State gives $5 million for AES parkland

From right to left, Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi presents a $5 million check Nov. 7 from the State of California, to buy parkland at the AES site. Gathered are city councilmembers Nils Nehrenheim, Paige Kaluderovic, Zein Obagi, Jr., Scott Behrendt and Todd Loewenstein. Photo by Garth Meyer 

State Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi brought a $5 million check to the Redondo Beach city council Nov. 7 to fund possible parkland at what is now the AES power plant. 

The privately-owned site is scheduled to be shut down at the end of this year, after receiving an extension the past two years. The property includes a swath designated as wetlands. 

Muratsuchi noted that the money would be used to buy acreage for restoration. The payment comes from the state’s general fund and, in order to receive it the city needs to show that it will be used to buy parkland. 

“We’re banking it right now, we’d like to put it to good use,” said City Councilman Todd Loewenstein, whose district includes the AES site. “We’ll have to see what happens with the property.”

The land now is in bankruptcy, related to a dispute between its ownership group and the AES power company. The owners have proposed an extensive residential and commercial development, to leave 22 acres as green space. 

The original 10-year plan to close the plant was established in 2010, due to damage to marine life from cooling it with seawater. The two-year extension in 2021 caused the city to lose out on state grant efforts for parkland purchasing.

The California Coastal Commission has stated that whatever happens to the AES property, at least six acres will be restricted for use as wetlands. ER


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