A series of discrepancies in Allan Kettles application to extend his Kettles Hill Wind Farm has led to the Municipal Planning Commission turning it down.
Kettles was told that he would not be allowed to proceed with the 45-turbine extension due to some serious omissions in his application. The application was rejected at a Nov. 7 meeting on the grounds that there were persistent changes to the project land parcels, there was not a complete list of all the involved landowner signatures approving the project and a noise analysis, setback data and an accurate site plan were all absent from the application.
The wind farm would see an additional 81 megawatts entering the grid.
On Dec. 18 Kettles appealed the decision at a hearing held in the basement of the MD building in Pincher Creek.
“These are information deficiencies, not absences,” Kettles’ legal counsel Ron Hansford told the appeal board. “The reason for denial suggests that the required information was absent from the application.”
Hansford’s argument is that the MPC had all the information that they required before the Nov.7 meeting. However Wendy Kalkan, development officer for the MD, says that that information was not received on time for her to review for the MPC meeting. She also says that she had to constantly chase Kettles for information on the turbines’ locations. In fact, she claims that one of the turbines that Kettles applied for was on the location of a turbine that had already been approved.
In response to the allegation that there were persistent changes to the project land parcels, Hansford said that only one change was made in September when four turbines were removed.
“There were no persistent changes to the project lands,” said Hansford. “There was confusion on the part of the MPC and development officer on what comprised of project land. This is not a grounds to deny the project.”
Another of the MPC’s complaints about Kettles’ application was that he didn’t have the consent signatures of all of the landowners involved in the project. Hansford said that this had never been a requirement when Kettles’ made his original application for the Kettles Hill Wind Farm, now under construction.
But MD lawyer Doug Evans said that the signatures were a requirement of the new MD bylaw for a complete application and that Kettles should have been aware of that.
“Any applicant for a development permit is subject to requirements of the land use bylaw,” said Evans. “What he did on a previous application is really not relevant.”
At the time of the Nov. 7 meeting Hansford said that Kettles had all but one signature and advised the MPC that he would withdraw the turbine on the land if he did not get the owner’s consent within a set timeframe.
The MPC also cited the absence of noise analysis data and setback charts as grounds for rejecting the application.
While Kettles’ did present noise analysis data with his application in July, it was not in the format that the MD’s bylaw required.
Hansford said that the analysis that Kettles’ presented was to a worldwide industry standard.
But Evans accused Hansford of asking the appeal board to rewrite the land use bylaw to allow Kettles’ original analysis.
Hansford also said that the setback chart was not a requirement of the bylaw and that even so the MPC had the necessary information to determine the setbacks.
“It is our submission that we have met the requirements for approval for a development permit for this project,” Hansford told the board.
Evans retorted that at no time did the MPC say Kettles could piecemeal in an application and that the MPC needed a completed application to make a decision.
“The materials the applicant wants you to see now, were not provided in the application,” said Evans.
The appeal board is made up of five residents from the municipality selected by councillors at the MD. Councillors also sit on the MPC board.
The board has 15 days to make a decision.
By Jocelyn Mercer
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