Boulevard California

CPUC READY TO GRANT 44 PERCENT RATE HIKE TO TROUBLED LIVE OAK SPRINGS WATER CO.

 

By Mike Allen

April 4, 2016 (Boulevard) --Customers of tiny Live Oak Springs Water Co. in Boulevard are worried that a pending 44 percent increase to their water bills won’t provide them with better service, and is nothing more than a bailout to the water company that remains in bankruptcy.

When the California Public Utilities Commission convenes April 7 the commission will likely grant Live Oak its rate increase, which is on the consent calendar. That will send average water bills to $107 a month, from the current average $74, according to the proposed resolution). Yet some customers say instead of helping the company, the PUC should replace the woeful management of Live Oak Springs Water.

“If it’s in bankruptcy, why in God’s name are they allowing him to run the water district?,” says Paul Isham, a 27-year resident of the area at the eastern edge of San Diego County. Isham said Live Oak pumped water from a stream near his property several years ago that caused his well to dry up. The action forced Isham to greatly curtail a small ranch business.

PARKS, WATER AND ENERGY ISSUES ON BOULEVARD PLANNING GROUP'S AGENDA MARCH 3

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 27, 2016 (Boulevard) --The Boulevard Planning Group has a packed agenda for its meeting on Thursday, March 3 at 7 p.m. in the Boulevard Fire Training Room (39923 Ribbonwood Rd., Boulevard).  The agenda includes three action items and 14 discussion items ranging from major energy projects impacting the region to a water rate hike, parks and land use issues.

The action items include:

  • a county presentation on a proposal to divide the Mountain Empire Parkland Dedication area into 41 separate units,
  • a discussion and vote on whether to submit comments on local concerns over a new multli-agency renewable energy land ues and transmissions plan to meet state renewable energy mandates,and
  • a discussion and vote related to Live Oak Springs Water company's proposed rate hike and authorization for bulk water sales.

COURT RULES AGAINST ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP OVER SOITEC SOLAR PROJECT IN BOULEVARD

 

East County News Service

January 9, 2016 (Boulevard) – Efforts to block the massive Rugged Solar project in Boulevard appear to have hit a dead end.  On December 11th, Judge Wohlfeil confirmed  his tentative ruling to dismiss a writ of mandate filed by Backcountry Against Dumps (BAD).  The challenge claimed the project violated California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requirements on groundwater and fire issues, among others.

“BAD has chosen not to appeal based on a variety of issues and realities,”  BAD founder Donna Tisdale told East County Magazine.  Our attorney may never see the fee award ordered by Judge Wohlfeil, or a final decision could be strung out for years.”

JUDGE OVERTURNS COUNTY APPROVALS OF SOITEC BOULEVARD PROJECTS

 

Update, August 21, 2015:  Donna Tisdale notified us that the backcountry "celebration over the death of Soitec's Boulevard projects was a bit premature. Today, County staff informed me that Soitec is going to remove the 160 cargo containers full of potentially toxic batteries from their Rugged Solar project and will resubmit the revised EIR for certification by the Board of Supervisors. (Back in February, Soitec self-terminated their Tierra Del Sol Solar project just 1 month after receiving Board approval due to a lack of buyers.) Staff is trying to docket the revised EIR for the Board agenda by October so they can meet the Court's order to report back by November 2nd on how they plan to comply," adds Tisdale, who concludes, "The battle to save the backcountry continues."

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: A Soitec solar panel in Newbury Springs, California

August 20, 2015 (Boulevard) – The last of four massive solar projects proposed by Soitec Solar in Boulevard may now be officially dead.

On August 7th, Superior Court Judge Joel R. Wohlfeil  overturned County Supervisors’ approvals of Soitec’s Rugged Acres and Tierra del Sol projects,  because the approvals violated the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)  Soitec and the County failed to file an appeal by the August 14th deadline, says Donna Tisdale, chair of the Boulevard Planning Group and founder of Backcountry Against Dumps, which filed the lawsuit aiming to halt the project. View the court's judgment.

“Soitec’s Boulevard projects, approved for 1,200 acres, are now dead and buried!” Tisdale wrote in an email to project opponents. Any new projects proposed for those sites would need to start all over at step one,” requiring a new environmental impacts review, a lengthy and costly process. “I have asked the County for details on when they will set aside their voided approvals, as mandated by the court,” Tisdale added.

NEW FIRE STATION OPENS IN BOULEVARD

 

 

East County News Service

June 6, 2015 (Boulevard) – Last week, a brand new fire station opened in Boulevard.  The $3.5 million, 8,000 square foot facility replaces an older station across the street. Capable of housing up to six vehicles, the new fire station is the first to house County Fire Authority reserves along with Cal Fire firefighters and a paramedic unit under one roof.

Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who led efforts to secure funding, was on site for a ribbon cutting along with Boulevard Planning Group Chair Donna Tisdale, Cal-Fire Chief Tony Mecham and other local dignitaries.

HOT HEARINGS IN EAST COUNTY THIS WEEK: LAKESIDE, BOULEVARD, COUNTY SUPERVISORS AND HELIX WATER BOARDS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 4, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) –Many hot agenda items are coming up before boards, commissions and councils across East County during this first week of the new year.

BOULEVARD PLANNING GROUP TO DISCUSS LAWSUIT, ENERGY ISSUES

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

The Boulevard Planning Group meets Thursday night at 7 p.m. in the Boulevard Fire Training Room, 39919 Ribbon Wood Road in Boulevard.  The rural planners will be discussing some hot issues, starting with disclosure of a lawsuit filed against the Planning Group, its Chair, the County and other parties over alleged loss of property values to Lansing Industries, which has been unsuccessful in its effort to develop its property as first a housing development and later, an industrial solar facility, amid large-scale community opposition.

