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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Councilman Reyes moves to stop work on Montecito Heights solar project

Councilman Ed Reyes today introduced a City Council motion that would halt installation of about 1,000 solar panels on a Montecito Heights hillside after residents raised concerns about visual blight and glare. The city’s Building  and Safety Department had granted two permits to allow the Broadview nursing home to build a solar array on a portion of its  11-acre  property on Griffin Avenue. Now, Reyes wants Building & Safety to order work halted to examine residents’ concerns.  The motion in part reads:

“The solar panels may be located in a very high fire hazard severity zone, and therefore, there is concern from community residents as to its potential adverse impacts on public safety, water drainage, erosion, glare and obstruction of the existing habitat corridors.”

About 1,000 solar panels – each measuring about 3-feet by 5-feet – mounted on poles will satisfy about 93% of Broadview’s electrical needs, executive director Michael Fisher told The Eastsider earlier this month.

Monica Valencia, a spokeswoman for Reyes, said a date had not yet been scheduled for the City Council to vote on the motion.

Related Post:
Montecito Heights solar project leaves some residents blindsided. The Eastsider

Photo from Above the City



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24 comments

  1. Our sincere thanks to Councilmember Reyes for taking this action on this highly visible project that has so many negative impacts on our communities, yet had no environmental review and no public notification. The state law must allow local controls, particularly in the hillsides where we have won hard fought building regulations.

  2. This project is a horror. It is the perfect example of the difference between constructive, good green and destructive, bad green.

    Just because something may be green doesn’t mean that nothing else matters! I’m in favor of green; I’m not in favor of it ruining neighborhoods.

  3. Ugh. Yet another example of NIMBYs halting much-needed progress. This sort of project is exactly what the environment and economy needs, but apparently solar installations are off-limits anywhere that someone might see them because of “visual blight.” I guess we just have to stick them out in the desert… What’s that? NIMBYs are halting them out there too? I’m sensing a pattern.

    Can’t we direct some of this “visual blight” energy against the thousands of “Lap Band” billboards littering our city or something else productive?

  4. Are theses the same people that are dying for a book store, a Trader Joes, or sit down restaurant. But want some one else to open it. As for the book store at one time we had two they both closed up because nobody supported them.
    I stood in line at the So Pasadena Trader Joe’s they asked the lady for her zip code she about bit the poor guys head off and said I don’t give that out. Give the zip code out how do you think they do market research.
    No these people just want to control some else’s life.

  5. I was wondering what those were…I’ve been passing by on the Metro gold line, and at first thought it was some sort of tiny vineyard!

  6. “let your new life begin with 1-800 Get Thin”

    I’d rather see solar panels than lapband billboards but we seem to have totally lost the opportunity to eliminate billboard blight.

    What are the hoped for next steps with this solar system install? Do the people that want reviews and stoppage expect there to be a major change to the plans once it’s been reviewed?

  7. A 1,000 panel array is enough to power about 30 homes. That’s HUGE! I love solar power, but want to be assured that this project, in a highly visible location, will not cause a landslide or cause traffic accidents due to glare, since it is visible from several freeways and interchanges.

    Our neighborhoods havebeen improved and beautified by people who care about what is going on locally. You can point a finger and say “NIMBY”, but without the local community activists and concern, Northeast LA would not be the special place that we live in and love.

  8. This action by Councilman Reyes seems completely unreasonable and unwarranted. What happened to the California Solar Rights Act? Read it!! Wake up everyone! We cannot continue to buy foreign oil to produce our energy needs. It seems like people are afraid of what they don’t understand. We should be more interested in saving the planet. Sounds like this plan to build solar where weeds once grew is wise, and good for us all! Bravo Broadview!

  9. Why don’t people do their research first? Solar panels are non-reflective! No one has ever been injured because someone else is producing solar energy!! Dependence on oil has cause wars, terrorism, massive debt, and the destruction of life and jobs in places like the Gulf of Mexico.

    These solar panels will also help to keep our neighborhood electric rates down, because during the day, the power produced will go into the local power grid for us all to use. That’s less oil we’ll have to buy from Saudi Arabia! Get a grip people!!

