The Franklin County Planning Commission has given their consent to a plan by Appalachian Power to build a new set of power lines to the Smith Mountain Lake area. The Commission met on July 11, 2006 and voted unanimously to send the proposal on to the County Board of Supervisors, the last stage before approval. The new power lines are being considered due to the rapid growth of Smith Mountain Lake, which has outstripped Appalachian Power’s limited electrical capacity for the region. While Appalachian Power has spent a year planning the route for the new lines, some local residents who were at the meeting were concerned about the possible negative aesthetic impacts. As Jason Dunovant of the Smith Mountain Eagle writes,
People complained of poor planning by Appalachian Power, pointing out that the proposed route for the power lines crosses a scenic portion of Rt. 122 and too close to some homes. The proposed lines would also cross several open fields, which some believed would become an eyesore.
The Board of Supervisors plans to meet on August 22, 2006, at the Benjamin Franklin Middle School for the final vote. With this date rapidly approaching, what thoughts do our readers have about the proposed power line?