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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

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SPOTLIGHT
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Wind talk becomes heated

Published on -10/2/2007, 11:26 PM

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By KALEY LYON Hays Daily News Tensions were high Monday morning as a heated discussion regarding zoning issues and the request for a moratorium on wind energy development gusted into Ellis County Commission chambers. Keith Pfannenstiel, who lives on Mount Pleasant Road, suggested a moratorium on applications for wind development and revision of the current county zoning regulations. "Today, I am here personally asking there be a motion made for a moratorium," Pfannenstiel said. "I don't need to hear you will think about it. If a motion is made, at least the public knows which commissioners want to do this right. "They will also know which commissioners want to push it off so they can waive the one-year waiting period and accept another wind application." Pfannenstiel also suggested a committee independent of the planning and zoning board propose a comprehensive plan and rewrite zoning regulations. The moratorium not only would allow time to revisit zoning regulations, it also would allow time for necessary studies, he said. "So, unless you have conflicting interests, this moratorium is needed for more than one reason," Pfannenstiel said. "It is time you commissioners admit that zoning is far from where it should be and that it needs to be revised completely." John Schmeidler, co-chairman of the Ellis County Environmental Awareness Coalition, also addressed commissioners regarding zoning issues. In late June, the coalition filed a petition of about 760 signatures requesting a moratorium. Schmeidler expressed concern at the county's lack of a comprehensive plan and spoke in favor of implementing one. "We need a moratorium, not necessarily for the wind project, but we need a moratorium for anything that's going to affect a large number of people in Ellis County until such time as we have a comprehensive plan," Schmeidler said. "One of the reasons Keith and I are both speaking here today is because just 13 months into zoning, we've had lots of problems." Schmeidler also said Iberdrola Renewable Energies USA will ask the commissioners for a waiver to reapply for a conditional-use permit within the next two weeks. A lengthy discussion between commissioners followed, as emotions ran high among those in attendance. A motion made by commissioner Perry Henman for a moratorium of one year, or until the county would have a comprehensive plan in place, failed for lack of a second. The composition of the county planning and zoning commission also was discussed. Schmeidler expressed concern at the reasons some commissioners cited for voting in favor of the wind farm application, while Pfannenstiel questioned conflicting interests and said he doesn't think the commissioners understand their role in determining land usage. "If we have a zoning question or a zoning problem, we have a zoning board. We take it to the zoning board, and they can present it to us," Berens said. "The moratorium at this time, I'm opposed to it." "Mr. Berens, I think the zoning board is a complete and total joke," Schmeidler said. "What?" Berens said. "The zoning board is a joke," Schmeidler said. "The zoning board is not a joke," Berens said. Commissioners also discussed the possibility of eliminating countywide zoning. "We as a commission put it in, we as a commission can take it back out," commissioner Dennis Pfannenstiel said. "I'm ready to make a motion that we just abolish countywide zoning. Without the countywide zoning, we wouldn't have this issue." Reporter Kaley Lyon can be reached at (785) 628-1081, Ext. 138, or by e-mail at klyon@dailynews.net. In other business: * Ernest Engel discussed a fence dispute in section 32, township 14, range 18. Commissioners adjourned at the end of the meeting to view the fence and the property boundaries in question. Commissioner Dennis Pfannenstiel refrained from participating in this issue due to a conflict of interest. He's related to the other property owner, Maurice Rohr. * Public Works Administrator Mike Graf discussed possible replacement of the office facility at the county landfill. Commissioners were presented with an example of a modular office and agreed a new facility should be pursued. * Commissioners approved a payment schedule for a Kansas Department of Transportation revolving loan drawn for the Saline River bridge project. The cost was $181,361.48, which will be paid by 2012.
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