Chair Donna Tisdale and two other incumbents won reelection to the Boulevard Planning Group unopposed.

LAWSUIT AGAINST SAN DIEGO SUPERVISORS OVER WIND ORDINANCE SET FOR COURT HEARING APRIL 25

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 23, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – A lawsuit filed against San Diego Supervisors asks the court to set aside the County’s new wind energy ordinance and an amendment to Boulevard’s community plan.  The case will be heard on Friday, April 25 at 1:30 p.m. in Superior Court, Department C-72, with Judge Timothy Taylor presiding. The courthouse is located at 220 West Broadway, San Diego.

The suit was filed by two community groups-- the Protect Our Communities Foundation, Backcountry Against Dumps-- and  by Donna Tisdale, chair of the Boulevard Planning Group. Plaintiffs seek to half industrial wind development in their backcountry community. They contend that such projects pose serious impacts to wildlife, water resources, human health and safety that the Board ignored.

U.S. FISH & WILDLIFE WARNS OF NEGATIVE IMPACTS ON WILDLIFE FROM SOITEC SOLAR PROJECTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 1, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – Soitec’s four proposed solar projects on 1,490 acres in the Boulevard area of East County could negatively impact migratory birds, eagles, endangered butterflies and wildlife corridors,  Karen Goebel, assistant field supervisor with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife concludes in a comment letter sent to the County regarding the projects’ draft Enviornmental Impact Report (DEIR) on March 11, 2014. The letter also indicates studies have been inadequate and cumulative impacts of projects across a broader area need to be evaluated.

NEW FIRE STATION IN BOULEVARD BREAKS GROUND

 

View video of groundbreaking

January 27, 2014 (Boulevard)--Drive 60 miles east of San Diego out Interstate 8 and you’ll reach Boulevard, a sparsely populated rural community of about 1,750 people. Your view will encompass manzanita trees and granite boulders, but no shopping malls or gleaming high rises. In fact, you won’t see a lot of newer buildings at all, and you won’t be surprised to learn the town’s fire station is a converted court office.

That last part won’t be true for long though. On Thursday, County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Dianne Jacob joined County officials and community members to break ground on a new $3.5 million fire station, which will serve a 78-square-mile area.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT REPORT: FEES PROPOSED TO COVER FULL COSTS OF COUNTY FIRE AUTHORITY

 

Hot items also on the agendas in Boulevard, Lakeside and Lemon Grove this week

By Miriam Raftery

December 1, 2013 (San Diego's East County)--San Diego Supervisors meet on Tuesday and Wednesday, December 3 and 4 at 9 a.m. The hottest item is a public hearing Tuesday on a county proposal to levy fees to recover the actual cost of services provided by the San Diego County Fire Authority including fire plan reviews, inspections and other technical work.  In the past, such services have been provided to individuals and businesses without full cost recovery. 

The Agenda does not state how much the proposed fees would be or how much revenue the county expects to raise.  But coming on the heels of a statewide fire fee that is going up at year’s end,  the proposal is likely to fuel controversy among taxpayers. The item is first on Tuesday’s agenda.  

View December 3 agenda.  View December 4 agenda.

SUPERVISORS APPROVE WORK PLAN FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY

 

“We supported the renewable energy plan but we wanted it done in the right. The stakeholders advisory group is biased and stacked. It’s all industry…” – Donna Tisdale, Chair, Boulevard Planning Group

By Alex Riggins

September 26, 2013 (San Diego)  – The County Board of Supervisors  voted 5-0  on Wednesday to approve a work plan for a comprehensive renewable energy plan. The plan includes options for creating an alternative to SDG&E such as a publicly owned utility district, as well as plans for the type, scale and location of energy development. A cost analysis and comparison of various energy options was removed, however.

The work plan will analyze ways in which the county can move forward with renewable energy options. It was approved unanimously after the Board heard public comments and deliberated for nearly two hours on Wednesday morning.  The plan drew support from the energy industry and concerns from rural residents.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: BEAUTY AFTER THE STORM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 11, 2013 (Boulevard) -- Melody Ponchot found beauty after the recent storms on September 2 and September 7 at the ranch where she lives in Boulevard, from golden rays to rainbows. For those who ask why people want to leave way out in rural East County, here are a few inspiring reasons!  Click "read more" and scroll down to view more.

 

AFTER TURBULENT HEARING, SUPERVISORS POSTPONE ACTION ON WIND ORDINANCE TO MAY 15

 

 

“The Boulevard Marathon is like the Boston Marathon...[Residents opposed to the wind ordinance] are “like people with a pressure cooker and ball bearings with a bomb, trying to stop the projects…This is economic terrorism.” – John Gibson, Hamann Companies

“You should choose to save our communities, not destroy them—and I was not paid to come and talk today.” – Wendy Shannon, Boulevard resident and neighbor of Hamann’s proposed project

 

 

By Sierra Robinson; Miriam Raftery also contributed to this report

May 10, 2013 (San Diego)—After more than three hours of heated testimony on Tuesday, San Diego Supervisors opted to delay a decision on a controversial wind ordinance and changes to plans for two backcountry communities until May 15. The postponement came after a lawyer representing rural residents sent a last-minute letter claiming that approval of the project would be illegal.

WATER RUSTLING RILES NEIGHBORS IN BOULEVARD AS GROUNDWATER PUMPING CONTINUES DESPITE COUNTY BAN

 

Neighbors in rural Boulevard fear dry wells, impacts on water quality and terrain

By Jeremy Los

 

Sept. 18, 2011- The Live Oak Holding Company is in hot water with the County of San Diego after it allegedly took part in unlawful groundwater sales for the construction of a new Border Patrol complex off of Ribbonwood road in Boulevard.