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COUNTY AMENDS VARIANCE TO STOP SUNDAY HELICOPTER FLIGHTS ON POWERLINK FOR PORTIONS OF LAKESIDE AND ALPINE




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Community meetings planned in Boulevard, Lakeside and Alpine

By Miriam Raftery

 

October 22, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) –After receiving 23 complaints about Sunday helicopter operations on Sunrise Powerlink construction, the County has amended its variance. The original variance allowed work Sundays through November, as well as on the Friday after Thanksgiving.

The amendment covers portions of two areas: Lakeside/El Monte and the Bell Bluff/Japatul area of Alpine.

In the eastern El Monte Valley area of Lakeside, the extra flights will stop at five tower sites nearest homes. Two other sites will be restricted from helicopter use and the loudest helicopter (the Erickson Air Crane) will be prohibited from use from the Helix construction yard.

In Alpine, all helicopter activity from the Lyons Valley Road (SWAT) staging area will be eliminated and use of the Erickson Air Crane will also be prohibited. Helicopters must utilize the nearby Suncrest Substation or Wilson Construction yards instead.

No restrictions were imposed in areas where residents did not complain.
 

To file a complaint related to helicopters for noise or violations, view this guide for contact information.
 

The variance also requires that SG&E notify neighboring property owners of the construction activities and that SDG&E must attend the next Community Planning Group meetings. The next Community Planning Group Meetings are set for October 26 in Alpine, November 2 in Lakeside, and November 3 in Boulevard.
 

Variances were initially granted to allow SDG&E to complete Powerlink work in areas where construction must shut down December 1 to protect golden eagles during nesting season. Delaying until after nesting season could cause erosion and more disruption to residents in the long run, according to Leann Carmichael at the County Department of Land Use.

 

To file a complaint over helicopter-related activity on Powerlink, below is contact information provided by Alpine Planning Group member Lou Russo.

 

Contact Information for Sunrise Powerlink Issues

 

Helicopter Variance/Noise Issues

-Noise Complaints can be filed with the county DPLU by calling John Bennett at (858) 694-2177. You can also call the LeAnn Carmichael with the DPLU at (858) 694-3739.
•Please leave your name, address and phone number, they will not act on anonymous complaints
•Document the time and date, photograph or videotape if possible


Helicopter Violations

•Flying too low (<500’ over a residence) without a load
•Flying with a suspended load over a residence, outbuilding, driveway, road, livestock, etc.
•Note date and time, color of helicopter, photograph or videotape if possible
-Contact James McNamara, FAA/San Diego Flight Standards Office
phone: 858-502-9882, Ext. 285
email: james.d.mcnamara@faa.gov
-Contact Billie Blanchard, CPUC Project Manager
phone: 415-703-2068
email: bcb@cpuc.ca.gov
or: billie.blanchard@cpuc.ca.gov
 

 

Alpine residents:
•If you do not receive a notice as specified above, call to file a complaint
Alpine Business Loss Claims
SDG&E has assigned Senior Claims Advisor, Maureen Monje to the Sunrise Powerlink project. Ms. Monje will be assigned to the East County Community Relations Office, located at 2806 Alpine Boulevard, Tuesdays and Thursdays
during regular business hours. Additionally, Ms. Monje will be available to schedule appointments at other times, as requested.
Email: mmonje@semprautilities.com
Phone: 619-445-1390
•Provide specific information to support and verify a financial loss. This information could include, but is not limited to, tax returns, monthly sales receipts or verified accounting records. To prove evidence of loss, it is incumbent upon the claimant to submit this information in a timely manner.
 

Please cc Dianne Jacob, County Supervisor, on any email you send:
Email: dianne.jacob@sdcounty.ca.gov
Phone: (619) 531-5522
Her assistant: Jennifer Stone - Jennifer.Stone@sdcounty.ca.gov
Also cc Todd Voorhees, SDG&E
Email: tvoorhees@semprautilities.com
Phone: (619) 659-8113
Cleveland National Forest, Brian Paul
Email: rpaul@fs.fed.us
Phone: (619) 445-6235

Alpine Community Planning Group
Sharmin Self
sharmin.self@alpinecpg.org
or
Lou Russo
louis.russo@gmail.com

Here are e-mail addresses for the 5 members of the CPUC located in San Francisco. Commissioners are appointees of the Governor, not elected by the public. michael.peevey@cpuc.ca.gov timothy.simon@cpuc.ca.gov mike.florio@cpuc.ca.gov catherine.sandoval@cpuc.ca.gov mark.ferron@cpuc.ca.gov Note: Commissioner Peevey (President of the Commission) authored the decision to approve the "Environmentally Superior Southern Route" for Sunrise in Dec. 2008. The vote was 4-1 with Gruenich opposed. Gruenich is no longer on the Commission. Florio, Sandoval and Ferron were not on the Commission in 2008 at the time of the vote.