Pet Pantry owners emailed their customers on Saturday to seek support in opposing Eversource’s plans to build a substation at the property they currently lease from Eversource.
“Please stand with us in opposition of this project and help protect the Greenwich community we all love!” the email reads. “We are asking your help to continue the opportunity we have had since 1945 to serve downtown Greenwich.”
The email appeals to loyal customers to join Pet Pantry representatives at the March 10 Planning & Zoning meeting at Town Hall at 7:00pm and to consider telephoning the office of the First Selectman, Peter Tesei to voice opposition to the project at 290 Railroad Ave.
According to Eversource (formerly CL&P) the existing substation will reach its maximum capacity in 2017, and a new substation in Greenwich is necessary to address increasing demand.
“We have owned the lease since the 1970s,” Eversource spokesman Frank Poirot told Greenwich Free Press on March 2 during an information session at Town Hall. “We’ve subleased it to them.”
Mr. Poirot said the location at 290 Railroad Ave was selected many years ago for its location in the area with Greenwich’s highest demand for electricity and highest population density. An electric substation transforms voltage from high to low, or vice versa, between the generating station and the consumer.
On Feb. 27 Adam Jacobson of Pet Pantry said his company had hired outside counsel on the issue of the property.
“We are the primary lease holder,” Poirot said of 290 Railroad Ave. ” The powers that be knew that we’d be doing expansion somewhere, some time, and purchased the long-term lease. Everyone who has been in there since then has been subletting from us,” Poirot said.
Pet Pantry’s email blast described the Eversource proposal as disruptive and expensive.
“The local disruption and cost to the community will be significant. At a minimum proposed cost of $140 million, this is an expense that will be carried exclusively by consumers of Eversource in the form of increased monthly energy bills to You. In addition to the expense, the proposed route will require significant excavation and upheaval of Bruce Park.” – Pet Pantry email to customers March 7
At the March 2 info session at Town Hall, Senior engineer Peter Novak had a different story. He said the installation of the 2.3 mile transmission lines connecting 290 Railroad Ave to Cos Cob would involve HDD, which stands for Horizontal Directional Drilling.
As for Bruce Park, Novak said people above ground would be unaware of the drilling going on under ground. “These people could be playing a game and not even know we’re underneath them,” he said.
At Wednesday night’s Architectural Review Committee meeting, Eversource got slammed by the committee members, who made comments on the bulk of the proposed building, its lack of windows, screening or setback. One committee member described the 35 ft high structure as “an assault on the intersection.”
The March 10 P&Z meeting agenda includes Eversource’s application for a request for recommendation on the siting of the substation and underground lines. The item is seventh on the agenda.
However, Greenwich has the right to review, comment and make recommendations on the proposal.