Politics Magazine

Phelan Group Appeals Planning Decision on Residential Solar Farm

Posted on the 28 April 2014 by Jim Winburn @civicbeebuzz

PHELAN – The county’s recently-approved SunEdison solar project may not be a done deal, after all, according to an announcement from a local property owners association.

Socorro Cisneros, president of the White Road Property Owners Association in Phelan, revealed to members of her community on Friday that her group has appealed the San Bernardino County Planning Commission’s Apr. 17 decision to grant a conditional use permit to SunEdison for the controversial White Road solar project slated for construction in a residential area.

“Yes, we have appealed,” Cisneros announced to friends on Facebook. “So, I’ve been busy primarily writing up the appeal but also talking to neighbors and friends for input and funds.”

According to the reported actions from the Apr. 17 meeting, the Planning Commission voted 3-1 to grant SunEdison White Road a conditional use permit to establish a 5.8 megawatt solar photovoltaic electricity generation facility on nearly 50 acres west of White Road and north of Muscatel Street in Phelan.

Cisneros told the Bee that due to the concerns raised by her group at the meeting, the Planning Commission imposed two conditions on the approval of SunEdison’s conditional use permit.

“One, that they put in that road on the west side to prevent those two residents from being landed in,” she said. “And two, that they do another CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) report that deals with the environmental impact.”

Cisneros noted that taking the appeal before the county’s Board of Supervisors has cost “$1,192 – but worth it, if we could stop them.”

In a text message to the Bee, Cisneros said she was touched by the contributions of neighbors to donate money to voice their objections to this intrusive project being pushed through by SunEdison and local officials.

“I know they have limited resources, but that didn’t stop them,” Cisneros said of local residents impacted by the Apr. 17 decision. “I have an elderly neighbor who was recently widowed. She handed me $50 and asked me not to let them do this – that her Warren wouldn’t have wanted it.”

Cisneros told the Bee that she wanted to guarantee fellow residents that the project would be stopped, but that she is unsure how the appeal will work out in the end.

“I’m giving it my best shot. I have to, maybe when I’m alone in my 70′s someone will care to listen to me.”

Cisneros also announced that she will schedule a White Road Property Owners Association meeting in the near future to educate and organize more residents in her community of all the work ahead of them.

To get involved or lend your support to the Phelan POA, contact Cisneros by Facebook at facebook.com/socorro.cisneros or join in the conversation at facebook.com/groups/Patriots77.

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