Burlingame City Council: Put new lines out of sightBy Justin Jouvenal
The City Council and residents spoke with one voice at their meeting Monday night: they don't want a controversial power line project running through their backyards.
The council approved a plan to send a letter to PG&E endorsing an alignment that would push the planned Jefferson-Martin 230-kv transmission line project away from Burlingame homes.
At the same meeting, roughly a half-dozen residents spoke forcefully in favor of the same alignment to several rounds of applause from the crowd assembled in the council chambers.
"Put the lines on the west side of (Highway) 280," said Vince Cauchi, a Burlingame resident and electrician. "Put them out of sight, and keep our families healthy."
Residents and council members are worried about the health effects of the electromagnetic fields created by the power lines and what 47-foot-high transmission towers would mean for the value of their homes.
PG&E said the $189 million project is necessary to respond to the increasing demand for electricity and ensure the reliability of the system in the North County and San Francisco. PG&E hopes to have it up and running by 2006.
The 27-mile system would run between Redwood City and Brisbane. The 14.7-mile southern section would run above ground between Edgewood County Park and San Bruno Avenue. The northern 12.4-mile section would run underground along city streets to Brisbane.
The alignment endorsed by the Burlingame City Council and residents would push the above-ground power lines in the city from the east side of Highway 280 to the west side.
After the meeting, Dr. Akira Eejima, a Burlingame resident, said he came out to register his worries about the health impacts of the power line project before it was too late.
"I want to be on the record that I told you so," he said of his qualms about the project. "And I will come after you with both guns and both attorneys."
Copyright ©2003 San Mateo County Times. Published 08/05/2003.