The process of developing wind power regulations is underway for the city of Hays.
On Monday night, the Hays Area Planning Commission discussed the wind power moratorium, which is in effect until Dec. 31.
“I do think (we need) a four- to six-month investment of time and energy to do research and make sure that we have consideration,” Chairman Larry Gould said.
The subject originally came before the commission after developer Wes Bainter, Hoxie, inquired about installing wind generators for a senior apartment project on East 33rd Street. Bainter was not present during Monday night’s meeting but is expected to be at next month’s meeting.
Krista Gordon, project manager for the Hays Wind Project, was present to discuss the proposed eight commercial wind turbines located within the city’s 3-mile radius. An additional two proposed turbines are within the 3-mile radius but are on Fort Hays State University land, and thus not under city jurisdiction.
She said she’s been in contact with Planning Inspection and Enforcement Superintendent Jesse Rohr for more than a year.
“The thinking has been to work through the county process first,” Gordon said.
Hays Wind Project requested a wavier on the year-long moratorium from the county.
The planning commission discussed sample regulations.
“The components of the model ordinance has many of the things we will be talking about,” Gould said. “We can use that as a point of discussion. It will provide thinking about tower height, setback, noise, all the things we’re talking about. If we decide it’s nothing, we can throw it away when we’re done.”
Commissioner Mark Deterding said the commission has to do a lot of research if it wants to complete regulations by the end of the year.
“There’s all kinds of research pros and cons,” Deterding said. “It’s not if you’re for wind energy or against it. We have to put the right in place.”
Hays City Commissioner Ron Mellick and City Manager Toby Dougherty were present.
“We want you to cover all the bases and bring us something that is very well thought through,” Mellick said, “so we have all the exceptions covered. That’s the big thing.”
By Karen Mikols
20 May 2008
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