BAR approves COA for electrical substation

BLYTHEWOOD – With the blessing of the town’s Board of Architectural Review (BAR), a new electrical substation will soon be going up on Community Road, across from Midlands Storage.

While the property at 861 Community Road is in the Town Center District and requires a special exception for an electrical substation, Thomas Black, Vice President of Engineering for Fairfield Electric Cooperative, made the case for the need for a new substation before the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) earlier this month and again Tuesday evening before the BAR.

“We currently have a substation at Blythewood Road and 321 and at Hardscrabble and on Langford Road, and they are all coming to capacity,” Black told the board.  He said projects, both industrial and residential, slated for the area will further increase the need.

The Board of Zoning Appeals met last week to approve a special exception to the TCD zoning for the substation property contingent on the town’s planning staff and BAR’s approval of a landscaping plan for the site.

While the Town Center District zoning calls for a 10-foot perimeter landscaping buffer zone and other specific landscaping requirements, Black said his company has other plans.

“We are planning an 8 to 10-foot stone buffer along the outside of the fence and possibly adding some small bushes. We want to be good neighbors,” Black said.

The stones would create a patio effect around the substation, however, rather than privacy screening.

In addition, Black said it would be necessary to cut all of the trees on the site to protect the substation.

“This may happen,” Cook said, “but is yet to be determined until we receive a plan from a civil engineer. We will work to keep any that we can.

Fairfield Electric’s other plans for security include surrounding the entire 1.93 acre property with an 8-foot-high, heavy gage, black steel louvered fence that is bulletproof and not climbable.

“With today’s terrorism and kids going by and shooting transformers, protecting our assets is very important,” Black said. “It (the fence) is another source of security and acts as a shield.”

Without requiring the 10-foot landscaping buffer zone and other landscaping requirements of the Town Center District, the BAR approved a Certificate of Occupancy unanimously, saying the Town’s administration would work with Fairfield Electric on a landscaping plan at a later time.

In other business, officers for the board are scheduled to be elected at the next scheduled meeting.

Speak Your Mind