With a unanimous vote, the Redondo Beach City Council decided to direct the city clerk to prepare a resolution to put the Power Plant Phase-Out Initiative on the March 3 municipal election ballot.
The council had postponed the vote by several weeks to give City Attorney Mike Webb a chance to examine the legalities of putting the initiative on the ballot without requiring an in-depth environmental analysis.
The initiative, if passed, would rezone AES' property on Harbor Drive for up to 40 percent commercial and institutional use; the rest would be parkland. Power generation would not be allowed after 2020.
The current AES contract expires in 2018. In the meantime, AES Southland officials say they're preparing to file an application to repower—rebuild—the Redondo Beach plant. Supporters of a new plant contend that the rebuilt plant would run quieter, cleaner and more efficiently, as well as provide needed flexibility for times when power can't be generated from wind or solar.
- Complete coverage: AES Redondo Beach Power Plant Debate
Opponents say the new plant will continue to depress property values and pollute more.
At the last council meeting where the initiative was on the agenda, AES Southland President strongly implied the company would sue the city of Redondo Beach if the council decided not to have an environmental impact study performed. Tuesday night, Pendergraft indicated that the company would not sue the city for putting the measure on the March ballot.
"With all due respect to the city attorney, we actually still firmly believe that Measure DD was meant to apply to all major changes in allowable land use," Pendergraft said. Nevertheless, "we will support that decision (to place the measure on the ballot). We are strongly opposed to the proposition; we think it's very bad ... but we think this issue should be resolved as soon as possible."