Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Sunset Lakes residents push back on transmission tower plan

LAND O'LAKES — Residents of Sunset Lakes are pushing back against plans by Progress Energy to install a transmission tower near the entrance to their neighborhood.

The 275-foot metal tower would be built along Morgan Road, on the northern end of a 21-acre parcel just east of the entrance to the 150-home community. It would replace a similar tower that is just north of State Road 54, east of the intersection with U.S. 41.

The homeowners aren't simply making a "not in my backyard" argument. They are only asking the utility to consider moving the project further south on the same parcel, toward the Tibbetts Lumber Co.

"We don't want them to take it down," said Al Marano, president of the Sunset Lakes Property Owners Association. "The point is we just want them to move it to the other end of the property."

Added resident Ron Quartararo: "If it's much further back and you did some landscaping in front of it, it would be much less noticeable. … How this is going to impact the community from a property valuation standpoint?"

Built in 1963, the old tower is one of more than 50 around Tampa Bay that supports two-way radio communications for utility workers during an emergency. But the utility must build a new tower before it can remove the old one. The new tower is expected to be up by December, and an associated electric substation would be added later.

Progress spokesman Rob Sumner said the parcel is zoned for an industrial use and is located along a heavy commercial corridor, U.S. 41. He said the project has received all the required county permits and it notified residents about the project last month.

He didn't know if the tower's location can be moved or when the deadline is to make a decision.

"We have received some residential concerns," he said. "We're in the process of looking into them."

Progress requested a permit for the tower in the fall, before a revised county building code took effect in January. Under the old code, the company did not have to hold a public hearing on the tower. The new code does not include that exception. Assistant County Attorney David Goldstein said it appears the company has been planning the tower for years and the public hearing issue is just a coincidence.

The controversy has caught the attention of Commissioner Pat Mulieri, whose district includes the neighborhood. She said it would be in the company's interest to work out legitimate concerns from nearby residents.

"Do they legally have to have a public meeting?" she said. "Perhaps not, but what about ethically?"

Lee Logan can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 869-6236.

Sunset Lakes residents push back on transmission tower plan 08/30/12 [Last modified: Thursday, August 30, 2012 6:32pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Cannon Fodder podcast: Considering Gerald McCoy's comments

    Bucs

    Greg Auman talks about Gerald McCoy's comments — both about fan criticism online and Donald Trump — in the latest episode of our Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast.

    Gerald McCoy, front, said Monday that he would love to have a conversation with any of the fans who take to social media to criticize him and his Bucs teammates. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  2. Massive crocodile seen roaming the streets, and there was only 1 thing a cop could do

    Wildlife

    Name one thing you really don't want to see around 4 a.m. walking around your neighborhood.

    Watch out for that croc.

    A crocodile was seen roaming a street in Miami-Dade.
  3. Pinellas County Sheriff's employee resigns under investigation related to domestic violence arrest

    Crime

    LARGO — A civilian Pinellas County Sheriff's Office employee resigned Tuesday while under an internal investigation that began after he was arrested on domestic battery charges.

    Joshua Volz resigned Tuesday from the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. He had been under investigation after he was arrested for domestic battery, according to police. [Pinellas County Jail]
  4. Mom accused of burying guns after fatal teen shooting declines plea deal

    Criminal

    TAMPA — The Valrico mother accused of hiding the guns after her teenage son shot and killed another boy in their garage told a judge Tuesday that she wants a trial, not a plea deal.

    Heidi Quinn is accused of hiding two guns after her son, Cody, fatally shot 17-year-old Jayquon Johnson in their garage. She faces charges of tampering with evidence. Her son was not charged in Johnson's death because authorities ruled it self-defense. He does face related drug charges. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  5. Stone says no coordination between Trump campaign and Russia

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Longtime Donald Trump associate Roger Stone said Tuesday he's "aware of no evidence whatsoever" that Trump's campaign coordinated with Russians during the 2016 election.