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Bluefield, Va., looks at ridgeline ordinance of its own

A mountain ridge overlay ordinance has been adopted by the Bluefield, Va., Town Council pending a final approval today by the Bluefield, Va., Planning Commission, Mayor Don Harris said. The ordinance will regulate the development of structures with a maximum height of 35 feet or more. When asked if the ordinance was in response to a large-scale windmill project proposed for East River Mountain, Harris said the windmill project is not currently planned in the corporate limits of Bluefield, Va.

BLUEFIELD, Va. - Town officials are hoping to regulate the development of tall structures along mountain ridges.

A mountain ridge overlay ordinance has been adopted by the Bluefield, Va., Town Council pending a final approval today by the Bluefield, Va., Planning Commission, Mayor Don Harris said. The ordinance will regulate the development of structures with a maximum height of 35 feet or more.

When asked if the ordinance was in response to a large-scale windmill project proposed for East River Mountain, Harris said the windmill project is not currently planned in the corporate limits of Bluefield, Va.

"The companies pursuing the windmill developments have not come before the town council," Harris said. "The only way we found out about this is our supervisor David Anderson invited Todd Day and myself to attend a meeting with all of the entities involved. We later toured a windmill farm they put in on Mount Storm."

Although the windmills proposed for East River Mountain won't be located in the corporate limits of Bluefield, Va., Harris said the town is still working with the two companies to schedule a public information meeting in the Bluefield, Va., area.

Dominion and BP Wind Energy North... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

BLUEFIELD, Va. - Town officials are hoping to regulate the development of tall structures along mountain ridges.

A mountain ridge overlay ordinance has been adopted by the Bluefield, Va., Town Council pending a final approval today by the Bluefield, Va., Planning Commission, Mayor Don Harris said. The ordinance will regulate the development of structures with a maximum height of 35 feet or more.

When asked if the ordinance was in response to a large-scale windmill project proposed for East River Mountain, Harris said the windmill project is not currently planned in the corporate limits of Bluefield, Va.

"The companies pursuing the windmill developments have not come before the town council," Harris said. "The only way we found out about this is our supervisor David Anderson invited Todd Day and myself to attend a meeting with all of the entities involved. We later toured a windmill farm they put in on Mount Storm."

Although the windmills proposed for East River Mountain won't be located in the corporate limits of Bluefield, Va., Harris said the town is still working with the two companies to schedule a public information meeting in the Bluefield, Va., area.

Dominion and BP Wind Energy North America have purchased 2,560 acres of land in Tazewell County for a proposed wind energy project.

Harris, who is in Richmond today as part of Tazewell County's annual legislative visit, said he and other town council members will be meeting today with Dominion and BP to seek information on the windmill projects. Harris said the citizens of Bluefield, Va., need more information about the wind turbine proposal.

"Absolutely, because our people are going to be as much adversely affected," Harris said. "They are talking about putting up to 60 of these turbines. Although none will be in Bluefield, Va., every morning when we wake up we'll see them. I think that is why it's important for us to have this information meeting. I'm not being selfish about it, but I want our citizens in Bluefield, Va., to be knowledgeable about this thing."

Ryan Frazier, a corporate communications manager for Dominion, clarified earlier media reports Wednesday about the windmill project. Frazier said Dominion and BP are not considering the Burkes Garden community as a potential wind farm site.

"We are not pursing wind farms at Burkes Garden," Frazier said. "We are not evaluating that site."

Harris said the proposed mountain ridge overlay ordinance approved by town council is separate from a proposed ridgeline protection ordinance being considered by the Tazewell County Board of Supervisors. Harris said the mountain ridge overlay ordinance - if adopted by the planning commission without changes - would require developments with a maximum height of 35 feet or more to apply for a conditional use permit.

"They would then have to make sure they comply with the ordinance itself," Harris said. "And it would have to come before the planning commission number one for approval. Then the ultimate decision would be made by town council on whether to approve it or reject it."


Source: http://www.bdtonline.com/lo...

JAN 29 2009
https://www.windaction.org/posts/18813-bluefield-va-looks-at-ridgeline-ordinance-of-its-own
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