Articles filed under General from Virginia
Brian Cochran, Bluefield city solicitor, in the process of drafting a tall structure ordinance so the city has something in place if a developer specifically wants to acquire property and erect a wind turbine project like the proposed Dominion and BP project in Tazewell County, but Cochran said there's no hurry to get one in place. "The city of Bluefield already has some restrictive zoning in place," Cochran said. "I don't see where our code would allow a development like the one that has been proposed in Tazewell County."
Tazewell County Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance that prevents wind farm construction on specified locations. Wind industry supporters say it's an example of how the "anti-wind agenda" is gaining steam. It's one of the latest ordinances in the country adopted by local government that prevents wind farm construction as the federal government is pushing for cleaner greener technologies.
The approval of the so-called ridgeline protection ordinance for Tazewell County may not be the end of the wind turbine debate. Although officials with Dominion and BP Wind Energy North America say they are now mulling over their options for the East River Mountain project, company spokesman Ryan Frazier pointed out following Tuesday's vote that the newly adopted ordinance does allow for an appeal of variances.
According to an advance copy the Tuesday's printed agenda for the Tazewell County Board of Supervisors, the board will discuss at 7:55 p.m. and consider the approval of an ordinance to regulate the construction of tall structures on certain ridgelines. If approved by the board, the ordinance would effectively prohibit Dominion and BP Wind Energy North America from constructing large-scale wind turbines along the ridgeline of East River Mountain.
Laurel Fork, the protected stream in western Highland, might be seriously affected by the industrial wind facility planned on Allegheny Mountain, county citizens contend. They have asked the state Department of Conservation and Recreation to take another look at the potential impacts, and include public participation in a more thorough review.
Highland New Wind Development has said for months it does not have to do anything about its proposed 400-foot towers' visual impacts on a nearby Civil War battlefield. This week, the State Corporation Commission hearing examiner agreed. Virginia's Department of Historic Resources had complained the company was not meeting a condition of its permit for the industrial wind energy utility planned in Highland County.
Tazewell County officials say they will attempt to make a decision Feb. 2 on a controversial wind turbine farm for East River Mountain. However, they aren't guaranteeing at this point that the board will be able to reach a consensus decision on the proposed ridgeline construction ordinance at the Feb. 2 meeting.
At a work session Monday, supervisors authorized the Bedford County Planning Commission to begin drafting a set of rules on small wind energy systems for the county. ...anything above 80 feet would be unfeasible for small wind turbine owners. "I guarantee you'll never see a commercial wind farm in Bedford County," Henderson said. "You'll have interest but you're not going to be inundated with requests."
With a large crowd expected Tuesday night at Tazewell Middle School, area residents won't be allowed to become long-winded when it comes to the topic of turbines. In fact, folks will be limited to two-minutes of speaking time ...The board is seeking public comment on a proposed ordinance to regulate the construction of tall structures on certain ridgelines in Tazewell County.
Monday, Highland New Wind Development told Highland supervisors it intends to develop a habitat conservation plan and obtain a federal incidental take permit. ...If true, we applaud the decision. But we're skeptical.
Highland citizens, bolstered by the recent wind energy injunction in West Virginia, sent county officials their third, and perhaps final, warning. In a letter sent Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009, attorney James Jennings Jr. told Highland's board of supervisors it must require Highland New Wind Development LLC to obtain a federal incidental take permit to avoid legal action.
In its complaint that HNWD isn't meeting conditions required under its state permit, DHR says HNWD's permit expired Dec. 20, 2009, and HNWD had not started construction. The SCC put a two-year sunset provision in its final order when it granted HNWD's permit on Dec. 20, 2007. The company was required to begin construction within two years - by Dec. 20, 2009 - or ask for an extension.
A decision on a controversial wind-turbine farm for East River Mountain could come as early as February ...The county Board of Supervisors will meet today at 6 p.m. at the administration offices in Tazewell, but there is no mention of wind turbines on the board's six-page agenda. The windmill controversy will instead be addressed at the Tuesday, Jan. 12 meeting, according to board chairman David Anderson.
The Virginia Department of Historical Resources (DHR) claimed a wind energy developer has "deliberately misstated" and "deliberately misrepresented" facts as part of its continuing effort to build an industrial wind facility on Tamarack Ridge near Camp Allegheny. DHR and Highland New Wind Development, LLC (HNWD), are engaged in a legal battle to determine the energy company's responsibilities with regard to historic Camp Allegheny.
Highland citizens, bolstered by the recent wind energy project injunction in West Virginia, sent county officials their third, and perhaps final, warning. In a letter sent today (Wednesday, Dec. 30), attorney James Jennings Jr. told the Highland board it must require Highland New Wind Development LLC to obtain a federal incidental take permit to avoid legal action.
The concept of going green took on a whole new meaning in 2009 for the region. With the Obama administration pushing new clean energy sources, the scenic beauty of East River Mountain was suddenly threatened, and the greater Bluefield region was divided by a towering controversy.
Does a Virginia agency have standing with regard to a West Virginia landmark? The debate between Highland New Wind Development LLC and the state Department of Historic Resources appears to come down to a handful of legal points. Among those is whether the DHR has any authority to require the company to mitigate the visual impact its 400-foot towers will have on Camp Allegheny, a Civil War battlefield in Pocahontas County, W.Va.
Apparently, Highland County is going to get sued over the wind energy project - again. And apparently, some of our supervisors aren't worried. They should be. Highland New Wind Development, the closely held family company attempting to build the state's first wind-generating electric facility, should be, too. ...HNWD's project site has far more than one endangered species living there. Allegheny Mountain is home to bald and golden eagles, flying squirrels, two protected bats, and other flora and fauna.
County Supervisors Differ On Turbines The move to harness wind energy in Albemarle County hit a hurdle Wednesday night. County supervisors agreed to support wind turbines in theory but differed over the details. Turbine supporters say there's plenty to gain. It's not a point supervisors debated, instead they went back and forth over details on where exactly is the right spot to build them.
The Tazewell County Board of Supervisors insist they aren't dragging their feet when it comes to making a decision about wind turbines. But it's starting to look like they are doing just that. The board has been studying the issue of wind turbines and the proposed ridgeline protection - or tall structure - ordinance for well over a year. The first public hearing on the original tall structure ordinance was held back in November 2008 - on the night of a significant snow storm for that matter. Now, more than a year later, the board has once again opted to delay.