Pacific Palisades Pole-Top Distribution Station Appeal Hearing Set for March 8

A hearing will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 8 at City Hall, Room 350, regarding the appeal of the pole-top distribution station proposed for Sunset Boulevard and Marquez Avenue (near the western terminus). Those planning to attend should check the agenda at dpw.lacity.org/meeting-calendar, the day before to make sure the hearing is still on the agenda.

Since January 2015, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power officials have sought locations to place two 61-ft. pole-top distribution stations in Pacific Palisades, in order to help alleviate electrical-power issues. One station was initially planned for DWP property adjacent to the Marquez Elementary School’s lower playground, the other on El Medio at Sunset.

When residents near both locations objected, a public meeting was held in March, and Councilman Mike Bonin asked audience members to come up with alternate sites, which they did—at Temescal/Sunset and at 16980 Sunset.

No further hearings were held and the poles were installed, but further construction stopped when DWP officials learned the PTDS were in the Coastal Zone and needed Coastal Development permits.

Sarah Conner, president of the Pacific Palisades Residents Association, reminded hearing examiner Catalina Hernandez at a December hearing, “Councilman Bonin made a promise at the Marquez meeting [in March] that we would all be happy, no matter the cost.

“These poles destroy the views from the scenic highway. They should be placed in a way that they don’t violate the Coastal Act. This will be pursued to the highest levels of the law,” Conner promised.

Steven Somers said he was unaware of the proposed pole-top distribution station when he purchased the property on Sunset, located on the former Bernheimer Gardens site, in the fall, and said he would file an appeal.

On Dec. 19, the DWP sent out a notice that the Coastal Development Permit decision had been appealed.

According to the city’s Dec. 19 letter, “Community members expressed concerns regarding impacts to scenic and visual qualities, notification process, compatibility with the city’s General Plan and the Brentwood-Pacific Community Plan regarding placing new utilities underground and the adequacy of the California Environmental Act.”

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