  10. Does Broadview own the hillside? (I would guess they do). Did they violate any ordinances, regulations or laws? (Obviously not, because Reyes’ motion calls for a halt on work related to the approved permits for the project). Which begs the question, where was Reyes when the project was approved by DWP and the city? Also, I love how Reyes is now an expert on fire hazard zones! This seems like typical NIMBY-ism combined with cover-you-*ss politicking. Very sad.

  11. ^Ridiculous is correct. None of the arguments above hold any water. These residents simply don’t like the way it looks, and Reyes is pandering to them.

    This is just another battle that confirms my suspicions that NIMBYism will always trump environmentalism. No solar panels in Montecito Heights because residents don’t like it. No high speed rail in California because residents in San Jose don’t like it. No offshore wind farms off the coast of Mass and Delaware because residents don’t like it. As a species, our goose is cooked. We can’t even save ourselves because we’re too worried about “spoiling the view”.

    The road to a dead planet is paved with petty aesthetic concerns. F you, NIMBYs.

  12. Yeah ok , the “NIMBY”S”?

    Right , so why do u care Chris L. ?

    You are moving to downtown according to your
    last rant about crime in Echo Park.

    No crime in YOUR back yard!
    HAH!

  13. Not everyone in Montecito Heights opposes this solar project. The conversation is being hijacked by a few vocal residents.

  14. The opponents don’t even seem to live in Montecito Heights. The most vocal opponents live in Mt Washington, and their main concern seems to be the “visual blight”.

    I’m reading with great amusement the explanations of how they’re NOT working for their self-interest, they’re working for the community’s greater good! “Preventing accidents on the 110 from glare”… wow, you have to give them credit for creativity. Is that even geometrically possible? Answer: No.

  15. @lol

    I tried to make sense of your post and then gave up. It sounds like you’re saying that because I complained about Echo Park crime in a previous comment on a different post, I should have no say about an environmental issue in Montecito Heights that affects us all?

    Can’t…handle…the stupid.

  16. I live down the street and walk my dogs by here daily. This thing is going to be gigantic! It irritates me that Reyes is just NOW throwing his 2 cents in. The foundations are in and the poles are up! Yeah… thanks Reyes! City of LA Community Development Department, especially Planning should have done a better job of community outreach for something this size. No one in the neighborhood seemed to know what was happening on the hillside.

    Oh well…pretty soon you’ll all get to experience MH’s graffiti artists’ talents. I’m sure Reyes’ office will be equally responsives as he’s been to all our other property maintenance complaints.

  17. I would feel completely different about this eyesore if it was for the greater good of the area and the power was for the local neighborhood but its not.
    Its to supply power to the christian science nursing home.
    Im all for solar power but this is a bad idea and needs to be stopped.

  18. the fact that a facility this large will be self supporting on their energy needs IS good for the whole community.

  19. If all the glasses cover high-rises in downtown have not yet cause any major problem (they are still building). I don’t think the low angle pannels will any problem. I have not seen any reflection from solar pannels when I was driving around. Solar power are good for eveyone.

  20. I am an avid solar supporter and this is a prime example how community negligence leads to the destruction of people’s attempt in helping to save the planet. It’s demoralizing to not only to Broadview but also to those others who were considering in installing panels on their own property. If we continually have these type of people stopping our green progress so many would be hesitant to make a difference.

    People have to read the facts on the matter and realize that the impact from solar panels is minimal and not to the extent these people make it seem. I say leave it to the experts on this matter. Don’t let some people with misleading facts stop these green projects.

  21. Glad to read here that I’m not the only one over the top annoyed by the motion to halt this installation. It would have been a unique and interesting addition to our neighborhood, a positive sign of things to come. Instead, it sits there, half built, another good effort gone to waste–this time because it has offended the sensibilities of our refined hilltop residents, who must protect at all costs their precious view.

  22. No Blood for Solar!
    When we kill tens of thousands of people in the Middle East to secure access to oil it’s not “visual blight” because we don’t see the blood running from our beautiful decks in Mt Washington.

  23. Putting 1000 solar panels next to a bird sanctuary, with no environmental impact studies in itself is a reason to stop the work. This project did leave neighbors feeling blindsided, me included.

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