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Henderson rejects proposed wind turbine in neighborhood

After about two hours of testimony and discussion, Kermitt Waters' neighbors rejoiced and hugged. The Henderson City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night against Waters' request to build a 45-foot wind turbine in his backyard.

After about two hours of testimony and discussion, Kermitt Waters' neighbors rejoiced and hugged. The Henderson City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night against Waters' request to build a 45-foot wind turbine in his backyard.

The Henderson Planning Commission denied Waters' request Jan. 14 to build the wind turbine near his home on Crown Valley Drive. He appealed to the council, arguing there is nothing in the city's code that prohibits the turbine.

The council has delayed making a decision several times, requesting further information about the turbine's safety and aesthetics from Waters' legal team.

"His goal, he thought, was very simple," Waters' attorney George Garcia said. "He thought he was going to be following a very straightforward process."

Garcia described Waters as someone who wanted to set an example. He wanted not to just talk about green energy, Garcia said, but to implement it and inspire others to do the same.

Waters wasn't able to attend Tuesday's meeting.

"Clearly, this council supports green energy solutions," said Councilwoman Debra March. "I don't believe this is the right project in the right location."

During the meeting,... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

After about two hours of testimony and discussion, Kermitt Waters' neighbors rejoiced and hugged. The Henderson City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night against Waters' request to build a 45-foot wind turbine in his backyard.

The Henderson Planning Commission denied Waters' request Jan. 14 to build the wind turbine near his home on Crown Valley Drive. He appealed to the council, arguing there is nothing in the city's code that prohibits the turbine.

The council has delayed making a decision several times, requesting further information about the turbine's safety and aesthetics from Waters' legal team.

"His goal, he thought, was very simple," Waters' attorney George Garcia said. "He thought he was going to be following a very straightforward process."

Garcia described Waters as someone who wanted to set an example. He wanted not to just talk about green energy, Garcia said, but to implement it and inspire others to do the same.

Waters wasn't able to attend Tuesday's meeting.

"Clearly, this council supports green energy solutions," said Councilwoman Debra March. "I don't believe this is the right project in the right location."

During the meeting, 11 residents spoke against the turbine, most saying they feared the turbine would be unsafe or would lower their property values. Twenty other residents filled out cards to speak against the turbine, but elected not to speak.

Cami Putnam, who is against the wind turbine, said that after doing her own research she feared that a 45-foot-tall turbine would place it in turbulent winds.

"Runaway turbines are caused by turbulent winds," she said, wearing a lime-green T-shirt that read, "I'm Not a Big Fan." She said she likes the idea of green energy, but "this turbine doesn't belong in a residential neighborhood."

Putnam said she spent many nights knocking on doors and had 252 signatures for a petition against Waters' turbine. About half of those signatures, she said, came from within her neighborhood.

Putnam's backyard is adjacent to where the wind turbine would be.

Darrell Pepper, a professor of mechanical engineering at UNLV, whose students constructed Waters' turbine for a class project, said the turbine would be safe in its location, and that Southern Nevada is an ideal location for wind energy.

"That turbine would not fail or come off that pole until winds reach 268 miles per hour," Pepper said.

Pepper said he conducted acoustic studies, which showed that when the turbine moved, it created 2 decibels of sound. The ambient sound in Waters' backyard was about 25 times louder, he said.

Pepper said studies have shown the turbine wouldn't affect property values.

Councilman Steve Kirk disagreed, saying property values are too subjective to accurately quantify within the neighborhood. Kirk had said in a previous meeting he wouldn't buy a home next to a turbine.

During the council's June 1 meeting, Kirk suggested the council allow for a small wind farm away from residential areas. That way, he said, there could be a compromise between going green and making residents happy.

All four council members voted in favor of the motion. Debra March wasn't in attendance.

Mayor Andy Hafen said he hopes the city will consider the wind farm option in the future.

"I don't think we should let that go," he said. "There needs to be a lot of trial and error before we get this right."

Waters, a prominent eminent domain lawyer known for fighting for landowners' rights, estimates he has spent about $50,000 on the turbine, including legal costs. Garcia estimates he has spent much more than that.

"The average person cannot do what he did," Garcia said, adding that Waters will ultimately lose money on the turbine, even if he is allowed to install it and reap energy savings.

Garcia said Waters has indicated to him he would take legal action if the council denied the turbine. Waters wasn't available to comment Wednesday night.


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

JUL 21 2010
http://www.windaction.org/posts/27344-henderson-rejects-proposed-wind-turbine-in-neighborhood
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