JURUPA VALLEY: Power lines won’t cut through housing tract

JURUPA VALLEY: Power lines won’t cut through housing tract

Part of the transmission lines would go underground under the pact between Riverside and Southern California Edison.

Power lines won’t be running through a Jurupa Valley housing project under a deal that removes one obstacle to the transmission lines proposal.

Riverside and Southern California Edison reached an agreement last week with the home developer.

An overhead transmission line that would have gone through Lennar Homes’ planned 466-home Riverbend project south of 68th Street and east of the 15 will now avoid the development.

Under the agreement, which the Riverside City Council was set to announce Tuesday night, July 26, a 2-mile portion of the power line will be built underground and on city right-of-way instead of through the 211-acre housing project.

The Riverside Transmission Reliability Project is a venture of Riverside Public Utilities and Southern California Edison to build a 10-mile, 230-kilovolt transmission line plus substations, transmission towers and poles.

Lennar had filed a protest to the power line project with the California Public Utilities Commission, which is reviewing the application. As a result of the agreement, it will now withdraw its protest, the agreement states.

Donald Johnson, principal manager overseeing the project for Edison, said that objection “was one of the key issues to resolve” for the parties.

George Hanson, engineering manager for the Riverside Public Utilities, called the pact a positive step forward.

A Lennar representative could not be reached for comment.

The agreement does not resolve differences with Jurupa Valley, where opposition has been strong since before the community became a city in 2011. About half the project would be in each city.

“Our question is why are they even coming through (Jurupa Valley) at all if there are other alternatives that would avoid it, which they’ve discarded long ago,” Jurupa Valley City Manager Gary Thompson said.

Jurupa Valley officials say the project would do irreparable economic harm to the city because its path includes an area planned for major retail and commercial development.

Project backers hope the agreement will bolster their chances with the the public utilities commission, which has sought more information from the utility before deeming its application complete. Jurupa Valley has asked that the application be dismissed.

The decision to bury the utilities is expected to increase costs, though it’s not yet clear by how much, Johnson said. Edison ratepayers will shoulder the project’s cost, he said.

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