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Council seeks compromise in fight over man's backyard wind turbine

The Henderson City Council proposed a compromise to settle an ongoing battle with a man who wants to build a 45-foot-tall wind turbine in his backyard. ...Kirk said the goal is to find a location "that is a little less densely populated and is probably a little more efficient for wind turbines." "I wouldn't want to live next to (a turbine) and I can almost guarantee I wouldn't buy a house next to one," Kirk said.

The Henderson City Council proposed a compromise to settle an ongoing battle with a man who wants to build a 45-foot-tall wind turbine in his backyard.

On Jan. 14, the Planning Commission rejected Kermitt Waters' request to build the turbine at his home on Crown Valley Drive. Waters appealed to the council, arguing that there's nothing in the city's code prohibiting the turbine.

A group of neighbors, led by Cami Putnam, has been lobbying against the project. And the council has delayed making a decision, citing a lack of specific information from Waters and his attorney, George Garcia.

On Tuesday, Councilman Steven Kirk suggested the council tweak city ordinances to allow a small wind farm in Henderson where private owners, like Waters, can buy turbines and use the credits toward their energy bills.

The councilman said he didn't think green energy issues were going to go away. The city ought to make it available to residents who want to use it, without "ruining" neighborhoods, he said.

Kirk said the goal is to find a location "that is a little less densely populated and is probably a little more efficient for wind turbines."

"I wouldn't want to live... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

The Henderson City Council proposed a compromise to settle an ongoing battle with a man who wants to build a 45-foot-tall wind turbine in his backyard.

On Jan. 14, the Planning Commission rejected Kermitt Waters' request to build the turbine at his home on Crown Valley Drive. Waters appealed to the council, arguing that there's nothing in the city's code prohibiting the turbine.

A group of neighbors, led by Cami Putnam, has been lobbying against the project. And the council has delayed making a decision, citing a lack of specific information from Waters and his attorney, George Garcia.

On Tuesday, Councilman Steven Kirk suggested the council tweak city ordinances to allow a small wind farm in Henderson where private owners, like Waters, can buy turbines and use the credits toward their energy bills.

The councilman said he didn't think green energy issues were going to go away. The city ought to make it available to residents who want to use it, without "ruining" neighborhoods, he said.

Kirk said the goal is to find a location "that is a little less densely populated and is probably a little more efficient for wind turbines."

"I wouldn't want to live next to (a turbine) and I can almost guarantee I wouldn't buy a house next to one," Kirk said.

Three members of the council and Henderson Mayor Andy Hafen voted to continue the decision.

Council member Debra March was not at Tuesday's meeting.

After conducting research on the matter, the council will report its findings at its June 15 meeting. A final vote is set for July 20.

"It's not over," Kirk said. "It's just an idea."

Waters was unable to attend the meeting. He has said that because of legal costs related to fighting for the project, the turbine will never pay for itself in energy savings.

Waters, who also owns a ranch in Childress, Texas, estimated he had spent about $40,000 in legal and consultant costs after spending $4,000 on the original wind turbine.

Waters' lawyer, Garcia, called Kirk's plan "an interesting suggestion worth pursuing."

About 40 people filled out cards to speak against the turbine at the council meeting, Hafen said. About 20 of them wore lime green shirts that read, "Not a Big Fan."

Hafen agreed with Kirk that a compromise is needed. "I think, then, everybody wins," Hafen said. "We could be the leading edge of technology."

Putnam said she collected 252 signatures - about half of them from people in her subdivision - on a petition against the wind turbine.

Putnam said her footwork helped her get to know her neighbors better. The group held a barbecue April 17 to rally against Waters' turbine.

"We've turned a negative into a positive," she said. "Regardless, I'm glad for that."

After Tuesday's decision, Putnam stood outside the council chambers, giving high fives and smiling.

"It's what we needed," she said. "We're not against green, but we're against it in our backyard."


Source: http://www.lasvegassun.com/...

JUN 2 2010
http://www.windaction.org/posts/26576-council-seeks-compromise-in-fight-over-man-s-backyard-wind-turbine
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