FRISCO (CBSDFW.COM) – Some Frisco homeowners are claiming victory after a utility company agrees to consider alternatives to their neighborhood for a new substation. But the celebration may be premature.
When Oncor proposed building its new substation on Legacy Drive across from an elementary school, more than 1,700 people signed a petition opposing the plan. Now the company is taking a closer look at another site, but its priorities have not changed.
Many homeowners point to a site on 4th Army Drive as a much better option for the new electrical substation. It sits next to an existing substation and near a water treatment facility.
This week Oncor requested a special use permit for the site.
“Obviously nothing’s a 100% done on the Legacy site yet, but it shows us that they’ve really listened to us, and it’s kind of put the city and Oncor in a position to work together to find a more amenable site,” homeowner Jamie Heit said.
Heit led the opposition to the Legacy site.
She and other residents lobbied against it arguing they bought their homes with the understanding that the land in front of the school was only zoned for commercial use. P&Z Commissioners agreed, but Oncor asked council members to appeal the decision.
“It’s premature to declare victory. I mean it’s obviously, we’re kind of back at square one with the new special use permit and going to planning and zoning,” Heit said.
A spokesperson for Oncor tells us the company filed for the special use permit on 4th Army Drive at the request of the city, but it still considers the Legacy site the best option because it’s closer to transmission lines which makes an easier build and cost savings they can pass on to customers.
In December, the company plans to go back and ask council to re-consider the Legacy substation.
“We’re still going to move forward, and plan to attend that and speak up again in opposition to that site,” Heit said.
This whole debate comes as a result of all the growth in Frisco including developments along the Five Billion Dollar Mile that are creating new demand for power. If city council members were to reject Oncor’s appeal to build at the Legacy site, the company says it could appeal to the state Public Utility Commission. But their goal is to have a new substation built by next June, so their hope is to have this resolved in December.
(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)