Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from North Carolina
Several hundred people packed an Ashe County courtroom last night to share passionate opinions about a proposed wind farm of 25 to 28 windmills at sites on or near Big Springs Mountain in Creston. Last night’s hearing before a member of the N.C. Utilities Commission is part of the commission’s decision-making process in approving or denying the project. In July, Richard Calhoun, a resident of Ashe County, filed an application with the utilities commission to build the wind farm, which would generate electricity that would be sold to power companies. Each windmill would be about 300 feet tall. Development costs are estimated to be $60million to $65 million, according to the application.
A local farmer and former county commissioner Richard Calhoun of Northwest Wind Developers, LLC is proposing a wind farm of 25-28 wind turbines in Creston to make electricity. Anyone interested in letting their voice be heard on this issue can attend a hearing for the purpose of receiving public comments on Thursday, Jan. 25th at 7 p.m. in the small courtroom of the Ashe County Courthouse in Jefferson. This hearing will be held by the North Carolina Utilities Commission and it will then later reconvene for the purpose of receiving additional public witness testimony and expert witness testimony from the parties on Feb. 13th at 9:30 a.m. in Commission Hearing 2115 in Raleigh.
A local farmers' advocacy group told Ashe County commissioners yesterday that the county should allow windmills to generate electricity that could be sold as an alternative income for farmers. The recommendation came a month after Watauga County became the first county in North Carolina to adopt regulations for windmills. Extension agent Charles Young, a spokesman for the county's Agriculture Advisory Committee, told Ashe commissioners that it's in the county's best interest to gain support and recognition for wind power as a way to preserve farmland.
Watauga County became yesterday the first county in North Carolina to adopt an ordinance regulating wind-energy systems. The board of commissioners established rules by which the county planning staff may approve single windmills that generate electricity for on-site use. A more comprehensive process with review by the planning board would be required for commercial wind farms.
Planning director Joe Furman said the proposed ordinance would make it relatively easy for people to receive permits for small systems for on-site use of the generated electricity. Larger commercial systems, designed to sell electricity off-site, were faced with “serious environmental and aesthetic considerations.”
The Watauga County Planning Board ventured into new territory in recommending an ordinance to regulate windmills during last Monday’s meeting.
Draft is headed for Watauga commissioners
Supporters of sustainable energy are supporting a county ordinance that would allow for development of windmills while keeping true to the intent of a state law that limits development on ridge tops.