Fri, Aug. 23

Letter: APS substation a bad fit for Clarkdale


The Town of Clarkdale is reviewing the proposal from Arizona Public Service for a substation at the junction of 89A and the #1 store in Clarkdale.

This substation they propose is larger than a football field, it’s 350 X 350 feet.

It would have walls almost 12-feet tall surrounding this monstrosity with basic bob wire design fingers to discourage someone from climbing it. They talk of planting 3-feet trees surrounding this wall. It will take 20 years plus for those trees to grow enough to provide any kind of wall cover.

The property is zoned R1 but APS is asking for a zone variance to change it to C1, commercial.

The community of Clarkdale has not been informed of this proposed project.

The only reason I know of this is because I live within 1,000 feet of this plot of land and because of this, received a letter informing me of the design and review meeting last week. Many of the neighbors, who also received this letter, went door to door to inform them and gain support in blocking this project and to ask if they would attend the meeting, which many did.

We expressed our concern for people entering Clarkdale through 89A coming down from Jerome as well as those coming out of Cottonwood heading up to Jerome.

Those who have homes on the hillside and on Panorama Way have to look down on transformers whenever they sit on their patios or look out their windows.

The design and review board tabled the discussion because they said they did not have enough information and would wait to see if the planning commission approved the zone change.

It is my understanding that APS was given incorrect information about their ability to build a substation on this land, which brings up some questionable solutions. The link to all of the information is on the website under Design and Review committee minutes and agendas. The meeting took place on May 1st.

There is a tab for agenda and another for packet.

If you click on the packet and scroll down to APS substation there are about 18 pages of details and sketches.

In the interest of public “need to know” I would encourage you to go onto that website and read the proposal.

There are so many industrial areas in Clarkdale where something like this would not be an eyesore, adjacent to the post office is one, adding on to the existing substation is another not to mention some of the areas available in the industrial zone.

It seems the town is more interested in beautifying the lower parts of Clarkdale and building these industrial infrastructures in the beautiful foothills thus destroying the beauty of the area. First the water tank now a substation and soon a fire station. It just doesn’t make sense.

The meeting of the planning commission to discuss the rezoning of this area is on Tuesday, 21st at 4 pm, in one of the town hall buildings. Hopefully that will be clarified when the agenda is placed on their website about a week before the meeting.

I could go on and on with objections to the appearance and health concerns of an APS substation in our neighborhood but I think the issue is for the residents of Clarkdale to know what the town is planning and to have the opportunity for input.

Anyone who is unable to attend this meeting but would like to comment can send an email to Beth Escobar at who will include the comments in the packets for the board to consider before the meeting.

Thank you for listening. I hope you will find a way to spread the word and make people aware of the situation.

Marlene Whitaker


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