Review board approves substation, fire station

From left Development Review Board members Lindsey Kelly, Ivy Bell and Jeffrey Hodges voted to approve a substation and fire station plan on Thursday.
From left Development Review Board members Lindsey Kelly, Ivy Bell and Jeffrey Hodges voted to approve a substation and fire station plan on Thursday.

Alachua County’s Development Review Board approved preliminary and final plans for a 69-kilovolt substation and a fire station at a meeting on Thursday.  

Clay Electric submitted designs for its Monteocha Substation to be built on 2.9 acres off CR 225—roughly halfway between Waldo and La Crosse. The company already owns a 273-acre parcel at the spot and will construct the substation inside the parcel on an access road.  

The facility will be fenced all around with an additional 75-foot high-density buffer to the south, and an agricultural facility already exists just north of the proposed substation. 

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Angeline Jacobs, county planner, said the county’s Unified Land Development Code considers the substation a major utility. However, the plans won’t require the normal special exception by the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners because Florida Statute 163.3208 preempts the local code.  

The statute requires approval if the site meets local setback, landscaping, buffering and other aesthetic standards. The statute also limits local approval to only these standards.  

Alachua County plans to build the fire station off SW 24th Avenue near Queen of Peace Catholic Church. The site already has a residential building, requiring a historic structures report. Once the report finishes, the county can decide how to deal with the building.  

The plan will preserve tree canopies along the western and northern borders adjacent to subdivisions. The county will build around a highly rated tree and locate the building near SW 24th Avenue, leaving the back of the 2.9-acre property open.  

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