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Windmills' expansion gets county OK

About 25 windmills in the north Palm Springs area were approved this week by the Riverside County Board of Supervisors.

The windmills will be part of the Dillon Wind Project, which will have a total of 45 windmills north of Interstate 10, east of Highway 62 and west of Indian Avenue. The windmills will be 327 feet tall, or about 33 stories high.

The board voted 3-0 Tuesday, with Supervisors Jeff Stone and Roy Wilson absent.

“(The vote) goes along with the county’s stance on promoting clean energy,” said Steven Hernandez, assistant to Supervisor Marion Ashley, who voted for the project. “We want to do our part to promote clean energy.”

The board approved two of three parcels that would include windmills. The third parcel lies within the limits of the city of Palm Springs. The Palm Springs Planning Commission recently approved windmills on that parcel – a decision some residents in the area are appealing.

The Palm Springs City Council will discuss the appeal next week.

In a packet of letters to the county and Palm Springs, residents say the windmills will destroy their views and the environment.

For example, in a letter from attorney David Cosgrove on behalf of client Reba Wolf, Cosgrove says the project will ruin Wolf’s “sweeping” view of the San Jacinto and San Gorgonio Mountains.

And in a letter from Steven Quintanilla of Green, de Bortnowsky & Quintanilla LLP, the attorney says the windmills will kill birds and could fall over in an earthquake.

Quintanilla represents Seven Fortune Partners III, which owns 320 acres it plans to develop near the windmills.

By Stephanie Frith

The Desert Sun

23 June 2007