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Community News

Report summary provided by Andrew Mendoza aide to District 2 Councilmember Charlotte Powers


October 14, 1999

Members Present: George Aboud, Darcy Becker, Terry Bradford, Troy Bunnell, Joe Cassisi, Cecilia Dirstine, Jeff Dixon, Rebecca Elliot, Art Gonzales, Lorrie Landis, Margaret Leathers Sidener, Dan Stockton, Jeff Wade

Members Absent: Jackie Adams, Kaitilin Gaffney, Anne Catherine Vinickas, Mike Tatarkaris

A) Councilmember Powers welcomed the community and introduced guest speakers. She also thanked the Committee Members for volunteering their time to serve on the Advisory Committee.

B) Laurel Prevetti of the CSJ Planning Department gave a brief update on the status of the process. On October 20, 1999, the Planning Commission will hear the General Plan Amendment rezoning request. However, since the CEC has yet to complete an Environmental Assessment Report (EIR equivalent) and CSJ staff evaluation/analysis has yet to be completed, the Commission may defer the item until June/August 2000. The City Council GP Hearing on the same matter will take place on November 8,1999.

C) Paul Richins of California Energy Commission (CEC) and the new Project Manager for the proposed project introduced himself, and assured the community that CEC will be hosting a number of public/community hearings and workshops on the proposed Metcalf Energy Center. Paul noted that overall the CEC process consists of a preliminary staff analysis on key topics, issues and findings and final staff recommendations. The CEC Commission utilizes staff analysis, reports and recommendations during the hearing and decision process.

D) Ken Abreu, Calpine Development Manger, gave an overview of the proposed design/scope of the Metcalf Energy Center. Some of the aspects of the project Ken pointed out included a "high tech" office building fašade and screening to relate to future Coyote Industrial Campus on approx. 20 acres. On the east, south and west sides, stacks will be enclosed with a screening of 145 feet and on the north end it will extend approx. 105 feet (e.g., twin office towers). Single story office and warehouse facilities will be located on southern edge. Gas turbine air inlets are 42 feet. Under current design there is no auxiliary boiler or auxiliary boiler stack, and the diesel fire engine stack will be screened. Smaller elements with minimal enclosure will be painted to blend with environment and building facade. Site plan - Admin. bldg., switch yard control bldg., steam turbine, transformers, water storage tank, ammonia unloading/storage area, emergency generator, cooling tower, water treatment bldg., gas metering station and storm water retention base etc. Landscaping - 800 new shrubs, oak trees and walnut trees primary on southern end along Monterey Road and Fisher Creek.

E) Committee Members raised a number of questions on the proposed project design.
Question: Will the CEC and CSJ Alternative Sites analysis consider the same criteria as Metcalf (e.g., visual impact, design, and land use issues)?
Response: Yes, both agencies will be including those criteria in their analysis.

Q: Will the plum (i.e., visual smoke) from the transmission towers be visible?
R: According to Ken Abreu, No plum (i.e., visual smoke) will be visible. It can vary based on weather and environmental conditions. However, the proposed project will have the technological capability of making adjustments to prevent plum visibility.

Q: Regardless of the current scaled down design/scope of the propose project, it still seems very visible and a "huge" structure in such a flat area. Is Calpine taking into account that the proposed project is at the entrance of Coyote Valley (a scenic corridor)?
R: According to Ken, the idea is to have the structure and transmission towers blend with Tulare Hill, environment (e.g., trees) and future development in North Coyote (90 foot General Plan high restriction). Also, PG & E Metcalf Substation transmission towers are taller then proposed project transmission towers.

Q: What is the scope of the proposed gas pipeline that will link to the proposed project? And what "Safety Plan" will be in place in case of a natural disaster (e.g. earthquake) or possible operations malfunction/eruption?
R: Ken stated that the proposed pipeline will be a new underground (10ft. below) and adhere to current PG & E and State standards, and will not cross any earthquake faults. Calpine will be submitting a public health and safety plan as part of the approval process.

Comment: Calpine should present a visual model/mock presentation including air quality/flow and future development (e.g., Cisco, industry, commercial development and housing etc.) to provide a more realistic "Big Picture" scope of the proposed project.

F) Community Members presented their concerns and comments.
Question: Will CSJ and City Council be reviewing and considering visual, air quality land use, Coyote Master Plan (GP 20/20), alternative sites and water issues etc?
Response: Laurel stated that the City is conducting an independent analysis to present to the Planning Commission and City Council that will address such issues.

Comment: Since the CSJ is conducting an independent analysis and the Planning Commission and City Council will be making its own decision on rezoning Tulare Hill, the CSJ should develop its own Environmental Impact Report (EIR) instead of using California Energy Commission Environmental Assessment Report (EIR equivalent).

C: The Bay Area Air Quality Management District needs to focus and provide data on South San Jose "hot spots" not just a regional analysis. For example, according to geographic maps, North Coyote is naturally designed as a funnel. Thus, causing several changes in pressure/surface winds during different times of the day and seasons.

Note: This is not a legal or formal document and is not intended to present a word for word report but rather a brief meeting summary, highlights and overview. AAM Dist. 2 Powers

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