Voters in the coming weeks will decide if the proposed site for a controversial wind farm will remain part of this small town. An election is set for March 1, the same day as the partisan primaries, on whether to repeal the annexation of about 312 acres on the west end of Elm Springs. The City Council approved the annexation in October, but a petition drive that ended in December put the question on the ballot.
Library filed under Zoning/Planning from Arkansas
Mayor Harold Douthit told 40/29 Monday evening that it’s possible the property will not have to be rezoned to place the wind turbines on the land. Douthit said that Fell asked the planning commission about looking at the possibility of moving forward with the project under the current Agricultural zoning
If the annexation is reversed, the land -- and any projects built on it -- would fall under Washington County jurisdiction and permitting procedures instead of the city's. But Jonathon Hamby, who lives next to the land and has helped rally the project's opposition, said he hopes the vote puts a stop to the project once and for all.
City officials started debating the issue earlier this year and annexed the land Oct. 19. More than 100 people attended a town hall meeting in the spring and community members formed a group called "Stop the Elm Springs Wind Farm." ...Jonathon Hamby is ready to fight the project to the end. He is a leader of the group opposing the project and built a house on land that would border the proposed wind farm. Hamby has lived in the home with his wife and three children for 16 months.
Dragonfly Industries International has said it hopes to use the land as a proving ground for a shrouded wind turbine design resembling a jet engine, which the company has said is quieter, more efficient and safer for wildlife than the standard design. ...The project has sparked intense opposition from neighbors of the land and others in town.