Conflict over the building layout of the Lake House project on Turner Road was brought to the forefront of the Lodi Planning Commission meeting Wednesday night.
The proposed Lake House project will take the 8.8-acre property, located across the street from the old General Mills plant, to be developed into a boutique hotel and spa, as well as a residential apartment building with 150 units.
Michael DeBortoli, a plant manager for the Northern California Power Agency, discussed four major concerns that the NCPA had over the development, due to its proximity to an NCPA power-generating station near the Lake House project.
The heavy machinery on the industrial site raises concerns over noise pollution, air emissions, fires, and land use by the NCPA.
“I am here tonight to highlight the concerns of what it would be like to have a development near an operating generation site,” DeBortoli said. “The generating facility is a gas turbine power plant that takes in and burns a lot of fuel. On the site is a natural gas pipeline and a 120,000-gallon gas storage tank,” DeBortoli said.
The diesel fuel storage and a natural gas compressor are located in the northwest corner of the generating station near the proposed apartment complex.
The gas compressor receives gas at 180 pounds per square inch, and it can receive pressures up to 400 pounds per square inch.
The generating facility is crucial to power electric supply for Lodi Electric and it provides the needed generation capacity to streamline energy into the city, DeBortoli stated.
“We are happy to work with the developer to mitigate any concerns, but we are concerned with some of our findings,” DeBortoli said.
The generating station is not equipped with noise mitigation but does meet the city standard for noise because nothing currently exists near the station.
A rezoning proposition by the developer would move the fence mitigation line deeper into the station and force the NCPA to fall out of compliance.
“There have not been any formal studies to what mitigation would need to be applied to reduce the sound of each individual machine. Or any information about the probability of success for mitigation,” DeBortoli said.
Larry Bradfield, a resident near the generating station, said that he could hear the turbine from his house during the summer. Although his property is near the generating station, the development would be directly next to it.
“If I was a guest at this hotel, I would not stay more than a night because it would be the most uncomfortable night of sleep, from the turbine to the sounds of trucks driving in an out of the facility at all hours,” Bradfield said.
NCPA also raised fire concerns of the development encroaching on the 120-foot radius around the gas storage tank that was put in place by the National Fire Protection Standard to prevent fires that would erupt as a result of natural gas not being vented properly.
“It’s a safety concern we have, and the gas needs to be vented, without a proper venting facility there could be a higher risk of a fire, and there are no mitigation measures proposed,” DeBortoli said.
DeBortoli also pointed out that he did not believe that the air would be able to pass a health risk assessment because the evaluation by Base Camp — the firm that ran the evaluation — did not account for the air omitting source that has been operating more frequently by NCPA.
The remaining issue over land use was specific to the facility’s security, which became the final source of concern proposed by NCPA.
“The proposed parking garage can peer into our facility, and because of the material on the property we do find it to be a reasonable concern,” DeBortoli said.
The developer was not present at the meeting to respond to comments by NCPA, but the City of Lodi is allowing comments to be submitted by the public until March 21.