Homeowners say they're being bullied by major power company over - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Homeowners say they're being bullied by major power company over land

Santee Cooper has plans to replace the old wooden utility poles that already run in their backyards with taller, larger weathered steel utility poles that can withstand winds of 135 mph. Santee Cooper has plans to replace the old wooden utility poles that already run in their backyards with taller, larger weathered steel utility poles that can withstand winds of 135 mph.
"I feel kind of pushed around that Santee Cooper has no interest at all in working with homeowners who have sunk their live savings into their property," said a frustrated Quinn. "I feel kind of pushed around that Santee Cooper has no interest at all in working with homeowners who have sunk their live savings into their property," said a frustrated Quinn.
Those affected by the problem held a meeting Thursday night at the subdivision poolhouse to discuss how they plan to move forward. WMBF News was turned away from the meeting upon arrival. Those affected by the problem held a meeting Thursday night at the subdivision poolhouse to discuss how they plan to move forward. WMBF News was turned away from the meeting upon arrival.
Several residents expressed they were never told the guidelines of the easement when they purchased their homes, while some stated they were told the power lines would be built underground. Several residents expressed they were never told the guidelines of the easement when they purchased their homes, while some stated they were told the power lines would be built underground.
SOCASTEE, SC (WMBF) - Homeowners in one Socastee subdivision say a major power company is taking over property that they pay for and maintain, but Santee Cooper claims it belongs to the company.

Residents of the Silver Fox Landing Subdivision told WMBF News, Santee Cooper's upgraded power lines that will run through their backyards will not only be an eyesore, they will also decrease their property values.

One property owner said he felt that he is being bullied by a big power company.

Santee Cooper has plans to replace the old wooden utility poles that already run in their backyards with taller, larger weathered steel utility poles that can withstand winds of 135 mph.

Dianna Miller, a resident of the Silver Fox Landing Subdivision, is not happy about their plans. "They are going to take this line that is actually in the center of the easement and add an additional line, they're moving this line over so that most of us only have about 4 or 5 feet for our back yard," she said.


Santee Cooper said the transmission project is needed to ensure reliable electricity for a fast-growing area served by Santee Cooper and Horry Electric Cooperative.  They are using easements that they acquired in the 1970s, as they plan to upgrade an existing 115 kV transmission line and adding an additional 115kV line.

Susan Mungo, Santee Cooper representative said, "Part of this upgrade, called the Bucksville to Garden City line, will be located in the existing easement near the Silver Fox Landing and will replace a line already in that easement. These easements exist so that we can maintain access to service and improve our lines. It is the resident's responsibility to make sure they are in compliance with easement restrictions."

But Joe Quinn, also a resident of Silver Fox Landing, feels Santee Cooper is not trying to help come up with a resolution that will fit them and homeowners.
"I feel kind of pushed around that Santee Cooper has no interest at all in working with homeowners who have sunk their live savings into their property," said a frustrated Quinn.

Those affected by the problem held a meeting Thursday night at the subdivision poolhouse to discuss how they plan to move forward. WMBF News was turned away from the meeting upon arrival.

But Miller said she and all the other 26 property owners affected understand that is their easement, but they are concerned about their home values. "Property values is the biggest thing," she said.

Santee Cooper said the new poles will be about 15 feet taller than the poles already in the easement. Mungo explained, "There are things like fences and landscaping that must be moved to allow our crews to replace the poles and access the lines."

The homeowners said they received notices to remove shrubs, landscaping, and even decks to make room for the transmission upgrades, and property owners are upset that they must pay for these expenses. Several residents expressed they were never told the guidelines of the easement when they purchased their homes, while some stated they were told the power lines would be built underground.

Miller said that is an option they would like Santee Cooper to consider. She also stated that they would like to see the project move. "Take it down -[Highway] 31 where they're building 31 , we're not talking about intruder on homeowners, houses, and values."

Her last option would be for Santee Cooper to pay them what they would lose in property values if the project moves forward.

Homeowners said they've reached out to their HOA, but was told they can't help with a problem that does not directly affect the entire subdivision.

"[We're going to] fight this together, not only help us but , there's other people in other subdivisions that I'm also concerned about," she said.

Quinn said, "That's a big power company bullying the little guy!"

Mungo said Santee Cooper understands the frustration and they will continue to work with those affected and try to come up with a solution on an individual basis.

Miller is reaching out to other subdivisions or property owners that are concerned about the transmission lines you can contact her at: calltoaction@groupmail.com

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