Planning Commission Vote Stalls Santee Power Plant

The San Diego Planning Commission voted not to approve the Quail Brush Power Plant Amendment Initiation

By R. Stickney and Brandi Powell
|  Thursday, Jul 19, 2012  |  Updated 8:08 PM PDT
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Santee Power Plant Hearing

NBCSanDiego

Community members stood on street corners throughout Santee to protest the proposed build site near West Hills High School.

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City Planners Vote Stalls Santee Power Plant

A controversial plan to build a power plant near Mission Trails Regional Park has been stopped in its tracks. NBC 7 reporter Artie Ojeda talks to Councilman Jack Dale about the planning commission shutting down the project.

Santee Power Plant Hearing

Several Santee residents made passionate pleas at a hearing to discuss a proposed power plant in East County. NBC 7's Catherine Garcia explains.
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The San Diego Planning Commission voted not to approve the Quail Brush Power Plant Amendment Initiation.

The commission was considering rezoning the area proposed for the power plant - along the border of San Diego and Santee, just east of Mission Trails Regional Park. The plant would provide electricity to SDG&E customers during peak demand.

The commission rejected the initiation 4 to 1 with Robert Griswold recusing himself. Michael Smiley was the dissenting vote.

The groups Save Mission Trails and Sierra Club say they’re pleased with the Planning Commission’s decision.

“We are thrilled, ecstatic. You don’t know how many people, citizens have put in countless hours working on this,” said Pete Hasapopoulos, an organizer with the Sierra Club San Diego Chapter. “It’s a win for all San Diego residents at many levels.”

The planning commission was wise to identify that the criteria for initiating the plan wasn’t met according to Kevin Brewster and organizer with SaveMissionTrails.org.

“I don’t think the system is set up to favor the individual or the community member so it took a lot of effort,” he said. “For us to get an equal play took a lot of work and a lot of involvement and a lot of time.”

The Quail Brush Project manager told NBC 7 Quail Brush Genco, LLC, a project company of Cogentrix Energy, LLC that it will appeal the Planning Commission’s 4 to 1 decision and hopes the San Diego City Council will decide to move it forward.

“We’re disappointed in the decision, we feel we have met the criteria,” said Lori Ziebart project manager for the Quail Brush Power Project. “We do believe the city would play a very significant role in the process and it’s important for them to be involved.”

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

Brewster said power plant opponents have more than 5,000 signatures protesting the proposal. 

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