The Tuttle Royale project on Southern Blvd. just west of State Road 7 received a setback Tuesday, April 27 when the Royal Palm Beach Planning & Zoning Commission voted to require that the developer must bury electrical transmission lines going into the project.
The matter involves the developer Southern Boulevard Properties and the applicant, Evans Land Consulting, which was requesting a variance to allow for the electric distribution lines to remain overhead, where village code requires all new electric distribution lines to be placed underground.
Planning & Zoning Director Bradford O’Brien said that other developments did not bury the lines going into their developments, but that those instances were before his tenure, and he did not know why they were allowed a variance. He said the criteria that staff uses is the current code, which states that the lines must be buried. Village staff recommended denial of the variance.
“Some older developments seem to have not buried them, but now we’re dealing with new work in this development,” Commission Chair June Perrin said.
Developer Brian Tuttle said that he is asking for the variance to allow something that will not be used for many years. “These will not be needed for 5, 10, even 15 years,” he said.
Tuttle showed photos of the transmission lines beneath much larger and taller power lines, and he stressed that they are located on a semi-private, major easement not prominently visible to the public.
Tuttle explained that Florida Power & Light has plans to harden the existing lines against storm damage, so the necessity of burying them is not required. He also noted that as an aesthetic decision, the larger nearby power lines will remain, making that point moot.
“I know I am not supposed to bring up cost, but the cost is substantial,” Tuttle added.
The commissioners sat silent for a bit with no one ready to make a motion, before they voted unanimously to deny the variance and require that the transmission lines be buried.
In other news, three businesses along State Road 7 — O2B Kids, Haas Plastic Surgery and Capitol Carpet — received approval for new signage. There were no questions or public comments on the applications, and the measures passed unanimously.