What the HEC is Going On?
Letter from OEDNA Board, RE: Core Transition East in Downtown Plan

Unequivocally Bad Solar Panel Placement at Cesar Chavez Elementary .

This letter was sent to DJUSD on June 8.
Redwood tree
Dear Matt and Facility planning team,
I just saw the proposal for the placement of solar panels at CCE and it is unequivocally a bad placement.
The panels will cover the existing grass at the edge of the blacktop thereby creating more of a barrier between the grass and the blacktop.   This necessitates the destruction of two massive and iconic redwood trees.    Removing trees in itself is not a problem - if the result is inescapable.  In this case, it is not an inescapable result to place the solar panels in that suggested location.
The video clearly says that the benefits of this placement include  only 2 things.
Benefit 1) providing a solar shade structure.    This is not necessary if there were more trees on the grass AND if those trees were maintained AND if the children were allowed to use the grass and the pathway during school hours.  Did you know that kids at CCE are not allowed to use their own school yard (the grass) during recess?  Did you know that the trees that were planted at the edge of the track are mostly dieing? 
Benefit 2)  Preserving Blacktop.   Preserving blacktop is not a value of the community at large and nor is it a value of the parents of CCE, were you to poll them.  Preserving play space is important, and blacktop is important for certain kinds of play - but preserving it at the expense of creating what effectively amounts to a barrier between the children and the natural space of the field (where they should be allowed to play) is not a long term postive vision.
There are at least 3 other areas where the Solar panels could be placed.
1) On top of the new MPR.  Why are we building a new building that apparently cannot hold solar panels?
2) Shading the portable classrooms on the south side of CCE Campus.  These roofs would benefit from the shade and the industrial structures on campus would not take anymore of the campus footprint.  In fact, one could imagine the solar array shading any number of buildings on the campus in whole or in part.
3) Over the parking area.  Wouldn't the teachers appreciate a solar array over the parking area to keep their cars cool?
I don't claim to speak for anyone but myself on this issue.  However, I do believe I have a good sense of the pulse of the community.   This placement will be met with massive pushback from the community and I strongly recommend reconsideration as soon as possible.
Best regards
Joseph Biello
Parent of CCE Student and Neighbor
the DJUSD video mentioned in the letter can be viewed here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUn0h5tukbo
CCE Solar


Roberta L. Millstein

I don’t have a child at CCE, so maybe I don’t get a say. But what I do know is that the whole community uses this area, and that these are majestic and beautiful redwoods that cast a lot of shade and don’t deserve this treatment. There are other and better ways for solar, as the article describes, perhaps most obviously on the roof of the new multipurpose room that they are building.

Joseph Biello

If you want to see the proposal for CCE, go to this video:


In fact, you can find all of the solar placement videos linked on the DJUSD website.


We are early in the process, which is a good thing. But still, I have to scream "come on!!!"

Ron O

What a crazy thing, so see where these panels are proposed (compared to the adjacent parking lot and planned new building). Especially the parking lot, where it can also provide shade for vehicles.


And then also the City is working on some kind of solar panels over parking lots plan now, and though obviously teachers should be provided with financial support to purchase e-bikes and so on and so on, it would be great to have panels over vehicle storage.

Did you inform Kate Snow about this? She's DJUSD's climate person.

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