Home » Residents Speak Out

Residents Speak Out



Speak Out to Save Our Town and Our Future!

Write letters to editors, attend City Council meetings, distribute flyers and speak to friends and neighbors to make your voices heard!


Letter to the Editor, The OC Register and The Capistrano Dispatch

No SDG&E San Juan Capistrano Substation Expansion

For some time now, San Diego Gas & Electric has been throwing a considerable amount of money around San Juan Capistrano and surrounding communities in order to slam through their San Juan Capistrano substation “enhancement.” A lot of money. This has been an aggressive lobbying campaign to convince local and neighboring residents, businesses, as well as the California Public Utilities Commission, that this project in San Juan Capistrano is critical for reliability. What a sham.

The reason SDG&E is so fixated on this substation redevelopment rests squarely on their bottom line. They reviewed several alternatives and it evidently proved far cheaper for them to retrofit the existing Camino Capistrano substation rather than to move it to the area that the upgrade will most benefit –the planned 14,000 residences and commercial centers to the east, which is not located in the city of San Juan Capistrano. Alternative F – an option SDG&E rejected because of cost – places the substation squarely where it belongs – in Rancho Mission Viejo with its vast open space. Very soon, this area will sport an intense electrical appetite, which will require feeding. This is code for ‘reliability.’

The existing San Juan Capistrano substation is located within a densely populated residential area. Aside from the health dangers that this ‘enhancement’ will rain down upon the community; the city will be forced to endure the ill effects of more than five years of construction delays on Camino Capistrano, the main traffic artery serving the city. If completed, the San Juan Capistrano skyline will feature several 50-foot tall concrete megaliths protected by a 10-foot high and 360-foot long wall, providing a very unwelcoming gateway statement for visitors and residents alike.

SDG&E is spending a lot of lobbying money so that they can save a lot more money. It is a travesty that this Utility and its supporters place profitability ahead of what is in the best interests of our city and its residents. Instead, SDG&E should spend their money on relocating the substation to the new town that it is intended to best serve. Again, Alternative F.

SDG&E– do the right thing and move this project out of San Juan Capistrano!

Randy Lubert
San Juan Capistrano


Letter to San Juan Capistrano Mayor Derek Reeve

Dear Mayor Reeve:

My husband and I have lived on Via Santo Tomas in San Juan Capistrano for the past 15 years. Our home is across the street from the current Substation (we are 5 houses up from the end of the cul-de-sac). After hearing of different cases of cancer such as prostate, breast, and brain) Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other Neurological diseases, my husband and I decided to invest in a meter that measures the EMF’s. After researching the internet, we decided to go with the Trifield Meter: Model X100XE, since this is one of the oldest and most accurate for readings according to experts in this field.

We had learned by researching the internet from various governments and utility documentation that SAFE EMF levels for humans is 0.5 mG – 1mG (milligaus).

We took the meter and started walking behind us up the street at the corner of Calle Bonita and Via El Rosario, the home of the O’Brien’s (directly across from the current substation) who have a small child Mattie that has been fighting brain cancer the past two years. We were floored as we stood outside their home and watched the meter jump up to 15mG at their front gate, then we started walking closer and crossed the street and it registered 70 (20 yards from the substation property fence). We could not believe this! So, we did a walk up Calle Bonita and Via El Rosario and it got worse (see the enclosed numbers). The park that is directly across the street where people walk and dogs play the reading was 70-100mG. The homes directly up the street from the O’Brien’s were 70 and 80 at their front gates. This is criminal and unbelievable and the purposed substation hasn’t even been erected. How could this be?

So, needless to say, we strongly oppose the purposed substation that is being considered in our back yards. We do not understand how such a huge project would even be considered with the dense population and people’s lives being at risk with this kind of saturation! No one has ever warned anyone about these high numbers being put out in this community.

Yes, many people say and argue there is no scientific proof of how EMF’s affect the body, really?? What about microwaves? What about cellphones now? There are plenty of warnings on those subjects.

Back in 1990 EPA had recommended EMF’s be classified as Class B carcinogen. After the EPA draft report was released, utility, military and computer lobbyists came down on EPA’s final revision and said do not classify EMF’s as a carcinogen because “the biological process leading to cancer is not understood”.

So who sets the standards for these companies?? Who determines what number is safe for human beings or our animals?

If one is still in support of this new substation, go to the park across from the current substation and have a picnic, spend your weekends there or better yet, go stand outside your “Smart meter” you have on the outside of your home (that SDGE also came up with) and let your kids/grandkids play right next to it day in and day out since EMF’s are “harmless”. Or you check it out for yourself, Google the word Smart Meters and lawsuits/health, it turns out they aren’t so “smart” after all, many people have been hurt and damaged by these “safe” meters.

This is not a joke, this is harming our health in this community and not only that, if this monster project is built, one can only imagine the EMF force that would be flying through our bodies. Our home values will decrease no doubt, that is……. if we are even around long enough to enjoy them.

We want this project taken away from this community and out somewhere that is safe for everyone, this is terrible and disgusting. Our community will fight for justice!! Thank you for your attention in this matter.


Joe and Dawn Fusco
San Juan Capistrano


In 1987 we bought in the Association bordering the south of the SDG&E Substation overlooking Calle Bonita. One of the first things I did was have SDG&E out to check what our exposure to EMFs might be and was assured we were totally safe. This Substation there now was put here in 1918 – our homes? 1974. Now it is 2015 – To enlarge the Substation with our homes now surrounding it is the being supported by many who seem to be solely concerned with the business and/or an investor’s bottom line. SDGE proposes to the CPUC a project of ENLARGING the present substation to DOUBLE or TRIPLE the voltage, adding two 5-6 story buildings, building high block walls in the front and sides, five (5) years of construction with toxic emissions and dust which is a threat to our property values – sources say such can lower values up to 30-60%.

