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Community opinions beginning to form on turbines

Community development director Bob Joseph told the Estes Valley Planning commissioners Tuesday night that a public meeting held last Thursday night regarding residential wind turbine regulations has led to some useful discussions. "We're starting to see people's opinions form," he said. "We're hearing them. We will continue with this effort to get some kind of code adopted during the moratorium."

Community development director Bob Joseph told the Estes Valley Planning commissioners Tuesday night that a public meeting held last Thursday night regarding residential wind turbine regulations has led to some useful discussions.

"We're starting to see people's opinions form," he said. "We're hearing them. We will continue with this effort to get some kind of code adopted during the moratorium."

He referred to the 120-day moratorium on issuing new building permits for wind turbines within city limits that the town imposed after the topic came up at a recent town board meeting and met with some public resistance.

Planning commissioner Ron Norris called Thursday's meeting "reasonable," with many points raised that need to be considered carefully.

Asked about differences in the two meetings, Joseph said Thursday's discussion focused on tougher regulatory issues. Some people reported, "'We're not sure we even want them at all; don't start talking about how to regulate them,'" he said. He commented that's making progress of sorts.

"We heard from both sides," he said. "A large group is still non-committal. I hope the airing and discussion helped make up some minds."

Norris said there is much information available and... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Community development director Bob Joseph told the Estes Valley Planning commissioners Tuesday night that a public meeting held last Thursday night regarding residential wind turbine regulations has led to some useful discussions.

"We're starting to see people's opinions form," he said. "We're hearing them. We will continue with this effort to get some kind of code adopted during the moratorium."

He referred to the 120-day moratorium on issuing new building permits for wind turbines within city limits that the town imposed after the topic came up at a recent town board meeting and met with some public resistance.

Planning commissioner Ron Norris called Thursday's meeting "reasonable," with many points raised that need to be considered carefully.

Asked about differences in the two meetings, Joseph said Thursday's discussion focused on tougher regulatory issues. Some people reported, "'We're not sure we even want them at all; don't start talking about how to regulate them,'" he said. He commented that's making progress of sorts.

"We heard from both sides," he said. "A large group is still non-committal. I hope the airing and discussion helped make up some minds."

Norris said there is much information available and planners need to study it.

Joseph said he'd heard criticism from people about the half-dozen or so wind turbine permits already issued. One of the criticisms questioned why there wasn't a moratorium sooner in the process.

"It's pretty clearly accepted (now) that the moratorium had a purpose," he said.

Commissioner John Tucker seemed to side with some of the criticism on aesthetics.

"Personally, I hate to see the cityscape speckled with the type of turbine on Highway 7," he said.

Other models are available and might be more acceptable, and more research is necessary for planners, he said. Joseph said he has been gathering research and will continue to do so.

Commissioner Betty Hull said that in both forums she was struck by the public perception of the visual impact of the wind turbines.

"That's a real priority," she said.

Norris asked what the next step should be and suggested the town board craft a problem statement on the issue. The commissioners could then research the issue and provide some code language.

Joseph added the staff should put a Powerpoint presentation on the town Web site for citizens to view, to "help inform the discussion locally." Information on new products and efforts in other communities could be added as information becomes available.

Commissioners agreed they have learned a lot from the public forums and wondered how and whether they should be continued. They consider them a beginning point.

Attorney Greg White suggested sending a priority list to the town board and deciding how to proceed after hearing back from the town officials.


Source: http://www.eptrail.com/ci_1...

AUG 21 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/21865-community-opinions-beginning-to-form-on-turbines
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