Articles filed under General from Kansas
After nearly an hour in executive session with lawyers, commissioners voted unanimously Monday to have staff prepare documents seeking to collect road repair money from Diamond Vista wind farm. Wichita lawyer Pat Hughes, originally hired as a county consultant for dealing with the wind farm, was retained to handle future action against Diamond Vista.
After unsuccessfully trying to get copies of commissioner Dianne Novak’s personal emails with an open records request, a wind farm concerned about her possible role in aiding its opponents says it will subpoena those emails from her directly. Expedition Wind last month filed a lawsuit seeking more than $35 million from Peabody farmer Randy Eitzen and five other defendants. The defendants are plaintiffs who did not withdraw from a lawsuit filed last August against the county.
As soon as next week, the company Apex Clean Energy could get the green light to move forward with plans for a $250 million renewable energy project, known as Jayhawk Wind, which would ultimately involve the installation of up to 100 wind turbines in northwestern Crawford and southwestern Bourbon counties.
Kansas will begin issuing new personalized license plates Wednesday that celebrate the state’s status as a power player for renewable energy. The new design features wind turbines profiled against a sunrise.
Burns stressed the need to press county commissioners to adopt a county zoning plan that set regulations and guidelines for wind farm development. He said everyone has the right to do what they want with their own property, but that right only extends to the point it damages someone else’s rights. Lori Lovelace, a local appraiser, said from appraisals she had done in Coffey County, where a wind farm was constructed several years ago, and from other appraisals she had seen done of properties near wind farms, home values saw a reduction of some 20 percent.
The commission has, however, created a five-member citizen advisory committee to research the idea and make recommendations on things like setbacks. They've also signed a moratorium on wind farms, that makes it so no county resources can be used for construction for at least a year.
An Expedition Wind Farm opponent was arrested Thursday after surveyors staking property in preparation for wind farm construction were reportedly greeted with gunshots.
County commissioners were met with a packed meeting room as they approved a conditional use permit and voted to change the language in zoning rules. Both moves make way for the Expedition Wind Farm.
Like birds poised for light, the blades of many wind turbines at Diamond Vista Wind Farm in northern Marion County have not been turning for a while.
A Friday county commission meeting to discuss road maintenance issues with Enel Green Power, the company developing Diamond Vista wind farm in the northern section of the county, and talk to Expedition Wind about future development of a wind farm in the southern portion of the county stayed civil despite a packed house.
The Parsons Planning Commission voted 5-1 in a special meeting Thursday evening to recommend the city commission approve an amendment to the zoning ordinance that would limit the height of wind turbines to 200 feet, including blade length, in the extraterritorial area. The planners didn’t want an outright ban of all turbines because some residents outside the city may want to install their own residential units, which are much smaller than those for commercial use.
Commissioners approved a conditional use permit for development of a wind farm, but took no action on a development plan submitted by the company Monday.
An opponent of a wind farm in Reno County and a rancher from Ellsworth County who has 11 wind turbines on his property give their views on the growing renewable energy source. BY
A protest petition against development of a proposed wind farm in the southern portion of Marion County was filed Monday with the county clerk’s office. If the 64-signature protest petition is validated, county clerk Tina Spencer said, state law would require a 3-0 vote of the commission to approve a conditional use permit.
The majority of speakers voiced their opposition. “We could have chosen to live anywhere but we chose to live here,” Matt Amos said. “Had I known that this was going to happen, I would have not have chosen to live here.” One after another, the stream of voices filled the conference hall.
County commissioner opposed to wind farm has turbine on her property Although a proposal to build a wind farm in the southern portion of the county has drawn strong opposition since August, not everyone stands against its construction.
Commissioner David Orr, appointed after the resignation of ex-wife Jennifer Orr, said Thursday evening that he is in favor of the project if officials can put the right deal together. But he warned he does not think the developer, Apex Clean Energy, will simply go away if officials cannot agree on agreements for road use, decommissioning and payments in lieu of taxes.
Novak said she felt obligated to stand by her opposition to the wind farm. She asked if a disclaimer can be added to future resolutions showing who voted against it. Commissioners generally agreed such a disclaimer can be added. They agreed it would be good to note who did not vote in favor.
The importance of the petition is that — if it is verified as legally sufficient — it would require a unanimous vote of the Reno County Commission to approve the NextEra permit, rather than a simple majority. The Reno County Planning Commission voted 4-3 on April 23 to recommend the county commission deny the NextEra application on grounds that it didn’t benefit the health and welfare of county residents.
Marion County has one wind farm in the far north part of the county. A second wind farm is proposed and county commissioners are expecting strong public comment from those for and against the proposal. County commissioners have already heard from some opposed to the look of a wind farm in the county.