At today’s Ellis County Commission meeting, a motion to guarantee a moratorium on wind-energy developments within the county failed due to the lack of a second.
The motion, which chairman Vernon Berens and commissioner Dennis Pfannenstiel opted not to second, was made by commissioner Perry Henman. Henman suggested a one-year moratorium, or until such time as the county would have a comprehensive zoning plan in place.
“Maybe we should make it official,” Henman said. “We’ve had a petition to request a moratorium, maybe we should vote on it.”
Both Berens and Pfannenstiel expressed opposition to the moratorium.
“I definitely am against a moratorium, also,” Pfannenstiel said. “We put zoning into place, we have county-wide zoning, we have a board. We as commissioners put it in, we as commissioners can take it back out … I’m ready to make a motion that we just abolish county-wide zoning … without the county-wide zoning we wouldn’t have this issue.”
Henman said that, in accordance with Ellis County zoning regulations, a one-year moratorium is effectively in place at this time.
The regulations state that when a conditional-use permit has been denied by the governing body, the application or one substantially similar should not be considered sooner than one year after denial.
Amendment 32-107 continues to state that the governing body can “waive the limitation for good cause.”
“The reason I would want a moratorium is not for this project,” Henman said. “It would be for another wind farm project and we’d have to go through this whole process again until we have a chance to redo some of our rules and regs.
“I think that’s the whole point – we need to redo our rules and regulations, and a comprehensive plan would help us with that.”
This discussion followed presentations by Keith Pfannenstiel and John Schmeidler, opponents to the Ellis County wind farm, discussing the moratorium and zoning issues.
By Kaley Lyon
1 October 2007
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