Cambrian: Opinion

SoCalGas proposes 11 meter-reading poles in Cambria area

SoCalGas representatives are visiting a number of Cambria and San Simeon neighborhoods to talk with residents about proposed installation of new poles to support advanced meter-reading equipment.

Tim Mahoney and Juan Maldonado of SoCalGas announced the outreach effort at the Aug. 16 North Coast Advisory Council meeting. They also said the utility has already agreed to change the location of a pole on Buckley Drive in Leimert and is looking at a new location for another at Pierce and Newport avenues on Lodge Hill, in response to council and property owners’ concerns about views. The company will also apply to locate a new pole near Highway 1 at Cambria Pines Road.

SoCalGas is considering 11 sites in the North Coast Area: nine in Cambria, one in San Simeon and one in Harmony. The poles will house equipment to collect data from the smart meters recently installed around town and transmit that data to the company.

Council members expressed concerns at their July meeting about the new stand-alone technology infrastructure, with a follow-up letter sent July 24 to County Planning listing issues of inadequate customer outreach, specific pole placement, and insufficient investigation into co-locating the equipment on existing utility poles.

Prior to the Aug. 16 NCAC meeting, Don Sather and other members of the council’s Land Use Committee escorted SoCalGas representatives on a windshield tour of Park Hill and Happy Hill, with Mahoney later assuring the council that the utility’s community outreach efforts will continue.

In other discussion Aug. 16, the NCAC:

▪  Heard an update about the county cannabis ordinance currently under consideration by the Planning Commission and tentatively scheduled for hearing Oct. 3 by the Board of Supervisors. Issues include possible limitation of cultivation permits to 100 countywide, proposed limits on permit transfers and water offsets.

▪  Postponed consideration of State Parks’ proposed campground at Piedras Blancas because the project application to the county will be amended to include other state projects in the area, including coastal trails and remodel of the Piedras Blancas Motel and Café.

▪  Continued discussion of changes to the county Transfer of Development Credits program.

▪  Appointed Bruce Marchese as the alternate member for Area 5, Lodge Hill.

The North Coast Advisory Council meets the third Wednesday of each Month, 6:30 p.m., Rabobank Community Room. Agendas and other information are available at

Susan McDonald is a longtime Cambria resident who has been active in a number of community groups. She represents Area 4 on the North Coast Advisory Council and serves as the council’s vice chair.