ATA Clarification of August 1, 2023 Hecate Grid Humidor Project BESS Update Post
Acton Takes Action | August 08, 2023 – This morning, ATA Chair Ruthie Brock, posted a clarification of her August 1st post on social media platform Next Door, regarding the Hecate Grid update that their Humidor BESS project had been returned to a ministerial review with LA County (See August 1, 2023 bulletin below.). Ms Brock's clarification is included here:
"I want to apologize for missing a very important point regarding Hecate Grid's Humidor BESS project being returned to a ministerial Site Plan Review (SPR). I wrongly focused on the modification of the project, now no longer being developed on any A-2 zoned land, being the main reason for the project being allowed to undergo a ministerial SPR. That was the discussion I had with a representative at Regional Planning.
In reading the letter from Los Angeles County Planning (County) that was sent to the Acton Town Council (ATC), it’s clear this downgrade to a ministerial review was based on the County’s decision to recognize the battery storage as an “Electric Distribution Substation" (EDS) instead of an “Electric Transmission Substation” (ETS).
This decision was made by County in an effort to find an allowable M-1 zoning use most similar to battery energy storage. The ATC completely disagrees with this interpretation of the project as an “EDS” and will be challenging the County’s decision.
Again, I apologize for not focusing on the most important reason behind the County’s reasoning in returning the Hecate project to their original requirement of a ministerial review."
As Ruthie Brock concluded her clarification, she urged everybody to read the letter from the County to the ATC dated August 1, 2023, in order to understand the County's basis for their decision, and why the distinction between an "EDS" or an "ETS" classification being applied to the Humidor BESS project is so important.
CLICK HERE to jump to the County's August 1, 2023, letter to the ATC: "Los Angeles County Planning Department – Hecate Humidor BESS (APNs 3056004058 and 3056004044)."
Letter to LACoFD | ATA Inquiry About the Progress of the Application by Hecate on the Humidor Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) project proposed for Acton, CA.
Acton Takes Action | August 02, 2023 – On August 1st, ATA Chair, Ruthie Brock, posted an update on the Hecate Humidor BESS project being returned to a ministerial review with LA County (See August 1, 2023 bulletin below.). Later on the afternoon of August 1, Mrs Brock received an answer to her email sent to LACoFD Fire Prevention Captain Canchola in the Lancaster, CA, office, from LACoFD Fire Prevention Division Chief Yanagisawa (who was copied in the initial email). Ruthie then sent her response to Chief Yanagisawa.
In his response, Chief Yanagisawa wrote, "Regarding the application filed by the developer with the LA County Fire Department, a basic site plan has been submitted. We are waiting for a detailed plan submission. I can assure you that any application that we receive undergoes a thorough review to ensure compliance with fire safety regulations and to mitigate potential risks." He further wrote, "The concerns about the fire risks associated with lithium-ion batteries are indeed valid." To read the full text of the correspondence, CLICK HERE.
Please remember to attend the next ATC meeting on Monday, August 7, 2023, at 6.30pm in the Acton-Agua Dulce Library meeting room. We need to continue to demonstrate the Acton Community's strong Anti-BESS position. Don't forget to wear your "Don't BESS with Acton" t-shirt!
Important BESS Update on Hecate Grid's Humidor BESS Project
Acton Takes Action | August 01, 2023 – ATA Chair, Ruthie Brock reported today on social media platform, Next Door, that the Acton Town Council (ATC) had received disappointing news regarding the status of Hecate Grid's Humidor BESS project.
Back in February, the ATC was able to stop a ministerial approval of the Hecate Humidor project due to it being partially located on A-2 zoned land. Regional Planning rescinded their initial approval and then required that the project go through a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) process. The “CUP” process would have been far more stringent because a BESS facility would not be able to comply with A-2 zoning allowable uses.
Today, August 1st, the ATC received an update on the Humidor project from Regional Planning. The developer (Hecate) has modified their project so that it no longer is on any A-2 zoned land, therefore Regional Planning has reopened their application under a ministerial review.
The ATC reached out to Ruthie Brock and informed her of the news. Mrs Brock immediately went, in person, to the Regional Planning and Building and Safety office to inquire about the progress of the newly reopened ministerial review application. Ruthie was told that there is nothing filed as far as permits yet in the system, but that the developer had made contact with Fire Prevention back in April. Mrs Brock then went to the Fire Prevention desk at Building & Safety for further information, but the staff member manning that desk had departed for lunch. After getting contact information from B&S for LACoFD, Ruthie was later able to email the LACoFD Fire Captain in charge, also cc:'g Chief Yanagisawa, Chief of LACoFD Fire Prevention Division, and is now awaiting a response from the fire department.
For now, the Hecate Grid Humidor BESS Project is back and undergoing a ministerial review for approval. To be clear, there is no approval as of August 1st. The ATC is digging back in, preparing to rebut Regional Planning's decision to downgrade the Humidor project to ministerial approval.
Please attend the next ATC meeting on Monday, August 7, 2023, at 6.30pm in the Acton-Agua Dulce Library meeting room. We need to continue to demonstrate the Acton Community's strong Anti-BESS position. Don't forget to wear your "Don't BESS with Acton" t-shirt!
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