WEST CARTHAGE After placing a moratorium on the construction of electrical and gas transmission lines, the town of Champion is moving forward with a local law to regulate those facilities.
With the moratorium, the Town Council gave its Planning Board time to develop regulations.
The proposed change to the zoning law redefines the term essential facilities as the operation or maintenance by municipal agencies or public utilities of electrical or gas substations; electrical or gas transmission lines; water treatment, storage and transmission facilities; pumping stations and similar facilities. However, the new definition does not include wind power generating facilities.
If the new local law is approved, the town Planning Board will have to approve a number of items before issuing a special-use permit for a proposed essential facility. The board would consider the location, buildings, landscaping, access, fencing and noise. If electrical or gas transmission lines run through residential neighborhoods, they must be located underground.
The proposed law also requires transmission lines be a minimum of 1,000 feet from any residential structure, and they must use existing rights of way. Buildings must conform to the general character of the area and adequate landscaping must be provided to create a visual and sound buffer for adjacent properties. All above-ground electrical facilities or substations must be secured by a fence and any transformer or associated switches must be at least 100 feet from any lot line. The proposed law says noise from the facilities must not exceed 55 decibels, measured at the boundaries of the closest parcels.
The town has set a public hearing for 7:15 p.m. Aug. 6 during the regular meeting at the town offices, 10 N. Broad St.