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.