READER’S EDITORIAL: HELP FIGHT “GREEN MONSTER” IN JACUMBA: SD COMMUNITY POWER VOTE SLATED FOR TODAY

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By Greg Curran

May 27, 2021 (Jacumba Hot Springs) -- The community of Jacumba Hot Springs needs your voice to push back again the impending destruction of our small rural community which has been designated as a Colonia.

Jacumba is a diverse, low income community (~50 percent white, ~38 percent Latino or Hispanic, ~20 percent Pacific Islander.) Many of the residents are renters, and a large number are disabled and living on small fixed incomes. With Jacumba's affordable home prices (100K to 200K), people have an opportunity to own a modest home here. However, they will not have the resources to move to a more expensive community if the developer (BayWe re) is successful in pushing through a 623 acre utility-scale solar project within the Jacumba village boundary. This solar project will provide no jobs for locals and more importantly, it will keep Jacumba from growing or ever having a border crossing, things that would improve the vitality of this currently economically depressed town.(See brief project summary.)

Previously in April 2021, the Jacumba Sponsor Group voted to approve a 200 acre solar facility that would be pulled back away for residences, the Jacumba airport, and scenic Highway 80. On May 18, 2021, the sponsor group voted unanimously to deny the 623 acre Jacumba Valley Ranch (JVR) project for a variety of reasons.

Just two days ago, we learned that San Diego Community Power will be voting today on whether to approval a 20 year power purchase agreement with the JVR solar developer. It is item 16 on their agenda.

https://sdcommunitypower.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/1.-AGENDA.2021.5.27_SDCP.BoardofDirectors_v4.pdf

I might add, that no one from the SDCP group has ever reached out to our community about their intentions to permanently screw up our quiet rural landscape well before the final EIR has been released, or the project has been approved by the planning commission or BOS. (I do expect the final EIR will be released in late June with a hearing before the Planning Commission in mid-July, followed by BOS project review in August 2021.)

As a resident of Jacumba, Board Member of the Jacumba Sponsor Group, Co-Founder of Jacumba Hikers and operator of an Airbnb & Hipcamp. I have a vested interest and a passion to keep Jacumba from becoming an industrial wasteland. I'm an advocate for green energy but belive there are more viable options and places for these projects.

We need some help in fighting this monstrosity of a project! Also attached is an idea of the scope and destructive potential of this project. Thank you for your consideration and assistance.

The views in this editorial reflect the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of East County Magazine. To submit an editorial for consideration, contact editor@eastcountymagazine.org