By Jason KUROSU
Southern California Edison’s plan to install a new transformer at Two Strike Park, located in the 5000 block of Rosemont Avenue, was a prime topic of discussion during the Crescenta Valley Town Council’s Land Use Committee meeting. SCE will begin construction of two transformer boxes and two electrical poles in January 2013, should an easement be approved to build on the land.
The Land Use Committee invited representatives from SCE to discuss the upcoming project.
SCE Local and Public Affairs Region Manager Ben Wong said the project would “increase system reliability.” The new transformer would, according to Edison, reduce the current overloading of four circuits that serve up to 2,000 residents in the La Crescenta area.
Project Manager Babak Baradaran described the finished project as an area about 28 feet wide by 16 feet deep near the southeast corner of the park, cordoned off with fencing and shrouded by plant life. This area would contain two boxes, with the larger of the two being an 80-inch tall transformer. The area would also contain woodchips and a three-foot retaining wall due to the slope of the proposed construction area. Two electrical poles would be placed on both sides of Rosemont Avenue, with overhead wires connecting the poles across the street.
Baradaran outlined the details of the project in a brief presentation before opening the floor up for questions, many of which concerned the scope of the proposed project and its potential effects on nearby residences as well as on the aesthetics of the park.
According to Baradaran, the transformer will be “30 feet away from the nearest residence” and “shouldn’t make considerable noise outside of 10 feet.”
Concern arose over how the transformer would affect the park spatially and aesthetically, as the transformer and electrical poles would be placed near the entrance to the parking lot on Two Strike Park’s southeast corner. The position of the electrical poles may affect some of the surrounding trees and plant life, drawing concern over whether the plants might be removed in order to accommodate the transformer.
Others worried that the project might encroach upon space for a new war memorial at Two Strike Park, set to begin construction at roughly the same time in January.
Yet other protests were more straightforward, such as that of Land Use Committee member Michael Claessens, who said, “It’s going to be very ugly,” in regards to the location of the transformer.
Baradaran emphasized that the construction process would not be intrusive and that the project was a relatively small one after residents expressed concern that the project might expand unfavorably.
“We are not going to do anything we’re not permitted to do,” said Baradaran, who also indicated that the project should be completely finished by March “at the latest.”
Updates to what is being called the “Teasley Project” will be discussed at the next Land Use Committee meeting in December.