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Council hoping to cut windmills off at the pass 

A resolution to officially oppose 40 planned windmills just outside of town is expected to be approved at tonight’s City Council meeting.

“There’s nothing binding. It’s just a resolution to the Board of Supervisors of Riverside County” declaring the council’s position, Councilwoman Yvonne Parks said.

Windmill developer PPM Energy of Portland, Ore., is proposing the project and must ask for several variances from the county Planning Commission to do so. The project must ultimately be approved by the county Board of Supervisors.

The City Council’s opposition comes in conjunction with a grass-roots movement by residents to stop the 327-foot wind turbines.

At least four members of the council have voiced their opposition to the windmills, primarily because of the visual blight they are said to cause and because the city had hoped to annex the land in question and use it for commercial purposes.

It is unclear how Mayor Alex Bias will vote on the resolution. He could not be reached for comment Monday.

The problem city officials have is that they have no legal control over the land, which is squarely in an unincorporated area of the county, though adjacent to western Desert Hot Springs, near Pierson Boulevard.

Earlier in the year, the council was the lone entity in the county to vote against the Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan, a valley-wide proposal that would have sectioned off areas of each city in the valley against development.

At the time, County Supervisor Marion Ashley warned city officials against the decision and said the city may regret the decision for “generations to come.”

Parks, however, said she is not worried.

“I don’t think these windmills have anything to do with retribution,” she said. “I’m not against windmills, just keep them up in the pass where the wind is.”

By Bill Byron
The Desert Sun


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