Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Controversial San Leandro Wind Turbine Proposal Comes Before City Zoning Commission

SAN LEANDRO | After six months of slight revisions and gathering of political will, a controversial plan to erect a 100-foot wind turbine on the San Leandro shoreline near the Heron Bay tract of homes, will come before the city’ Board of Zoning Adjustments this Thursday night.

In order to raise the single wind turbine at the property of Halus Power Systems, a local company specializing in remanufacturing aging wind turbines at 2539 Grant Avenue, the city’s BZA must approve a height variance that limits structures in its industrial zone to 60 feet. The monopole proposed by Halus will reach 80 feet, if approved, with its 44-foot turbine adding another 20 feet to the structure. By comparison, the digital billboard hovering over Interstate 880 near Marina Boulevard measures 90-feet-tall.

However, ever since news of the wind turbine proposal controversially trickled out to residents of nearby Heron Bay housing development near the city’s shoreline last June, there has been vehement and growing opposition to the plan. Despite the furor, the variance was agendized numerous times for discussionover the last six months by the seven-member BZA, but quickly pulled as the owner of Halus Louis Rigaud reportedly tweaked the proposal.

The current reports associated with the plan show little has changed from the initial plan last summer, when some Heron Bay residents charged the city with attempting to push through a favored “green tech” firm’s plan, which in turn, would burnish its attempt to rebrand the city as a hub of clean and renewable energy technologies. In the staff report for Thursday night’s meeting, it determined the wind turbine will achieve a section of the city’s Climate Action Plan for increasing industrial renewable energy use.

Critics have charged Halus has no intention to change its focus of retooling discontinued turbine part with more research and development following the introduction of the wind turbine, but more intent with saving money. The wind turbines will bring a windfall of $15,000 per year in reduced energy costs to Halus, the report says.

In the meantime, Halus’s Louis Rigaud and the city reached out to various local government entities for support. The Federal Aviation Administration determined the wind turbine poses no hazard to airplane navigation, according the city’s report. In addition, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and East bay Regional Park District offered no dissent. The wind turbine project site, however, is located on a Seismic Hazard Zone potentially prone to liquefaction, the report said.

Heron Bay residents are been particularly vociferous in challenging a Mitigated Negative Declaration issued last spring by the city asserting the wind turbine would not affect birds on the shoreline, nor affect residents with increased noise and shadowing. Opponents of the wind turbine have also urged the city to force Halus to offer an environmental impact report on the effects of its proposed wind turbine. City officials last year said the high price of the comprehensive study would likely be too costly for the petitioner to move forward with his plan.

Halus and the city maintains bird casualties would be limited to one death every 6.5 years with the highest risk being California clapper rails and California black rails. However, the risk is reduced by the wind turbines distance from their habitats and an assertion both species are primarily ground-dwelling. “Bird fatalities are relatively infrequent events at wind farms,” the report says and more likely at altitudes greater than 400 feet.

City staff says it visited a similar monopole in Rio Vista and found noise levels next to the wind turbine to be no greater than a running refrigerator and negligible at further distances. Noise was measured at 55 decibels nearest to Halus’s property line adjacent to Heron Bay, the report said.

The city also contends the potential of shadows from the monopole and its slowly spinning blades will not affect Heron Bay residents. According to the report, during the winter solstice, when shadows are the longest, they will only cast as far as the San Lorenzo Creek near the southwestern point of Heron Bay.

If the BZA approves the height variance Thursday night, opponents will have an opportunity to appeal the decision to the full City Council, where District 4 Councilman Benny Lee is a former opponent of the wind turbine plan as a recent president of the Heron Bay Homeowners Association. Councilmembers Ursula Reed and Jim Prola have also expressed some concern about the plan.


Oh good, build more ugly looking shit in San Leandro! Then they can add more and more and more. ANYTHING FOR MONEY!!
Don't worry about homeowners. Build one next to Cassidy's house. He lives in Bay O, what's good for Heron Bay is good for Bay O too. The damn thing is UGLY.

"Halus and city maintains bird casualties would be limited." I don't believe it and don't trust the city on this.
The city owned parking garge on Callan is cleaned very early in the morning, when they think no one is around. All the oil from the cars that park there gets sent down the storm drain and into San Leandro Creek which empties into the bay.
Pollution on the city's part???? They'd probably say this isn't a problem either, sine they've been allowing this to happen for years!!!

SL elected officials must keep one of their promises that one of the them is must made our voice to be heard, NO WIND TUBINE NEAR HOMES!!

Big ugly thing like this should be far away from residents, Halus is running a MEAN, NON FRIENDLY GREEN BUSINESS!!

To envidence ain't discriminating Heron Bay folks, build this ugly thing next to Cassidy's hood first!

Halus, Howard Kerr and Cassidy still living and thinking in the era of 1970, wake up, bullying is not allowed in the present time.

