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Wind changes bring applause

A packed room gave the Ellis County Joint Planning Commission a resounding round of applause Tuesday night after the commission voted 5-2 to recommend changes to the wind energy zoning regulations to the Ellis County Commission. ...The zoning commission recommended changing the current 10 times the tip height of the wind turbine setback to 1,000 feet and a noise decibel regulation of 50 decibels.

A packed room gave the Ellis County Joint Planning Commission a resounding round of applause Tuesday night after the commission voted 5-2 to recommend changes to the wind energy zoning regulations to the Ellis County Commission.

After holding an hour-long public hearing on changes proposed by Mark Bannister of Butterfield Wind during the commission's December meeting, members voted to revert back to the original zoning regulation recommendations that the planning commission suggested to county commissioners in 2006.

The zoning commission recommended changing the current 10 times the tip height of the wind turbine setback to 1,000 feet and a noise decibel regulation of 50 decibels.

During the public hearing, Bannister said the reason for the changes he proposed were about the creation of jobs in Ellis County.

"Wind energy development offers one of the best opportunities for economic growth that is consistent with Ellis County's traditional bases of income," Bannister said. "Setting up unworkable zoning requirements and announcing to the media that the county will allow them to be waived sends inconsistent messages to both citizens and developers."

Although most of the public who spoke during the public... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

A packed room gave the Ellis County Joint Planning Commission a resounding round of applause Tuesday night after the commission voted 5-2 to recommend changes to the wind energy zoning regulations to the Ellis County Commission.

After holding an hour-long public hearing on changes proposed by Mark Bannister of Butterfield Wind during the commission's December meeting, members voted to revert back to the original zoning regulation recommendations that the planning commission suggested to county commissioners in 2006.

The zoning commission recommended changing the current 10 times the tip height of the wind turbine setback to 1,000 feet and a noise decibel regulation of 50 decibels.

During the public hearing, Bannister said the reason for the changes he proposed were about the creation of jobs in Ellis County.

"Wind energy development offers one of the best opportunities for economic growth that is consistent with Ellis County's traditional bases of income," Bannister said. "Setting up unworkable zoning requirements and announcing to the media that the county will allow them to be waived sends inconsistent messages to both citizens and developers."

Although most of the public who spoke during the public hearing were for the proposed changes, there were those who were opposed.

Deb Denning said she was concerned with having too many turbines so close to her house.

"I'm against changing this," Denning said. "A 4,000 (foot) setback is not too much. At 1,000 (feet), it's 16 towers that will be close to our house we've been building for 20 years. I don't even know how to express how that will affect our house and land."

Ellis County Commission Chairman Glenn Diehl said the reason for the increased setback was to help protect people.

"To me, the 4,000 foot gave the maximum amount of protection and still encourage wind energy development, if we can get the companies to get these people on board, sign their waivers, compensate them and then we can move forward," Diehl said. "If that doesn't happen and we go back to 1,500-foot setbacks, I think we are going to be in a lawsuit again from the people that don't want them that close to their home."

In the end, the planning commission recommended to undo what was decided by the Ellis County Commission in August.

In other business, the planning commission approved a conditional-use permit for Keith Werth by unanimous decision.

The planning commission will meet next at 7 p.m. Feb. 23.


Source: http://www.hdnews.net/Story...

JAN 26 2011
http://www.windaction.org/posts/29816-wind-changes-bring-applause
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