On the advice of City Atty. Patrick J. Sampson, the City Council will not revoke a conditional use permit issued two years ago for a proposed $140-million waste-to-energy plant at the Spadra landfill.
Such permits normally expire after one year if construction has not begun, but Sampson said that a letter last August from a former city planner to the county Sanitation Districts indicated that the permit would remain valid for an indefinite period.
If the council were to revoke the permit and the Sanitation Districts took legal action, Sampson said, "I think in all probability we would lose."
Opponents of the proposed 1,000-ton-a-day garbage incinerator, many of whom were part of the overflow crowd of 200 at City Hall Monday night, had hoped that revocation of the permit would serve as a key step in blocking the plant.
They launched their opposition drive two weeks ago, shortly after the South Coast Air Quality Management District reported that the Spadra project has met all air pollution requirements and that the district intends to grant a permit for construction. The proposed waste-to-energy plant, which is scheduled to begin operation in 1991, would generate 24 megawatts of electricity for sale to Southern California Edison Co.
Mayor Donna Smith, who ended the meeting after being angered by outbursts from the audience, directed Sampson to study other options for limiting the project's development.