No Wind Turbines in SL, Wind Turbines do not belong or within any city limit.

Why not Halus proposes Turbine build in Pleasanton, Dublin, or Livermoore as These cities have higher and greener hills than SL?

Shame on Halus owner Louis Riguad for not caring about his neighbors and caring only about making more profits. He's making lots of money without a wind mill already and will stop at nothing to slow his greed against his neighbors.

I am going against the group here, but I always thought a windmill would look pretty cool on my property and maybe generate some money too. I always thought the bird problem was due to putting the things on top of hills and then migratory birds run into them. I can't say I have seen a lot of dead birds around the windmill farms I have visited over the years. Maybe I picked the wrong day.

11:39am, your right Cassidy is and always has been a bully. By bullying he thinks he can get his way. People are getting smart to this. Cassidy 1 term mayor. Time to get him out of here.
Halus only cares about money and Howard Kerr must be senile. Wonder if and how much Halus is paying individuals to help him push this? I agree NO WIND TURBINES IN SAN LEANDRO, THERE ARE UGLY!

3:30am, are the "windmill farms" you've visited on and near open land? The ones I have seen are and they are big and ugly. Halus wants to put this near the shoreline and by residental neighborhoods.
These are ugly and not right for San Leandro. Earth to Cassidy can you read this? NO TURBINES IN SAN LEANDRO!!

By MW:

If we want to generate electricity from wind, we should use our local lawyers and politicians as a source, since most of them are nothing but big windbags and produce very little other than lies and hot air.

In fact some years ago I accused a certain Bay area lawyer of being a pathological liar and a big windbag, and which caused him to be very insulted, and he also got outraged by my comments that one of his clients was organized crime connected, and including since that client spent a fortune on PR in his efforts to pretend to be legitimate.

However eventually some of the stories that client had been telling for years were exposed, and very publicly, as nothing but lies, and some of the major mistakes that lawyer made played a major role in my learning that lawyers have far and away the highest rates of alcoholism and drug abuse of any major profession.

Is City of SL ready for a law suit from Heron Bay HOA?

City attorney can't wait to make some bucks.

BZA member Phil Daly asked "What is a wind turbine fueled by? Is there a gas tank on top?"

It's scary to know that BZA has members who are making important decisions that they don't understand and don't make the efforts to learn.

Daly also asked Halus if there are risks. How dumb is that? Halus will say whatever supports themselves.

A setup for a wonderful law suit. Perfect! HOA should be asking for the city to pay for damages - attorney fees. Halus, sorry don't know what you are going to end up with...

Who appointed that Idiot Daly to BZA board?

City and BZA members froze for minutes when trial attorney Alan Berger talked about going to superior court but they still went along with Halus.

The city is dumb for opening us to more lawsuits even in front of a trial attorney. We have libraries closing and calling our police goes to "press 1 for this and 2 for that". What more do we want to lose with tax money going to lawsuits and not real services for San Leandro?

Does anyone in the city have a brain?

School Board Trustee Mike Katz said the HOA lawyer was entertaining.

His wife Marga Lacabe is more entertaining by pretending to be a lawyer.

We know where they stand because they don't care how trashy the outside of their home looks. Trash out, trash in.

Halus owner sitting pretty. No skin off his back. City will pick up tab for lawsuit.

You people are wrong. Halus owner Louis Rigaud is humane. He even puts out lots of food to feed the feral cats at his facility. A man with this heart cares about everything.

3:22pm You are right! Kills two birds with one stone. Attract cats to kill birds. Use wind mill to kill birds to feed cats. Louis Rigaud real smart and humane man! More stray cats for San Leandro.

Phil Daly to Prius salesman: do they these cars run on gasoline? Dumbshit!!!!!!

And Daly wanted people to vote for him for judge?? WOW!

Hey 2:36pm, Why not put the turbine in school boardmember Mike Katz yard, then it can blow in even more trash.lol
Katz probably thought the HOA lawyer was not only entertaining, but also alot smarter than his wannabe lawyer wife.
Katz and his wannabe lawyer wife should stay home and clean that house. Katz going run for city council and the house will never be cleaned. No one gives a sh-t about Katz's opinion.

Let's not pick on Katz. He's the one behind sanleandrobytes website.

Maybe that's his way for saying San Leandro Bites!

Katz's website articles are copy & paste from public records then add his pepper/salt twist of words, wannabe celebrity, such a clown.

Jane Ann Abelee, Thomas Makin and Janet Palma were the BZA absentees.
By the way, Janet Palma is at-large and appointed by Mayor Cassidy.

Daly cant tell the difference between Pirus and WIND Turbine, due to laziness and careless, thank god he lost the judge seat.

Well actually, the two aren't too dissimilar. Many wind turbines have backup systems on account of the wind's intermittent nature. Having gas generators, as many wind turbines do, allows them produce electricity even when there is no wind.


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