Pueblo County Code - Title 17 -Chapter 17.168 SITE SELECTION AND CONSTRUCTION OF MAJOR FACILITIES OF PUBLIC UTILITIES

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17.168.010 Exemptions.

   A. This Resolution shall not apply to development which is exempt under the provisions of Section 17.148.050 adopted by Pueblo County, to nonconforming uses, or to those transmission lines, pipelines, and easements as set forth herein:
   1. A sixty-nine (69) kilovolt transmission line in existence on the date this Division is adopted as amended (May 8, 1978), and subsequently upgraded to a one hundred and fifteen (115) kilovolt line;
   2. An eight (8) inch pipeline in existence on the date this Division is adopted as amended (May 8, 1978), and subsequently upgraded to a ten (10) inch pipeline; or
   3. An easement in existence on the date this resolution is adopted as amended (May 8, 1978), upon which is subsequently constructed a major pipeline or transmission line; provided that the easement is legally described in such manner that a qualified engineer/licensed land surveyor could locate it on the ground, no additional easement width is necessary to construct the facility, and easement acquisition has been completed.
   B. This Division shall not apply to interstate natural gas pipeline facilities regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) or its successor, provided the following requirements and procedures are complied with by person or entity proposing to site and construct the interstate natural gas pipeline facility whenever site selection and construction of such facility will be partly located within Pueblo County:
   1. Copies of all materials (i.e., environmental impact statements, applications for certification of public convenience and necessity and related materials) filed or to be filed with a federal and/or State regulatory agency shall also be filed with the Director of the Pueblo County Department of Planning and Development within five (5) days after the same are submitted to such federal and/or State regulatory agency; and
   2. Written notice of all scheduled public proceedings before the federal and/or State regulatory agency concerning the natural gas pipeline facility shall be given to the Director of the Pueblo County Department of Planning and Development not less than forty-five (45) days prior to any scheduled proceeding before any such agency, provided, further, however, that if the applicant before such federal or State agency receives less than forty-five (45) days’ notice, it shall give written notice to the Director of the Pueblo County Department of Planning and Development within five (5) working days after it receives its notice of the same.
   C. The Board of County Commissioners shall provide to the public utility written notice of all public hearings which may be held by the Board to accept testimony on the proposed major facilities not less than thirteen (13) days prior to the hearing.
   D. The Board of County Commissioners does not waive or otherwise diminish its rights, nor the rights of any interested party, before any federal and/or State regulatory agency considering the proposed major facilities.

17.168.020 Definitions.

   For the purpose of this Chapter, the following definitions shall apply:
   "Appurtenant facilities" means any building, structure or other property which is incidental to, and customarily found in connection with, major facilities of public utilities and are operated and maintained for the benefit or convenience of the occupants, employees, customers or visitors of such major facilities.
   "Major facilities of a public utility" means transmission lines, power plants, substations, pipelines, and storage areas of utilities as herein separately defined.
   "Nonconforming use" means a use in existence on the effective date of this designation (April 7, 1977) which is a "major facility of a public utility." When such a nonconforming use is discontinued for six months or more, or is damaged or destroyed to the extent of fifty (50) percent of the appraised value, then the protection afforded the nonconforming use shall cease and a permit shall be required to recommence or replace the use.
   "Pipelines" mean any pipeline and appurtenant facilities thereto, designed for, or capable of, transporting natural gas, manufactured gas, or other petroleum derivatives of ten (10) inches or more in diameter which creates a hoop stress of twenty (20) percent or more at their specified minimum yield strength.
   "Power plant" means any of the following:
        1.  Any fossil fuel, biofuel, or similar electrical energy generating facility with a generating capacity of one hundred (100) megawatts or more, and any appurtenant facilities thereto, or any addition or series of additions thereto increasing the existing design capacity of the facility by one hundred (100) megawatts or more.
        2.  Any solar or wind electrical energy generating facility with a generating capacity in excess of two (2) megawatts, and any appurtenant facilities thereto, or any addition or series of additions thereto increasing the existing design capacity of the facility in excess of two (2) megawatts.
        3.  Any nuclear or hydropower electrical generating facility.
   "Public utilities" mean those utilities as defined by 39-4-101, C.R.S. 1973.
   "Storage area" means any facility, including appurtenant facilities, designed to store eighty million (80,000,000) cubic feet or more of natural or manufactured gas, or thirty-five thousand (35,000) barrels or more of petroleum derivatives, or any expansion or series of expansions of an existing storage facility to accommodate eighty million (80,000,000) cubic feet or more of natural or manufactured gas, or thirty-five thousand (35,000) barrels or more of petroleum derivatives.
   "Substation" means any facility designed to provide switching, voltage transmission, or voltage control required for the transmission of electricity at one hundred fifteen (115) kilovolts or more, but does not have as a primary purpose the transformation of voltage to fifty (50) kilovolts or less for distribution purposes.
   "Transmission lines" mean any electric transmission line and appurtenant facilities, which transmit electricity at one hundred fifteen (115) kilovolts or more.

17.168.030 Procedures.

   The procedures for the issuance of a permit shall be as set forth in Article 4 of Chapter 17.148 adopted by Pueblo County.

17.168.040 Guidelines.

   A permit to conduct site selection and construction of a major facility by a public utility shall be issued by the permit authority following a public hearing upon the application for such a permit, provided that, at such hearing, the preponderance of evidence shall establish the following:
   A. The health, safety and welfare of the citizens of this jurisdiction will be protected and served;
   B. The facility will not adversely impact the physical, economic, or social environment of this jurisdiction, except as permitted in Section 17.168.040(C);
   C. When an adverse impact is expected to occur, reasonable modifications and programs and other reasonable mitigating actions will be implemented and maintained to minimize the degree of adversity of the impact;
   D. Other feasible alternatives to the proposed facility have been assessed, and the proposed facility represents the best interest of the people of this jurisdiction and the best utilization of resources in this jurisdiction;
   E. There exists a need, or a reasonably foreseeable need, for the facility as proposed;
   F. Adequate resources (e.g., schools, water and air, roads, labor) exist, or will exist, for the construction and efficient operation of the facility;
   G. The facility does not conflict with this jurisdiction’s adopted Comprehensive Plan, or a Comprehensive Plan in the required statutory process of adoption, and all feasible actions have been taken to avoid conflict with other adopted plans of this jurisdiction, region, State and nation.
   Where such terms as "reasonable," "feasible" and "adequate" are used in the foregoing guidelines, the permit authority shall determine in each case what is or is not reasonable, feasible or adequate.
   The issuance of a permit allowing the activity shall, however, in no way constitute an exemption from zoning and other land use regulations, health regulations, or procedural requirements. In the case of this activity, the issuance of a permit is contingent upon the subsequent approval of the major facility by the Public Utilities Commission, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, or other regulatory agencies, where required by appropriate statute or regulation.