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New wind farm moves forward  

High Prairie Wind Farm II received two endorsements from the Mower County Planning Commission Tuesday night. Both were for rezonings of land from agricultural to industrial in Section 34, Grand Meadow Township, and Section 10, Clayton Township.

According to Daryl W. Franklin, county planner and zoning administrator, the first rezoning in Grand Meadow Township is for a 6.5-acre piece of land where the wind energy company plans to construct and operations and maintenance building.

The commission’s investigation committee of Margaret Kirchner, of Sargeant and vice chair, and Barb Hovde, LeRoy, visited the site with Franklin and found it met the county zoning guidelines.

Formerly, it was an abandoned farmstead, according to Franklin.

The same parties also visited the Clayton Township site where the company wants to erect a 161 kv substation and found the five-acre lot was also suitable for the request.

No objections to the twin requests were heard.

The company already has conditional use permits for the projects.

Both requests received unanimous (4-0) recommendations from the commission members present Tuesday night.

The requests will now be considered at the Tuesday, June 5, 1:05 p.m. public hearing before the Mower County Board of Commissioners.

Also Tuesday night, the commission agreed to recommend to the county commissioners the Mower County Comprehensive Plan for Future Land Use be amended.

This was needed to allow the subsequent rezonings in Grand Meadow and Clayton townships for the High Prairie Wind Farm II, LLC operations and maintenance building and substation.

Two other requests also received unanimous recommendations from the commission.

Tung Van Tran, petitioner, and Long Kim Le, owner, received the commission’s endorsement for a conditional use permit to allow a used vehicle business in Section 13, Lyle Township.

Jeanne Parmenter, a member of the Lyle Township Board, testified the township officials had no objection to the CUP request, which limits the number of vehicles to be displayed at five.

The site is just a few miles north of the city of Lyle along U.S. Highway 218.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation, by letter, ordered no vehicles be displayed in the highway right-of-way and that no inoperable vehicles be allowed at the site.

Daniel J. Mallory received the commission’s recommendation to construct an additional dwelling for his father, Ben, per quarter section on land in Section 27, Frankford Township.

No objections were heard.

The two CUP recommendations will also be considered at the county board’s June 5 public hearing.

By Lee Bonorden

Austin Daily Herald

30 May 2007

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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