Quail Brush Power Plant Hits Roadblock in Approval Process

The San Diego Planning Commission denied the initiation to re-zone the plant site from open space to industrial use, but will be appealed by Cogentrix.


Updated July 19 @ 3:45 p.m.

A gas-fired power plant planned near the Santee and Mission Trails ran into at least a temporary roadblock today when the an application to have staff fully study rezoning the area.

The application to initiate a review of the East Elliott Community Plan, with the intention of re-zoning the site from open space to industrial use, by Charlotte, N.C.-based Cogentrix led to strong opposition from residents of Santee, which is adjacent to the proposed 22-acre property.

The Planning Commission voted 4-1 to deny the application, but Cogentrix can, and will file an appeal to the San Diego City Council.

"We are disappointed with the decision today as we believe we met the criteria to initiate the Community Plan Amendment," said Cogentrix Project Manager Lori Ziebart. "We plan to appeal the decision to the City Council as we believe it is extremely important for the city to be involved in the CEC process."

A state panel, the California Energy Commission, also has jurisdiction over the Quail Brush Generation Project, which calls for a 100-megawatt plant that would be put to use during periods of high demand on the energy grid. The CEC could also override any decision by SDPC or the San Diego City Council.

Opponents claim it would be incompatible with the surrounding area, which includes homes, West Hills High School and in La Mesa.

The commissioners listened to more than four hours of testimony at a public hearing on the plant three weeks ago, but not enough members of the panel were present to reach the four votes necessary to approve or deny the proposal.

Commissioner Mary Lydon, who missed the first meeting, said she watched a and ended up voting against the project.

-City News Service


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