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Hays Wind LLC joins lawsuit -9/25/2008, 10:47 AM

County files response to wind lawsuit -9/12/2008, 10:06 AM

Wind opponents file lawsuit -8/26/2008, 9:31 AM

Wind could blow into court -7/28/2008, 8:51 AM

Commissioners approve development plan -7/28/2008, 8:51 AM

Vote: Let 'er blow -7/28/2008, 4:03 PM

Commission says 'yes' -6/25/2008, 7:26 AM

Commissioners waive moratorium -6/2/2008, 11:43 AM

Wind farm company requests waiver -4/16/2008, 12:01 PM

Meridian Way Wind Farm to border U.S. Highway 81 -4/11/2008, 5:21 AM

Wind developer eyes two new locations -2/18/2008, 3:22 AM

Protest draws out wind talk -12/29/2007, 2:06 AM

Denial of permit sparks wind debate -11/23/2007, 2:06 AM

Supporters: No coal, lines means doom -11/12/2007, 2:06 AM

Iberdrola plans more towers -11/7/2007, 11:41 PM

Missouri wind farm is windfall for rural community -10/30/2007, 11:27 PM

Kansas has wind potential, if it is willing to act on it -10/23/2007, 11:26 PM

Wind talk becomes heated -10/2/2007, 11:26 PM

Wind farm company considers paying neighbors -9/13/2007, 11:26 PM

Reaction mixed on wind decision -9/6/2007, 11:26 PM

Hammond: Wind will blow -9/5/2007, 11:16 PM

Gone with the wind -9/4/2007, 11:16 PM

Wind farm decision towering -8/31/2007, 10:41 AM

Wind farm decision Sept. 4 -8/28/2007, 2:48 PM

CPV rep won't be at meeting -8/23/2007, 11:51 AM

Wind decision later this month ... maybe -8/15/2007, 4:18 PM

Springview wind turbines to be retired -7/17/2007, 10:35 AM

Commissioners: Wind farm's fate will wait -7/16/2007, 3:01 PM

Legislature studies effects of wind farms on health -7/15/2007, 4:05 PM

Protest petitions to be discussed -7/15/2007, 4:06 PM

Landowners may get offer from wind company -7/13/2007, 3:01 PM

Vandals deface wind signs -7/2/2007, 3:01 PM

Another wind farm petition reaches county clerk's desk -6/28/2007, 3:06 PM

Protest petition being verified -6/25/2007, 3:06 PM

Advocate of wind says make effort -6/21/2007, 3:06 PM

Supporters file own petition for wind farm -6/20/2007, 3:01 PM

Opponents file protest petition -6/20/2007, 3:01 PM

Opponents gain legal assistance -6/18/2007, 3:06 PM

Officials expect petition -6/18/2007, 3:06 PM

Commission addresses wind protest petition -6/11/2007, 3:06 PM

Wind farm gets nod -6/6/2007, 3:06 PM

Wind farm concerns brought before commission -6/5/2007, 3:06 PM

Wind farm decision looming -6/4/2007, 3:01 PM

-6/3/2007, 3:06 PM

Wind talk brings many voices -5/23/2007, 3:06 PM

Wind power bills just hot air, environmentalists say -5/23/2007, 3:01 PM

Attorney discusses wind farm with commissioners -5/21/2007, 3:01 PM

Wind meeting resumes Wednesday at Ellis County Fairgrounds -5/21/2007, 3:01 PM

Wind farm, zoning cause concerns -5/18/2007, 3:06 PM

Wind farm zoning timeline -5/17/2007, 3:01 PM

Concerns fly about birds -5/15/2007, 3:06 PM

Where the wind blows -5/10/2007, 3:06 PM

CPV says turbines will be pulled back -5/8/2007, 3:01 PM

How other counties in Kansas are benefiting from wind farms -5/8/2007, 3:01 PM

Wind farm gets economical endorsement -5/8/2007, 3:01 PM

Neighbors voice opposition to wind farm -5/3/2007, 3:06 PM

Wind farms can generate more power, but may be deadly to bats and birds -5/3/2007, 4:03 PM

Opponents air wind concerns -5/2/2007, 3:06 PM

Location selection due to wind surveys -4/30/2007, 3:06 PM

Tests to determine wind farm's effect on power grid -4/28/2007, 4:13 PM

Wind farm talk gaining more speed -4/24/2007, 4:12 PM

New counsel for wind farm issues -4/17/2007, 4:14 PM

CPV Wind sold to new company -4/11/2007, 4:14 PM

Jeter resigns from wind farm counsel -4/9/2007, 4:21 PM

Commissioners hear wind farm feedback -4/2/2007, 4:16 PM

Weather forces wind meeting's end -3/28/2007, 4:22 PM

Wind farm debate blows into Hays -3/28/2007, 4:10 PM

Commission to discuss wind farm -3/26/2007, 4:22 PM

Developers ready to file for permit -2/28/2007, 4:23 PM

Wind farm application filed -1/6/2007, 4:20 PM

myTown Calendar

SPOTLIGHT
Vote: Let 'er blow

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Vote: Let 'er blow

Published on -7/28/2008, 4:03 PM

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By KALEY LYON

klyon@dailynews.net

For the second time in less than a year, the Ellis County Commission was split in its decision to grant a conditional-use permit for a wind farm southwest of Hays.

This time, however, the 2-1 vote in favor of granting the permit was sufficient.

Approval of Iberdrola's much-contested 200-megawatt wind farm project, to stretch across approximately 13,000 acres of land, was granted this morning.

"The zoning board did vote 5-2 for approval," Commissioner Vernon Berens said. "All I can say is, I think it's an excellent benefit economically and otherwise for the county."

Chairman Dennis Pfannenstiel also voted in favor of granting the permit, while Commissioner Perry Henman again was the lone dissenter.

The Ellis County Joint Planning Commission recommended approval of the permit application in a 5-2 vote June 25.

When the project came before the commission in September, Henman expressed concern about the current county zoning regulations, which contain less than two pages of regulations for industrial wind developments.

These concerns were addressed in a written statement Henman presented to the board and the audience before the vote was taken.

"Also, one of the main reasons was the regulations and rules in our own zoning codes pertaining to industrial wind farms were grossly lacking, even compared with other Kansas counties with wind farms," Henman said. "I was hoping that the year-long moratorium would persuade the zoning board to study, debate, compromise on a new set of standards and regulations for Ellis County."

The application was denied last fall in a 2-1 vote.

A unanimous decision was needed then because project opponents filed a successful protest petition.

Zoning regulations call for a year-long moratorium after such a permit is denied, but commissioners waived the moratorium in a 2-1 vote early last month.

Henman also spoke in favor of incorporating further regulations and conditions into the motion of approval, similar to September's motion, which included setback distances, and called for road maintenance and decommissioning agreements.

"The resolution that's been proposed for us is basically a blank check," Henman said.

Henman also said that, after attending zoning meetings, he believes the zoning commission is hesitant to set regulations, as the county commission has the final authority.

"I think it's our duty then, if they won't do it, that we need to put conditions on a project of this scope so that people do have some protections or at least some minor protections," he said. "Or at least even do what the applicants have offered."

"We could be here all day," Berens said.

"I'm ready to do that," Henman responded. "I've got like four points."

Pfannenstiel said that, since the joint planning commission began the process of revising wind energy regulations earlier this year, the board has accepted recommendations from the public and will present their final recommendation to the commission for approval.

"I think they've done their job," Pfannenstiel said. "Anyway, we're here to act on the conditional-use permit, and I would entertain a motion either for or against."

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