City of Redondo Beach to beautify powerlines land
by Garth Meyer
The ground under the “King Harbor/Redondo Beach” sign is to get some attention, as the city signed a license in May to improve it.
The deal with Southern California Edison, which owns the electric transmission right-of-way under the powerlines from the AES plant, allows the city to work on 5.4 acres at the top of the property – on the corner of Herondo Street and North Catalina Avenue.
“I think it’s the only remaining view of the ocean on Highway 1 from Santa Monica to Seal Beach,” said Mayor Bill Brand.
The city paid $15,102 for the five-year agreement. City consultants Architerra Design Group, of Rancho Cucamonga, now work on a plan for drought-resistant landscaping.
“The city has gained control of it and we intend to beautify it,” said Mike Witzansky, city manager. “It will have a natural terrain-look to it, like a coastal bluff.”
Pathways would be included, made of crushed, decomposed granite, similar to clay.
The city council previously set aside $150,000 for the project, followed by another $300,000 in the new 2023 budget.
The license is a temporary, revocable and renewable agreement.
“I started wanting to do this since I got elected to city council in 2009,” said Brand. “Persistence, persistence, persistence.”
The five acres represents the tip of the 51-acre waterfront AES site, long sought as parkland space for the city, with some possible housing, after the plant is shut down.
It currently operates on an as-needed basis in times of peak demand.
Originally set to shut down for good in 2020, the state added first a one-year extensio for AES, followed by a two-year extension, until Dec. 31, 2023.
The backup system remains in effect because of concerns about future energy shortages that arose from a heat wave in August 2020. ER