ST. LUCIE COUNTY – Although Blind Creek Park is no longer under consideration for wind turbines, County Commissioners wanted to make sure their objections to the site were still sent on to state officials.
Commission Chair Joe Smith sent a letter Monday to the state Acquisition and Restoration Council, which was set next month to consider a request for an easement at Blind Creek Park to allow for wind turbines. The park is state-owned land leased and managed by the county.
FPL announced last week it would no longer try to place turbines at Blind Creek and is now moving forward with plans for six machines on its own property near the St. Lucie Nuclear Plant. The decision came after three of the five County Commissioners said they were against placing the turbines at Blind Creek; in addition to ARC, FPL would have also needed county approval to move forward with the plan.
In the letter, Smith said the commission supported FPL’s decision to withdraw from the site.
“The Board has also expressed concern about the legal ramifications and impact on public trust of allowing the construction of wind turbines in Blind Creek Park which was purchased in part with funds from a voter approved referendum,” Smith wrote in the letter. “The Board also believes that any proposed use of public conservation lands should result in a net environmental gain.”
The turbine plans are still being reviewed by the county and County Commissioners would have to sign off on zoning and conditional use permits as well as a height variance to allow the project to move forward. FPL has said it hopes to gain approval and begin construction by the end of the year.
By Derek Simmonsen
25 March 2008
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