2015 – we utilized a meter to measure EMFS around our home and with a Safe Zone being 0-1, found the current meter readings show a level of 5-inside our home and 6-8 in our back yard and higher for other homes closer to the station. Think of it. It has only been since the late 1990s and early 2000s, on a growing scale, that we have added to each home computers, multiple cell phones, wireless internet and now Smart Meters – all this to our already ample supply of electrical appliances.

Many are suffering from the effects of the electric smog these have created. Seems that we still want to ignore this development. Don’t we remember what happened with cigarettes and how our knowledge grew showing us their effects? http://www.emfanalysis.com/emf-refugee/ Smart Meters have caused escalating reports of people reporting sickness. It is a congruent picture when you add it all up – WHAT SUBSTATIONS MEAN and WHERE we judiciously place them has become crucial.

SDG&E can place the substation in the remote hills out of town. They do not want to do so due to the cost, they say. But there is a high cost in putting this by our homes, in this City. It appears that our City of San Juan Capistrano City Council is going to fight this invasion of our City. We have learned many City Councils in other cities have voted to support this project – they don’t want this in their back yard. Their favorite refrain is “WE WANT RELIABILITY AND REDUNDANCY” – but NOT IN THEIR BACK YARD.


Rhen and Serge Kohan
San Juan Capistrano



Letter to Mayor Schlicht, Mission Viejo, CA

As a resident of a community very close to the SDG&E substation in San Juan Capistrano I am very concerned about the proposed newer larger substation being built.

For a number of reasons:

It is currently a health concern and with the VERY high EMF readings at the homes that border the substation as well as the public park. Can SDG&E guarantee they can lower these readings exponentially with a newer larger station?
The building itself is an historic site that already has petitions to keep it as is.
The traffic congestion with Camino Capistrano being closed for an undetermined timeframe will be hideous. Anyone that lives here already knows the traffic problems that can exist on this very well-used street. Four schools are in close proximity to the substation and use Camino Capistrano each day school is in session.
Then when we sell our homes in this enclave, we will need to fully disclose the EMF Issue and that the substation will be even larger. As a realtor, I can see this as a major Component of lowering our property values. This is a very densely populated living area and this SDG&E project will negatively impact each and every one of us. It is much easier for them to enlarge the existing site but they are not even acknowledging the issues we are concerned about.
As sponsorship chair for the Fiesta Association from 2011 to 2013 I raised a great deal of money to put on our Swallows Day Parade. The Fiesta Association also puts on many other events in San Juan each year. A large contributor is SDG&E. Their “Person” is very well known around town and is always close to the powers to be towin their support in this matter.
Hopefully we can bring this matter to the forefront and get some traction in getting It stopped, relocated, even make the existing lines safer for those living very very close already.

Cynthia Carden
Resident-Casas Capistrano, HOA


I firmly oppose the proposed changes to the SDG&E substation in San Juan Capistrano. I have been a resident of San Juan since 1975. During that time I have seen our beautiful historic city evolve from a more sleepy, rural community to an increasingly thriving tourist destination and a highly desired location in which to live. While growing pains are inevitable in such a transition, a draconian lack of interest in the health and welfare of hardworking citizens should not be part of the equation. Ironic is the use of the word “enhancement” in SOCRE’s title for their project. Homeowners in the area will certainly find their lives anything but enhanced on a permanent basis.

While it has already been established that undesired high EMF levels already exist in residential areas surrounding the site, doubling the voltage lines would only add to the various related dangers to health. In addition, the EIR actually admits to “potentially significant negative impacts on biological resources; cultural resources; hazards and hazardous materials; hydrology and water quality; land use and planning; noise; public services and utilities; and transportation and traffic that would result from construction, operation and maintenance of the proposed project.” Specifically, regardless of mitigation efforts, nearby households would still suffer from cumulative poor ambient air quality, noise, practical inability to use nearby parks and pool, disruption of bus services, and “significant and unavoidable” partial and full road closures. The report includes Camino Capistrano as a full road closure amid phases of construction. Two schools are in extremely close proximity on Camino Capistrano. One can only imagine the nightmare parents and students would endure.

The so-called “temporary” construction is estimated to take approximately 5 plus years, and we all know how often construction of anything concludes on time. Speaking of schools, CUSD opposes the project because of the dangers involving students and staff of three of its schools. I am a recently retired teacher, and I cannot imagine working all day at one of the schools and then coming home to be bombarded with more of the same detrimental environment . Finally, of great importance to us, as it would be to any homeowner, is what this new construction would do to our home values. Attempting to sell a home even at a greatly devalued price would be next to impossible during construction, and still a challenge afterward. “Reliability and Redundancy” seem to be the rallying cry of project supporters. That’s common sense, and it is veritably insulting to hear proponents portray we who will live with the consequences as being small-minded/dimwitted, mired in fear, and with no vision or understanding of growth. We certainly understand the misuse of power, political connections, and manipulation. In truth, it appears as if fear of catastrophic power failures and gross economic losses has been used to sway some local business men and women to side with SDG&E. One can only imagine what other tactics have been used when looking at recent documented allegations involving the CPUC and its relationships with utilities. Not to pursue the better alternatives involving a more appropriate location which will not encroach on the health and well-being of hard working community members, treating us merely as collateral damage, is unconscionable.

Nancy French
SJC, CA 92675


Comments are closed.