In response to this week’s Redondo Beach City Council vote in favor of a resolution supporting the new “Harbor Village” initiative, AES Redondo Beach has taken immediate steps to suspend its application to permit a new power plant with the California Energy Commission (CEC)—and has taken similar steps with the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD).

“I admit, this may seem like an unusual step for an energy company to take—especially when we have come so far in the permitting process and with such positive results,” said AES Southland’s Eric Pendergraft. According to the SCAQMD’s Draft Title V and the CEC’s Preliminary Staff Assessment, the new plant would comply with all rules and regulations, and was on course for approval.

“But the city and community have been asking us for years to develop a plan that would enable us to close our Redondo Beach plant and revitalize the site in a way that allows us to receive fair value for our property without building a new power plant,” said Pendergraft. “And we finally found one in the Harbor Village Plan.

“The city’s support of the Harbor Village initiative confirmed its desire to work together to make this new vision a reality and it’s important that all of us give it our full attention,” said Pendergraft. “So we have suspended the licensing process for the new power plant, which also saves the city a significant amount of time and money that can be dedicated to other priorities.”

With voter approval of the initiative, the existing power plant would be shut down and removed from the site, and no new power plant would be built. Under the initiative’s proposed zoning, the plant could be closed as early as 2019, once the California energy agencies agree it is no longer needed.

“By removing the old power plant, views of the harbor and coast would be enhanced, and surrounding property values would increase,” said Pendergraft.

“In addition, the new uses that the property would provide would bring increased revenue and economic vitality to the city.”

The Harbor Village Plan guarantees that at least 10 acres of the site would be used for public open space, such as a neighborhood park, bike paths, an extension of the greenbelt to the coast, tree-lined pedestrian walkways and dramatic new ocean vistas.

The remaining land will include a quiet, attractive, single-family neighborhood, together with a new Harbor front area with ground floor restaurants, retail shops, a hotel, and offices, with residential space above.

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