Electric. Whether the power plant is operational or not, SDG&E wants this project. And I'm not offering any opinion about replacing history, only explaining that the process does allow for a historical building to come down. If there is another meeting scheduled, we will get that news out to you right away. You also can send direct correspondence to the PUC through Feb. 8 to: Andrew Barnsdale California Public Utilities Commission RE: SOCRE Project c/o Ecology and Environment, Inc. 505 Sansome Street, Suite #300 San Francisco, CA 94111
Ilse M. Byrnes February 06, 2013 at 10:19 PM
SDG&E has a total disrespect for history and historic buildings as shown in their plan to bulldoze the 1918 Substation on Camino Capistrano. They dont seem to care and try to push this project through which will have a permanent negative impact on our historic town and the surrounding area . They do have other places to built their new substation- but they dont want to since it is cheaper for them to destroy the building on Cam Cap. and not have to go through applying for new permits etc. in a new location Ilse M. Byrnes
DVC April 08, 2013 at 03:52 PM
SDG&E is a very smart company that has been around for a long time, let them do what they want to do they seem to know what's best for everyone...I vote to tear things down as they suggest.

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