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Saline County clears way for wind farms

The Saline County Commission on Tuesday cleared the way for commercial wind farms to operate within the county. ...The commission voted unanimously to approve a resolution adopting an amendment to the county code that will lay out rules and regulations for wind farms that would produce energy for sale. The county code already allows for private wind facilities.

The Saline County Commission on Tuesday cleared the way for commercial wind farms to operate within the county.

Vicki Koepsel, director of Saline County Planning and Zoning, said no company has submitted an application for such an operation but she has received calls inquiring about the county's regulations.

"I know people are looking and people are scouting the state," Koepsel said.

Kansas is ranked third in the nation in wind potential.

The commission voted unanimously to approve a resolution adopting an amendment to the county code that will lay out rules and regulations for wind farms that would produce energy for sale. The county code already allows for private wind facilities.

Following a public hearing on the issue in November, the county Board of Planning and Zoning voted 7-0 to recommend that the commission approve the amendment.

Commercial operations will be allowed only in the county's agricultural zoning district. Such operations will require a conditional-use permit and a zoning compliance certificate from the county and a building permit from the city.

Turbines will not be allowed to be located closer than 1,500 feet from any residence unless that property owner has... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

The Saline County Commission on Tuesday cleared the way for commercial wind farms to operate within the county.

Vicki Koepsel, director of Saline County Planning and Zoning, said no company has submitted an application for such an operation but she has received calls inquiring about the county's regulations.

"I know people are looking and people are scouting the state," Koepsel said.

Kansas is ranked third in the nation in wind potential.

The commission voted unanimously to approve a resolution adopting an amendment to the county code that will lay out rules and regulations for wind farms that would produce energy for sale. The county code already allows for private wind facilities.

Following a public hearing on the issue in November, the county Board of Planning and Zoning voted 7-0 to recommend that the commission approve the amendment.

Commercial operations will be allowed only in the county's agricultural zoning district. Such operations will require a conditional-use permit and a zoning compliance certificate from the county and a building permit from the city.

Turbines will not be allowed to be located closer than 1,500 feet from any residence unless that property owner has signed a waiver, Koepsel said. They also will be required to be located farther than 1.5 times the total turbine height from public roads or property lines. Commercial wind farm turbines often are 400 feet to the highest point.

No opposition, yet

Koepsel said she hasn't received any negative comment from citizens on the issue, but that is likely to change if a company actually submits an application for a wind farm.

"I think, in principle, people support it," she told commissioners. "When it is going to impact their view, peace of mind or the quiet of their property, then we will probably have some opposition."

Because it is more densely populated than its neighboring counties, Koepsel said, Saline County might not be as attractive to wind farm operators.

"Getting a wind facility would be wonderful," she said. "We need to have protections in place for the county and its residences and to balance all the competing interests."

Thanks to Hansmann

Also Tuesday, commissioners recognized Capt. Rick Hansmann for 40 years of service to the Saline County Sheriff's Office. After presenting him a certificate of appreciation, Sheriff Glen Kochanowski said the three words he would use to describe Hansmann are "dedicated, trustworthy and loyal."

Hansmann has worked under five different sheriffs.

"I've been around so long, there are 48 people at the sheriff's office that weren't even born when I came to work," Hansmann said.


Source: http://www.saljournal.com/n...

NOV 26 2008
https://www.windaction.org/posts/18081-saline-county-clears-way-for-wind-farms
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