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Planning Commission Denies Santee Power Plant Application

A gas-fired power plant planned near the Sycamore Landfill ran into at least a temporary roadblock today when the San Diego Planning Commission denied an application to have staff fully study rezoning the area.

The application to initiate a review of the East Elliott Community Plan 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 file an appeal to the City Council.

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.

Opponents claim it would be incompatible with the surrounding area, which includes homes, West Hills High School and Mission Trails Regional Park.

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 recording of the public testimony and ended up voting against the project.

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