Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Peoria and APS disagree over power line locations reports that APS needs to build 40 miles of overhead power lines to connect two high-voltage substations – one near Lake Pleasant in Peoria and the other north of Sun Valley Parkway in Buckeye. The new lines will require towers as tall as 195 feet.


In June, APS will present to the Arizona Corporation Commission a route along Carefree Highway as their primary choice, along with 3 other alternative choices.

The City of Peoria favors an alternative route which would run alongside State Route 74, 1.5 miles further north.

East of Lake Pleasant, Carefree Highway is SR-74, but at Lake Pleasant Rd Carefree Highway continues west, while SR-74 bends north before continuing west. SR-74 is the one which later connects with Grand Ave on the way to Wickenburg.

The reason for the debate: Vistancia. This master planned community will continue to be developed over the next 10 years. The North phase, which will be tucked against the beautiful mountains nearby, will be awfully close to APS's primary choice of route.

APS argues that the SR-74 option will take additional time and cost $1 million extra. They also argue that the lines along the primary route will be far enough away to not have an effect on property values.

Peoria and Vistancia point to the huge drop in house values if the lines are within eyesight. They point to the luxury community of Greyhawk in Scottsdale as an example, where the homes facing the power lines sell at a discount to those facing the other direction.

Personally, I think the SR-74 route makes the most sense. I've seen first-hand how fast potential buyers run away from listings near power lines. I also represented a seller with a power line view in 2005, and as crazy as the market was back then, we had a difficult time getting that home sold.

However, I don't think it's fair that APS should carry the $1 million burden by itself. The City of Peoria, the community of Vistancia, and especially the individual homeowners who buy high-end luxury homes nestled against the mountains, are all going to benefit from the alternative, more expensive route.

This decision is going to affect our community for the next 20 years or more. It's important enough that the long-term good of the area is made a priority. There has to be a way for everybody who stands to gain/lose to contribute to the cost of making the change.

Your wishing he was the commissioner Realtor,

Chris Butterworth

[tags] APS, power lines, Vistancia, Peoria [/tags]