By Carin Kirkegaard
Castle Pines North (CPN) residents attended a meeting with Xcel Energy held at the Community Center on June 22. The intent of the meeting was to provide information and answer the community’s questions regarding the upcoming expansion of the Daniel’s Gate Substation.
The substation site was built in 1965, nearly 24 years before the first residents moved into CPN. Now the community lies just 300 feet south of the existing substation. Xcel plans to expand east of the existing station without further encroachment on homes. Homeowners will still have the visual buffer of the hill that lies in the open space between the substation and the neighborhood. The largest visual impact will be noticed when entering CPN heading south on Monarch Boulevard.
According to the plans Xcel submitted with Douglas County, the substation will have a 50 percent increase in total area covering nearly one million square feet, or 22 acres. Currently, Xcel is awaiting approval on plans that detail how the company intends to aesthetically landscape the surrounding area in order to minimize the visual impact when entering CPN from the north. Plans include retaining walls with clusters of various sized shrubs and trees chosen for drought tolerance and suitability for the climate of CPN.
Hearings regarding these plans were set for July and August. The public hearing with Douglas County Planning Commission was held on July 24 at 7 p.m. In this hearing, the Planning Commission made a recommendation to the County Commissioners to either approve or deny the proposed landscape plans.
The public hearing with the Douglas County Commissioners will be held August 16 at 9 a.m. Both hearings will be held at the Douglas County Planning Division located at 100 Third Street, Castle Rock. Watch for community e-mails with more details regarding these public hearings.
“This expansion is going to happen. What residents can do now is attend these hearings and make sure that our voices are heard,” said Bruce Thompson, vice president of the CPN Master Association.
Residents from Hidden Pointe, Daniel’s Gate and Green Briar voiced their concerns for the impending expansion of the Daniels Gate Substation, but most of the concerns were for what would happen once the expansion was complete. Noise increase from the power lines “singing” and the potential for loss of home values were top priorities.
According to Kevin Jurin, a homeowner in the Serena subdivision, the real concern is for future plans once the substation is built. When the upgraded expansion is complete, the substation will have the capacity to receive power at 345 kilovolts from the power lines within the CPN corridor. “The increase in noise, the loss of views as well as the potential of being in a fall- out zone, should one of the towers fall down, are all causes for property values to drop, which could affect all property values in the area,” said Juren.
In January 2005, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission approved construction of a coal-fired electric generation plant located near Pueblo, Colorado. The Comanche Station will be the home of Xcel’s 750-megawatt generating unit. According to Xcel, Comanche will provide electricity for nearly one-third of Colorado’s communities. The substation located at Daniel’s Gate is the means to move the power generated at Comanche across the Front Range.
To learn more about the Xcel Power lines in CPN, contact Master Association Vice President Bruce Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org.