The Pasco County Planning Commission has approved a landscaping plan submitted by Duke Energy Florida LLC., in connection to an electrical substation in Wesley Chapel.
The planning board had previously approved the electric company’s request for an expansion to its electrical substation on a 20-acre parcel on the north side of Satinleaf Lane, about 650 feet west of Smith Road. However, that approval was contingent on Duke’s subsequent submission of a landscaping plan relating to the project for the planning board’s approval.
Residents of Meadow Pointe had sought additional landscaping to reduce the visual impacts from the expanded substation.
Drew Gilmore, a public engagement specialist for Duke Energy, outlined the company’s plan for buffering the substation from its neighbors’ views.
The plan he presented included more trees and a different assortment of plantings than initially proposed. The electric company also has agreed to add more trees in an area within the Meadow Pointe subdivision.
However, while Meadow Pointe residents wanted more landscaping, those living closest to the substation — in Satinleaf — told commissioners they didn’t want any additional landscaping between their properties and the substation.
Rather, they said, they prefer a view of open pastureland.
Planning commissioners voted to keep the additional landscaping, to buffer the substation from Meadow Pointe, and to eliminate the proposed landscaping between Satinleaf and the substation.
In other action, the board:
- Approved a request from Tracy L. and Raul Rodriguez Jr./Keiro Academy, for a private school on 20.6 acres of land zoned for agricultural and residential use. The parcel is on the east side of Bellamy Brothers Boulevard, about one-half mile north of Darby Road.
According to the applicant’s information, “Our student population will primarily demonstrate anxiety, sadness, defiance and school refusal issues stemming from technology overuse. Our students simply need to reconnect with nature in a screen-free environment and to develop social and life skills to succeed. We intend to create a program exclusively for boys age (15 to 20) and seek to maintain a daily census of 32 students who will live on the property.
- Recommended approval of a license for the sale of alcoholic beverages at Chipotle Mexican Grill, at the northwest corner of State Road 56 and Grand Cypress Drive, extending to Sierra Center Boulevard.
The Planning Commission is the county’s land planning agency. It has decision-making authority for special exception requests, which can be appealed to the Pasco County Commission.
All other planning commission decisions are recommendations to the Pasco County Commission, which has final authority on zoning and land use matters.
Published January 23, 2019