Pinecrest may appeal state’s decision on FPL power lines

Pinecrest may appeal a state decision to approve 80- to 100-foot power lines on U.S. 1 through the village and neighboring communities.

Village Council members met behind closed doors with their lawyers on Monday to discuss the matter. The council normally must meet in public, but members are allowed to meet privately to discuss a specific legal case with their attorneys.

Florida Power & Light says the lines and an associated expansion of the Turkey Point nuclear plant near Homestead, are essential to supplying energy throughout South Florida and claim that during the 40-year life of the project, customers will save up to $64 billion in energy costs.

Residents of Pinecrest, including Mayor Cindy Lerner, have vocally opposed the power lines since FPL first proposed in 2006.

“Putting up industrial strength power-lines would turn it [Pinecrest and bordering neighborhoods along U.S. 1] into an industrial dead zone,” Lerner told the local Rotary Club on Tuesday.

Aside from damage to property values and small businesses that run along U.S. 1, the mayor says FPL, Gov. Rick Scott and the cabinet fail to address the blowback of investing in nuclear energy so close to residential areas, especially after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011.

Rising sea levels are also a source of concern for Lerner, in light of Turkey Point’s coastal location.

“Within 40 years that plant will be underwater,” said Lerner. “I hope you all understand that this is not just about the lines.”

The city of Coral Gables reached a settlement with FPL for $1.3 million in compensation and lower power lines, but alongside Pinecrest, the city of Miami and South Miami are still fighting the state’s ruling.