Library filed under Zoning/Planning from Arizona
The ordinance would cover a variety of industrial energy generation projects including solar power, biomass and geothermal facilities but the main focus at the work session on July 27 dealt with wind power. Most of the discussion was even more narrow in scope, dealing with noise levels and setbacks of wind farms.
Navajo County Planning and Zoning officials have assured citizens that they would obtain additional information on a series of proposed wind and solar energy farms between Holbrook and Snowflake. Although much of that information is still forthcoming, Planner II Bill Fraley provided an update on what the county is doing to inform the public and help commissioners and supervisors make a decision on whether to issue special use permits for the project.
City residents will get a chance to review and comment on a proposed windmill ordinance tonight, more than a month before the Flagstaff City Council does. If passed, the ordinance could lead to nearly 100-foot-high wind turbines being installed on lots as small as a half-acre in business zones. Currently, the city's land development code is silent on wind turbines -- it doesn't specifically allow them, nor does it forbid them. The council directed staff in October to fast-track an amendment to the code that would allow wind turbines in industrial and commercial areas.
After a year's worth of hot air, Kingman's City Council on Monday finally voted to establish new development standards for wind turbines within the city limits. Council voted 4-3 to approve a text amendment to the city zoning ordinance instituting regulations for small wind energy systems. The split vote came after more than an hour of discussion and public testimonials in which several Council members voiced second thoughts on the amendment, citing renewed concerns with minimum lot sizes, setback requirements, and whether or not turbines were even a worthwhile means of cutting energy costs.
A proposed ordinance could lead to more wind turbines in nonresidential areas of Flagstaff as early as next spring. The Flagstaff City Council has instructed city staff to fast-track an ordinance that would allow nearly 100-foot-high wind turbines on lots as small as a half-acre in areas zoned for commercial or industrial use. Currently, the city's land development code is silent on wind turbines -- it doesn't specifically allow them nor does it forbid them.
The Kingman Planning and Zoning Commission will consider no fewer than three amendments to the zoning ordinance at its meeting this evening. The first of the three amendments would create a new subsection within the city's General Development Standards covering standards for small wind energy systems.
Talk of a wind farm has blown into the artsy community of Bisbee, the latest in a long list of cities across the country now mired in the clean-energy debate. Some residents of the southeastern Arizona city support the renewable-energy source, while others don't want to see or hear turbines, typically hundreds of feet tall, spinning on their hillsides. The controversy highlights the dilemma faced by energy companies trying to pitch the inexpensive, non-polluting power source that, unlike many power plants, can't be tucked out of sight. ..."It's hard to get a handle on it because you want to save the environment, but you're destroying it to save it," said Todd Bogatay, a local architect and sculptor who crafted an off-grid home in the hills north of Bisbee. "There's got to be a better way."
The Cochise County Planning and Zoning Commission knows a bit more about wind turbines and wind power. At a work session held last night prior to the regular meeting, three experts in renewable energies and wind power gave a brief presentation ...Perhaps the most informative was Auberle, the man who headed the wind studies done for four prospective counties in the state that included Cochise. That study showed that only 2.2 percent of the county land was suitable for a wind plant and that plant would probably not be able to support more than a 60 MW (megawatt ) plant at that, based on data over the past 30 years from the National Weather Service and the restrictions on where wind farms can be placed. The most viable places for wind turbine placement in the county are in the Class 3 range, not good enough for a large plant.
On Wednesday, the Cochise County Planning and Zoning Commission will meet to gather information on permitting potential wind farms. California-based Clipper Windpower initiated the issue over possible wind generation in the Mule Mountains in Bisbee. The meeting, however, will not address any issues directly linked to Clipper's proposal ...
The 33-foot-tall metal structures also have generated quite a bluster at Bullhead City's municipal headquarters, where council members fret about the prospect of turbines popping up on properties throughout the community. So, the elected leaders passed a law, and the Endlines decided to fight City Hall. ...Mayor Jack Hakim says he and others were worried about blocked views, blight, safety hazards, noise pollution and neighborhood bickering. Because no other city in Arizona had a wind-turbine ordinance, Hakim adds, they had to make one up. The result, after a lot of debate, was a measure requiring at least 1 acre of land for a turbine and allowing no more than one per parcel. The Endlines, who previously had installed their second turbine, were out of conformance. The city insisted they pay $440 for a special-use permit. Larry says he was outraged by the political "babble" but even more upset because the new code blocks many others from using wind energy.
Navajo Nation leaders are well aware that coal has fallen from favor in thisage of global warming. But to them, plans for a new power plant on the reservation mean more than rising temperatures and climate patterns. To them it is survival. The proposed Desert Rock Energy Project in northwestern New Mexico could add $50 million in revenue to their annual budget of about $130 million, excluding government contracts, and bring 1,000 construction jobs and 400 permanent positions to the plant and expanded mine. advertisement Environmentalists on and off the reservation are fighting the plans, saying that the region already suffers enough air pollution from existing coal plants and mines. They say the poverty-stricken tribe could see a bigger economic boost from developing wind and solar energy.
Currently there is no wind power at all in Arizona, and the state's power comes almost entirely from coal, nuclear, natural gas and hydropower. Yet surging electricity needs in the state, combined with rising concerns over the contribution of carbon emissions to global warming, have made wind power an increasingly realistic option for the state's energy mix. ...According to Mohave County Supervisor Buster Johnson, even if Mayes were successful in persuading Arizona utilities to build wind projects in Mohave County, he would not support their construction. "I don't think the benefit is there, with jobs that will help our people," Johnson said. Johnson also stated that he opposed wind farms because they would fail to generate any tax revenue for the county. "The taxes would be a big concern of mine," he said. "The tax revenue is what we need to survive on. If we start giving these people hundreds of acres for free without paying taxes, we are hurting ourselves more than we're gaining by the production of renewable energy."
A Bureau of Land Management unsigned Finding of No Significant Impact and supporting Environmental Assessment for the proposed Dry Lake Wind Project are available for public review and comment through March 14. ...The proposed Dry Lake Wind Project would be located six to 18 miles north-northwest of the town of Snowflake, just east of State Highway 377 and southwest of the I-40 corridor. The project would provide up to 378 megawatts (MW) of wind energy and consist of multiple phases.
A new federal proposal to help electricity flow more freely could help the energy-choked East Coast. But it could also infuriate landowners, who have traditionally gotten their way in fights against utilities in Delaware. U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman last week named Delaware as part of his proposed eastern National Interest Electric Transmission Corridor. It would run from New York to Virginia, and west to Ohio. A second corridor would run through California, Arizona and Nevada.
HOLBROOK - Rocking Chair Ranch, 18 miles northwest of Snowflake, may soon be harvesting wind power.