Redondo Beach Initiative to Retire the AES Power Plant, Measure A (March 2013)
If Measure A had been approved, it would have rezoned 50 acres situated along North Harbor Drive for open space, commercial and institutional uses. The 50 acres are owned by AES.
Measure RB-A would have:
- Rezoned the power plant property to phase out power plant uses by the end of 2020.
- Required that the existing plant be torn down by the end of 2022.
- Replaced the industrial uses with up to 40% commercial uses and a minimum of 60% public recreation and open space.
- These final, certified, results are from the Office of the City Clerk of Redondo Beach.
Measure RB-A was co-written by Bill Brand and Jim Light. Brand is a member of the Redondo Beach City Council. Light was a candidate for city council and the president of "Building a Better Redondo," a local non-profit.
Measure RB-A was drafted by Brand and Light because they did not agree with the actions taken by the Redondo Beach City Council regarding AES proposals for what to do with the 50 acres AES owns along North Harbor Drive.
Redondo Beach residents Lezlie Campeggi, Dawn Esser, and Sheri Patterson also formed a group called "No Power Plant" that opposed the AES plans for the property.
"Building a Better Redondo" (BBR) paid for the drafting of the initiative while the group "No Power Plant funded the activities related to the signature drive and campaign.
Measure A was also endorsed by:
- Surf Rider Foundation
- Sierra Club
- Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters
- Barbara Doerr, former mayor of Redondo Beach
- Todd Loewenstein and Drew Gamet, school board members
Arguments in favor
The arguments in favor of Measure A in the city's official voter guide included:
"Yes on Measure A" ad
- "This is our only chance to rid our waterfront of a power plant. Times have changed since the first plant was built in Redondo Beach. This site is now tightly surrounded by dense residential development, senior housing, hotels, restaurants, offices and a harbor. This is no place for a new power plant."
- "The power plant is Redondo’s single largest air polluter. AES’ own projections show emissions from just one pollutant, particulate matter, will increase 5-15 times from what AES reports now."
- "Particulate matter and other power plant pollutants retard lung development in children, cause asthma attacks and heart attacks, and kill twice as many people as breast cancer every year in California. Lowering the smoke stacks to improve the aesthetics just increases our exposure."
- "City studies show property values and business revenues are reduced by the power plant. Why risk our historic waterfront revitalization by allowing a new power plant?"
- "If Measure A fails, the Redondo waterfront could be saddled with three smoke stacks, a power plant, and the power lines until 2070."
- "Measure A allows us to keep the Whaling Wall or historic buildings without a new power plant."
- "We don’t need the power. The current plant only runs at about 5% of annual capacity. Two new plants in our area come online this year. Independent consultants and State reports demonstrate there’s capacity to retire Redondo’s plant."
- "Three other coastal plants have recently retired due to local opposition. Yes on A shows State agencies and officials our opposition to a new power plant."
As of February 26, 2013, the "Yes on Measure A" campaign had raised $80,200.
The five largest donors were:
|Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters||$2,000|
The initiative was opposed by AES. They would like to rebuild the power plant that is located on the 50 acres in question.
Harry Munns, a columnist who writes on the website "Building the Best Redondo Beach," opposed the initiative. He wrote that the initiative is "short-sighted, ill-conceived and potentially dangerous."
Others who opposed Measure A included:
- Los Angeles County Democratic Party
- AES Redondo Beach
- The Redondo Beach Chamber of Commerce. (They said, ""Measure A costs Redondo Beach taxpayers millions, but has no funding provision to pay for it.")
- Dan Madrigal, a retired Redondo Beach Fire Chief
- Steven Diels and Matthew Kilroy, members of the Redondo Beach city council
- Bob Meistrell, co-founder, Body Glove and Dive N' Surf
- Ann Garten, a former Redondo Beach planning commissioner
- Mike Gin, Mayor of Redondo Beach
- Jane A. Diehl
- Arlene Staich, a former School Board Member
- Lisa Rodriguez
"No on Measure A" ad
The arguments opposing Measure A in the city's official voter guide included:
- "Would you support a government that rezoned your property without your consent? Would you support a measure that eliminates your existing use and allows others to use your own property? Measure A asks you to rezone private property that does not belong to the City in a way that devalues the land and limits the use for the property owner."
- "Measure A doesn’t guarantee the removal of the power plant. It would likely mire the City of Redondo Beach in lawsuits for years to come, costing us millions of dollars without any positive results. Even if Measure A passes, the State could override the zoning and allow a new power plant to be built."
- "Measure A was created without any input from the property owner. It was created without open and public meetings that would have been required if the City had proposed a zoning change. It increases the likelihood that the existing power plant continues to operate because it limits the owner’s viable economic choices. Measure A falsely promises the retirement of the power plant, but has no authority over the existing facility."
- "Measure A attempts to create a regional park bringing with it traffic and crowds, without any revenue to the City of Redondo Beach to pay for the maintenance of the park. Measure A avoids any environmental impact analysis that would have normally been required."
- "Measure A pits the property owner against our community. A better approach is to work collaboratively with the property owner and include a rigorous public process to create a vibrant and exciting waterfront."
As of February 26, 2013, the "No on Measure A" campaign had raised $335,900.
The three largest donors were:
|AES Redondo Beach||$327,000|
Text of measure
The question on the ballot:
This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
|Measure RB-A: "Shall Redondo Beach Phase-Out Existing Power Generation and Power Transmission from an Approximately 50-Acre Site and Set New Land Use and Development Standards by Amending the General Plan, Coastal Land Use Plan, Harbor/Civic Center Specific Plan, Coastal Zoning, Zoning, and City Charter; the new land use would be allocated between 60-70% to parks and open space and the remaining 30-40% allocated between commercial, institutional or marine related light industrial/boatyard uses?"|
Path to the ballot
An organization called "NoPowerPlant.com" collected approximately 9,500 signatures to qualify the measure for the ballot, versus a requirement of about 6,000 signatures. Election officials determined that approximately 7,500 of the signatures were valid.
- Daily Breeze, "Filing period opens for March elections in South Bay, Los Angeles," November 11, 2012
- Daily Breeze, "Redondo Beach: AES power plant removal initiative qualifies for ballot," November 11, 2012
- Building the Best Redondo, "Misplaced Initiative," July 11, 2012
- Los Angeles County Democratic Party, "Endorsements"