DP&L Substation Site Plan Approved

OCEAN CITY – The Ocean City Planning and Zoning Commission gave final site plan approval this week to the proposed Delmarva Power and Light (DP&L) substation in north Ocean City.

According to Zoning Administrator Blaine Smith, the construction of a surrounding 15-foot decorative wall and irrigated landscaping plan will be the first phase of the project to begin this spring. The projected completion date for the entire project is by December of this year.

Commission member Peck Miller moved to approve the final site plan adding the proposed irrigation system be a condition in moving forward. Although DP&L has testified to the landscaping plan being irrigated, Miller felt that it necessary to include irrigation in order to give the plants “a fair shot.” The commission voted unanimously to approve the final site plan.

Last August the commission held a public hearing regarding DP&Ls Conditional Use request. At that time a number of the neighborhoods residents were present to voice numerous concerns over the project. However, the commission forwarded a favorable recommendation to the Mayor and City Council for approval.

Just a couple of weeks later, the council overlooked the recommendation and denied DP&L’s request because they felt the community’s concerns had not been fully addressed.

The commission then held a subsequent public hearing in December. The commission once again gave a favorable recommendation for the expansion of an existing electrical substation.

Earlier this month, the Mayor and City Council received the commission’s second favorable recommendation.

Councilman Joe Mitrecic made a motion to accept the Finding of Fact made by the commission and approve the conditional use request with the caveat the facility will be monitored and tested twice a year to ensure its not emitting unsafe electro-magnetic readings and is not in violation of the town’s noise law.

The City Council voted 6-0, with Councilman Dennis Dare absent, to approve the Finding of Fact submitted by the commission as well as DP&L’s conditional use request to expand the substation in north Ocean City with the caveats.

Following the council’s vote Caine Woods residents reiterated their need for an independent study, apart from DP&L testimony, to be conducted on the effect the expansion will have to the community. The council assured the biannual readings will be conducted by an independent credited agency.