The county Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a wind-energy project for land north of Palm Springs on Tuesday and denied appeals from landowners concerned that the 327-foot turbines could harm wildlife, residents’ health and property values.
“I am not against the windmills. I am against them being so close to our homes,” resident Michele McNeill told supervisors. “They will be right across the street and will be 33 stories high.”
Several other residents and property-owners also came to the meeting in Riverside to speak against the Dillon Wind Project, which plans 45 windmills for three separate parcels, one in Palm Springs and two on unincorporated county land. The project, proposed by Oregon-based PPM Energy, would be north of Interstate 10, east of State Highway 62 and west of Indian Avenue.
Supervisors Marion Ashley, Bob Buster and John Tavaglione voted to approve one parcel, which required a zone change, and to deny appeals on the other county parcel, which received its approval from the county planning commission May 16.
“I feel the facts are clearly falling down in favor of the project, which is renewable energy that provides new power and replaces fossil fuel that we would be burning otherwise,” said Ashley, whose district includes northern Palm Springs and Desert Hot Springs. “We’ll have cleaner air and less reliance on foreign oil.”
The Palm Springs Planning Commission approved the project’s third parcel May 23. Landowners have also appealed that decision to the City Council. The appeal is pending.
Several PPM officials and a few Coachella Valley residents Tuesday spoke in favor of the wind project, including a kindergarten teacher who brought supervisors her students’ drawings of windmills. She said PPM had taken more than 200 students on a tour of one of their wind farms and given them T-shirts and model windmills.
By Julia Glick
20 June 2007
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