One need read no further than the disclaimer required by the Fair Political Practices Commission to cast doubt on the claims included in the fourth and latest Anti-Measure A mailer that Redondo voters have received this week. The required disclaimer clearly states: “Funded by donations from AES Redondo Beach.” The rest is what you would expect a power plant company to say about a Ballot Measure that opposes their new plant. It is clear, AES is getting desperate.
Note what is missing from their new flyer. The new flyer:
- Does NOT say the power grid needs power from this specific site and this specific power plant. That's because, the CAISO has not deemed AES Redondo critical.
- Does NOT show that their new plant will produce less pollution. That's because, their applications show particulate pollution will increase 5x to 15x what is reported today.
- Does NOT say the power plant will improve property values or business revenues. In fact, City studies show the plant's negative impacts.
- Avoids acknowledging that Measure A allows up to 430,000 sq ft of commercial space because it erodes their trumped up revenues claims.
Instead the mailer relies totally unsubstantiated fear mongering.
Let’s look at the misleading statements:
Misleading Statement: Measure A has no provision to pay for the park element
Fact: Measure A is a zoning ordinance and zoning documents never address funding. Measure A includes up to 430,000 sq ft of commercial/institutional development (the same density allowed in the harbor). That commercial element is based on studies conducted by the State Coastal Conservancy and Cal Poly Pomona Landscape Architecture Department (Studio 606) on hundreds of successful projects similar to Measure A. In fact, a State Coastal Conservancy official commented that we were too generous in our allocation of commercial uses. The commercial element is designed to generate significant positive cash flow for the city to fund the cost of park maintenance.
Measure A does not require the city to buy the park land from AES. The flyer ignores the commitment from the State Coastal Conservancy to garner park funds from multiple sources. The funds would not be needed until 2020... ample time to build up the financial resources.
Misleading Statement: Measure A violates private property rights
Fact: One of the primary roles of city government is to ensure compatible land use development through zoning. AES has no right to pollute our air, impact community property values and impact business revenues. Even under existing zoning, they have no right to rebuild a power plant. And the current zoning authorizes the city to require an undesignated size park set aside. The big difference between current zoning and Measure A is NOT the park element. The big difference is the phase out of the power plant and its replacement with commercial uses. In fact, when campaigning for the current zoning Councilman Steve Diels (who signed the latest mailer) stated: “Vote yes to: allow park use at the AES power plant…” Why did he not worry about AES property rights in this campaign?
Measure A merely carries out what Redondo Beach staff recommended in 2004. The staff recommended rezoning the site and phasing out the power plant. That is what Measure A does. The city study examined the legality of the rezoning and sited ample case law supporting the action. Recently a panel of three independent and unpaid land use and environmental attorneys all concluded that the rezoning contained in measure is legal and does not violate property rights. See www.nopowerplant.com for videos of these attorneys responding to resident questions about the legalities of the zoning in Measure A. Measure A does not take AES' property away from them. Just like all of us, they are free to develop their property in accordance with the zoning or sell it to whomever they want.
Misleading Statement: The power plant provides jobs.
Fact: Currently, AES Redondo employs about 55 employees. According to AES, the new plant will need only 20 to 30 keep it running as it is newer, more modern and smaller. The commercial element of Measure A would employ far more people and the lack of a power plant would eliminate the negative impact of the power plant on surrounding business revenues, increasing employment in harbor businesses.
Misleading Statement: The power plant provides revenue for fire, police and other city services
Fact: According to AES, they provide less than $400,000 in City revenues. That is about 0.4 percent of city revenues. By comparison, the harbor/pier parking lot produces over $1.8 million in annual city revenues. Just putting a public pay parking lot at the AES site would provide the city more revenues. The Cheesecake Factory and Crowne Plaza are amongst the City’s biggest sources of commercial revenue. With up to 430,000 square feet of commercial development, Measure A would produce far more city revenues. And of course, the mailer avoids mentioning that city studies call the power plant the “major blighting influence” in the harbor area. This study shows that property values are impacted by up to 40 percent and that businesses in the harbor area grew at 1/10th the rate of businesses elsewhere in the city. Why would we risk the over $100 million investment in harbor revitalization that has just started by allowing a new power plant?
Misleading Statement: Measure A does not guarantee the California Energy Commission will deny the new power plant
Fact: If residents don’t pass Measure A, we will get a new power plant blighting our waterfront through 2070. There is only one case we are aware of where the CEC denied a plant that was unopposed by the local city. Since our City Council has passed no resolution opposing the power plant, the only opposition they would see is Measure A. AES had to acknowledge Measure A in their application. According to a state report, out of 131 cases with strong local opposition, the CEC has only overridden the zoning/opposition 5 times. While Measure A does not guarantee we stop the power plant, the odds are in our favor. And if we don’t pass Measure A we are pretty much guaranteed a new plant.
Misleading Statement: Measure A is the result of a small number of zealots.
Fact: Many of us are passionate in this fight to rid our waterfront of this unneeded, polluting, blighting eyesore. So let them call us zealots, but we are hardly a small number. Measure A zoning includes the input from residents, boaters, bicyclists, Harbor Commissioners, City Councilmen, business owners, the State Coastal Conservancy, and the State Coastal Commission staff. Over 100 residents gave up their summer free time to gather the signatures that got Measure A on the ballot. And nearly 7,500 registered Redondo voters signed the petition that qualified Measure A for the ballot in just 40 days.
Bottom line: We have AES on the run and they are getting desperate. This is their fourth flyer—they are throwing tons of money at defeating Measure A. Since they cannot refute our statements that the plant is not needed, will produce more pollution and impacts property values and business and city revenues, they rely on unsubstantiated fear mongering. Read through their claims and do a little homework. Their flyer falls apart pretty quickly with a little research. Redondo residents are smart enough to see through their exaggerated and misleading claims. Residents have a right to be outraged by this blatant attempt to mislead voters. Shame on AES and those who signed the flyer.
Support our harbor revitalization. Improve our air quality, views, property values, and business and city revenues. Stop the new power plant by casting your vote “Yes on A.”
And when you make your decision on who to vote for on City Council—make sure they strongly oppose the new power plant.