There is still a possibility that wind turbines will reach to the sky in the Suisun Marsh.
After much discussion during a public hearing Tuesday, the Solano County Board of Supervisors voted to continue its policy that prohibits wind turbine projects in the primary management area in the marsh, but permit them in the secondary management area.
The wind turbine project, according to staff, will still need a conditional-use permit to “demonstrate that they will not have a significant impact on the maintenance of the marsh in its present natural state, on marsh wildlife and on the visual characteristics of the marsh.”
Supervisors voted 3 to 2 and approved a negative declaration as part of the updates to the development policies and regulations for the Suisun Marsh. Supervisors Linda Seifert and Barbara Kondylis dissented.
Prior to the approval, a motion by Kondylis, that was seconded by Seifert to deny the negative declaration, failed because it lacked enough votes.
At issue, according to Kondylis, is the wind turbine projects aren’t “invisible.” She called the idea of wind turbines sticking up in the air in the middle of the Suisun Marsh “ludicrous.”
“I don’t see any way you can hide a 200-foot tall windmill,” she said.
Seifert said the policies weren’t conducive to helping the Suisun Marsh last for generations.
“The troubling part of all this is how we treat this unique asset,” she said. “We have an asset in Solano County that is unique
to California and unique in the United States. It’s a beautiful place and we are the parties that are responsible. We’ve been given the charge and that is to protect and preserve, not only for our generation, but for generations to come.”
She said as much as the county fights to protect the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, Solano County should fight for the Suisun Marsh.
Supervisor Jim Spering disagreed.
He explained that there is an environmental process, that includes aethestics, for projects such as wind turbines.
“I feel confident there are enough protections,” he said, and added, let environmental experts demonstrate the impact they have during that process.