Two residents who opposed construction of wind-measuring towers on Sevenmile Hill have given notice that they will appeal the county’s decision to the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA).
Gary and Linda Casady, and Mark Womble were the petitioners to LUBA.
At issue were requests by UPC Wind Management, LLC for two-year permits to construct a pair of wind-measuring towers – one 164 feet tall and one 197 feet tall – at two properties on Sevenmile Hill. Three other UPC tower requests for properties farther south and outside of populated areas had been granted without any opposition.
The towers, according to the applications, were “for gathering wind and temperature data to establish the viability of the property for a future wind energy generation facility.”
One of the two properties in question is a 455-acre parcel owned by Michael and Cathie Kortge, which has no address assigned, but is described as approximately 1 mile north of the intersection of Sevenmile Hill Road and Ortley Road. The appellant was Mark Womble, a Hood River attorney who owns property in the area.
The other property at 2520 Sevenmile High Road, is owned by Grant and Leonie Robbins. Appellants in that instance are Gary and Linda Casady, who own adjacent property at 2500 Badger View Drive.
This is the latest in a series of skirmishes between the applicants and the neighbors. Originally, UPC’s applications were approved by the planning department staff, after which the neighbors (Womble and the Casadys) appealed to the planning commission. The commission held hearings on Oct. 3 and Nov. 7.
At the latter hearing, the planning commission voted 5-0 to grant both applications.
The neighbors then appealed the decisions to the Wasco County Court, which also unanimously denied the appeals, following a six-hour hearing on Dec. 6.
It will be some time before LUBA can get to the case, which has not yet been assigned a hearing date.
“This is a normal part of the process,” said Wasco County Planning Director Todd Cornett Thursday. “Until the appeal period ends, they have the right to appeal, and they are availing themselves of this right.”
By Ridger Nichols
of The Chronicle
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