Residents protest substationAbout a dozen residents came to protest two special use permits being considered by the Dickinson Planning and Zoning Commission Wednesday at City Hall.
About a dozen residents came to protest two special use permits being considered by the Dickinson Planning and Zoning Commission Wednesday at City Hall.
Commissioners said yes to a substation and no to a truck facility. Both items can still be brought before the City
The Commission unanimously approved a special use permit which allows Roughrider Electric Cooperative to build an electrical substation a half mile east on 40th Street East from Highway 22.
Dickinson residents Laura and Gary Marsh and Mike Maus (who were representing other residents) said the substation is an eyesore that would reduce property values and would be best built somewhere else.
Roughrider spokesman Leonard Hibl said the co-op is not trying to force a substation, inconvenience people or impose, but rather bring the much-needed power to the people.
“There is no doubt we need to expand power,” Jackson said. “We just need to make sure that this is the best location for the substation and that other options have been exhausted.”
Hibl said Roughrider has considered options and the place in question would be best, but added the co-op would be willing to discuss placement further.
Hibl said Roughrider would not be against building a buffer to alleviate some of the concern, “but having bushes and trees or a solid fence could potentially cause some problems and safety issues.”
Snow buildup around a fence or an easy-to-climb fence could allow unauthorized people into the substation.
The Commission approved the permit but added it hopes that Roughrider will make sure the property in question is the best choice.
“This matter, too, may be taken to the City Commission,” Commission Chairman Earl Abrahamson said.
Commissioners unanimously denied a request which would allow Dickinson Energy Park to run an oil-related truck facility in an area near 21st Street West and States Avenue which is zoned agricultural.
City Planner Ed Courton said staff opposes the permit because the intent of the project would have to be ag-related because it is in an agriculture zone. It also does not comply with the city’s truck routes.
“If this project was to be allowed the area would have to be re-zoned from agricultural to whatever would match the intent,” City Attorney Matthew Kolling said.
Commissioner Gene Jackson said the area would be best used for residential, small retail and small commercial purposes.
Maus spoke for several residents living in the area saying it is not an appropriate use of the land, does not fit into the city’s master plan and creates a lot of unwanted dust, noise and traffic.
“There is no control of speed in that area,” Dickinson resident Janet Prchal said.
Prchal also stated she was concerned about losing the way of life she and other residents have become accustomed to.
Stark County Road Superintendent Al Heiser and Dickinson Fire Chief Bob Sivak also had safety concerns.