Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from Colorado
After hearing a constant barrage of complaints from Logan County residents in the Fleming area about NextEra Energy’s Niyol Wind Farm, the planning commission voted 4-2 to table conditional use permit applications for up to 82 wind turbines in the area west and south of Fleming. The commission did, however, approve a permit for a meteorological tower to measure wind in the area.
Washington County Commissioners held their regular meeting Tuesday, March 17 with an audience of almost 30 people present. County Administrator Misty Peterson gave the invocation, followed by the “Pledge of Allegiance.”
Close to 50 neighbors voiced opposition Wednesday evening to an Evergreen Meadows resident’s plan to erect a 90-foot-high tower for a wind turbine. It was after midnight when the Jeffco Planning Commission voted 5-0 to recommend rejection of homeowner Hans Sinkovec’s plan.
"I live under one of these, and my dream of living in a peaceful place is gone," the she said. Now that dream is lost for other El Paso County residents as well after commissioners voted 3 to 1 to approve an overlay zoning ordinance that allows the construction of a 147 turbine, 37,000-acre wind farm to be constructed within 1,000 feet of at least 18 rural homes southeast of Calhan.
But at least one person is against it. Gail Hahn, who lives near the site of the wind farm, said she opposes the project because it will ruin the panoramic view from her home, and she believes it will reduce the value of her property.
The trustees major objection to the ordinance presented June 22 was that it did not include provisions for desired setbacks nor a mechanism for public review. Trustees included these specific requirements when remanding the issue back to the commission. Members of the planning commission voiced their disappointment and confusion at the board`s action.
Trustees voted against the Estes Valley Planning Commission`s recommended regulations for small wind turbines for the Estes Valley Development Area.
A moratorium on the issuance or review of building permits for wind turbines within town limits was adopted by the Estes Park Town Board on Aug. 11, 2009 in order to allow the planning commission to gather public input and draft regulations addressing the impacts of wind turbine location and operation.
The Estes Park Board of Trustees opted not to act Tuesday night on a set of recommendations for new regulations for wind turbines that the Estes Valley Planning Commission approved last month as Trustee Eric Blackhurst wondered if there was really a need for additional rules at all.
Being green, without annoying your neighbors, was high on the list of residents' requirements for the regulation of small wind energy conversion systems at last week's special meeting of the planning commission. While not calling for a ban on wind turbines, many residents requested that commissioners write regulations to make the wind turbines as difficult to install as possible and suggested the alternative of a wind farm here, located on one property, rather than allowing individual systems on eligible parcels.
Public input has been the driving force for the issue of wind turbines in Estes Park. Town staff recently conducted a voluntary-response survey related to wind turbines that received 804 responses. Results indicate that the majority (65.1 percent) do not want wind turbines to be banned by the Estes Valley Development Code. Of that majority, 53.7 percent want wind turbines to be regulated and 32.4 percent of respondents want to see wind turbines banned outright. The planning commission will continue wind turbine discussions at its regular meeting.
Despite the push towards cleaner energy, one Colorado town is putting a hold on wind turbines used to generate electricity. Concerns over how the turbines look in Estes Park have prompted the town to put a temporary halt to any new electricity-generating windmills.
Disgusting, ugly, atrocious monstrosities... These are words some local residents used to describe residential wind turbines a few homeowners have purchased and installed on their properties in and around Estes Park. The one wind turbine within town limits, located on Highway 7, steered the focus of the meeting on Thursday, called to open public discussion on re-regulating the turbines. Due to public opposition, town officials issued a 120-day temporary moratorium.
An amendment to the city's zoning ordinance regarding additional rules and regulations for wind energy systems was recommended to the mayor and council Tuesday in order to help protect the city's character and integrity. "In a nutshell, (the amendment) says that only small wind turbines will be allowed as an accessory use in most zones, subject to a public hearing and approval by the Zoning Board of Appeals," said City Planner David Umling.
Colorado ranks fourth nationwide when it comes to solar and geothermal resources and 11th in terms of wind power generation potential, according to online Renewable Energy World. It also has untapped hydroelectric and biomass resources. ...The Grand County planning commission is reviewing the allowable height of wind turbine towers. Currently, the county height restriction allows for a tower of 35 feet. Guy Larson of the Granby-based alternative energy solutions company Simply Efficient said "the taller the better," when it comes to harnessing wind power.
Wind is in as an alternative energy source, and Larimer County is making provision for those hoping to harness it. The first step will come on May 12 when the county commissioners consider adopting amendments to the land-use code governing smaller-scale wind generators. Then in August a separate set of amendments is expected to come before the commissioners, applying to electric transmission lines and power plants. Any larger-scale wind farms also would fall under that broad definition.
The Land Use Department has scheduled a Thursday afternoon forum to collect ideas for revising current regulations to provide more clarity and possible flexibility for owners of property in unincorporated Boulder County who might want to install turbine facilities. Among the current Land Use Code requirements that might be standing in the way of such projects, Oxenfeld said, are maximum-height limits for structures in rural Boulder County. Those height restrictions vary, depending on the zoning district involved. Structures in residential districts, for example, can now be no taller than 30 feet above ground level, which would rule out a rooftop-mounted wind turbine if the tallest point of the house is already at or near that height.
Walker envisions the country eventually embracing wind and solar energy. "It's coming, if people want to fight it or not," she says. For the moment, at least, some Calhan neighbors do want to fight it. And county commissioners seem likely to deny Clipper the permit for Walker's property. Jim Bensberg and Amy Lathen, reacting to comments from nearby property owners, opposed granting a permit for the tower at their Feb. 14 meeting, voting 2-1 against commission chair Dennis Hisey. ...Regardless of the outcome, that dust-up hints at disputes to come if and when Clipper or another company seeks to raise wind turbines in the county.
El Paso County commissioners will hear plans today for a major power transmission project that will sweep the southeastern corner of the county. The Eastern Plains Transmission Project aims at constructing 1,000 miles of power lines reaching as tall as 14 stories that could eventually link power on Colorado's eastern plains to southwestern Kansas. It would cut across some of the best wind-energy generation sites in the state, project managers say, and have the capacity for future conversion to such renewable energies.
SEI, the school for renewable energy and sustainable housing technology, won approval June 4 from the Board of County Commissioners for its bid to erect a 106-foot-high tower on its year-old Paonia campus. The tower will support an electricity generating turbine with blades spanning 12 feet to be used for class instruction and to produce power for the school's use. The BoCC, sitting with commission chair Jan McCracken absent, voted 2-0 in favor of the schools proposal after hearing comments from neighbors both in support and opposition of the plan.