Clairemont woman voices health concerns about new steel power pole

SAN DIEGO - A woman in Clairemont says she was alarmed when she saw a new, large-sized metal power pole going up in her neighborhood.

"I'm concerned about my health," said Jan Brown, who noticed the big metal utility pole going up in her Clairemont neighborhood recently. "There's a lot more wires and looks like a lot more voltage is coming off the top of those poles."

The new metal pole is at least 20 feet taller than common wooden poles. Some residents call the steel giants eyesores that will cost them money.

"It's going to kill our property values if these monsters keep going up in our neighborhood," said Brown.

Her neighbor says along with property values, he is worried about the health of his kids.

"I am concerned with that," said Kurt Meeder. "I have small children, 12 and 9 years old."

While the pole in question is one of several steel poles crossing through a section of Clairemont at Cole, it is still about a mile away from Brown's home where there is an older wooden power pole out front.

"The million dollar question is are they going to replace all the wood poles in this area with these?" asked Brown.

10News asked SDG&E that question.

"There's no plan to replace all the wooden poles in that area," said SDG&E spokeswoman Gina Jacobs. "The pole that was replaced was a transmission pole."

Those are fewer and farther between. As for whether the new pole has more lines and therefore more output?

"It's the same so there's no new output of electricity in that area," said Jacobs.

SDG&E says the steel poles are upgrades because they are stronger and able to withstand the elements better.

Brown still does not like them.

"They're ugly, they stand out, they're bigger," she said. "There's nothing good I can say about this thing."

SDG&E says steel poles improve reliability.  About 3,000 wooden poles have been replaced so far, with many of those in high fire risk areas.

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