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Company: Wetland pipes may come out

Huntington Beach City Council approves amended demolition plan from owner of oil tanks on southeast side.

November 07, 2012|By Andrew Shortall

The Huntington Beach City Council unanimously approved a property owner's plan to remove three oil tanks from the city's southeastern area at Monday's meeting, concluding a lengthy process that was drawn out by two appeals last year.

Plains All American Pipeline, a Texas-based oil company, can now demolish three empty oil tanks and more than 2,342 feet of above-ground piping on its property at 21845 Magnolia St. after the proposal was approved with a 7-0 vote by the council.

The matter passed without much discussion after Plains All American reached an agreement with the Huntington Beach Wetlands Conservancy earlier Monday.

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Conservancy Chairman Gordon Smith said the agreement was based around Plains All American's decision to remove pipes that extend from its property into the adjacent wetlands if they hold no commercial value once the property is sold.

"We just wanted to make sure there wasn't any chance of them digging the tanks out, selling the property and keeping the pipes there," Smith said Tuesday. "I think the deal we struck with them is reasonable."

The project was originally approved by the zoning administrator, but it was appealed by Planning Commissioner Mark Bixby in January 2011 because of concerns about potential negative environmental impacts.

The Planning Commission passed the proposal with a 5-2 vote in March 2011 before it was appealed shortly after by Councilwoman Connie Boardman on behalf of the Wetlands Conservancy.

"At the time, I had some concerns about the pipes," Boardman said. "They extend toward the Huntington Beach wetlands area, so that's one reason I appealed it and requested the removal of the piping as well."

Plains All American representatives confirmed the agreement with the conservancy but declined to comment on the matter.

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San Onofre power plant

Fourteen residents spoke during public comments on what action, if any, the council should take on the possible reopening of the San Onofre nuclear power plant.

The plant, operated by Southern California Edison, dominated Monday's meeting after it was placed on the agenda by Boardman. The council decided to bring the matter back to the city's Southeast Area Committee for further discussion at the suggestion of Mayor Pro Tem Devin Dwyer.

"It provides a forum for further input from the public, as well as Edison," Boardman said of the decision.

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