An appeal has been filed with the Ellis County Board of Zoning Appeals, protesting a public hearing scheduled for Wednesday.
The public hearing had been slated for the Joint Planning Commission to consider a conditional-use permit application submitted by Iberdrola’s Hays Wind for the proposed wind farm southwest of Hays.
The appeal was filed by members of the Ellis County Environmental Awareness Coalition, who say the application is incomplete and the case should not be heard until corrections are made.
“The biggest issue is that the application doesn’t appear to be complete,” said Tim Davis, co-chairman of the ECEAC. “It’s not procedurally ready to go.”
The document on file in the environmental office states the company failed to submit a “proper and complete” development plan, as defined in the county’s zoning regulations.
The appeal also states the application is lacking complete evidence of authorization, or that the affected landowners have consented to be represented by the company, and legal descriptions are incomplete or erroneous.
“There’s a number of issues that need to be resolved so the application can be complete before the public comment portion,” Davis said.
According to Ellis County’s adopted zoning regulations, the joint planning commission also serves as the board of zoning appeals.
The board will hear and decide appeals “where it is alleged there is error in any order, requirement, decision or determination made by an administrative official” in the enforcement of the regulations, according to the zoning document.
Another provision in the document states that upon the application of such an appeal, proceedings on the appealed action should be stayed, unless the zoning administrator certifies the delay would “cause imminent peril to life or property.”
Zoning Administrator Dale Wing said the joint planning commission will meet as planned Wednesday, and another public hearing had been scheduled regarding a different issue.
How the appeal will affect the wind farm hearing remains unknown. Wing said he is waiting for response from the county’s attorney, Dennis Davidson, regarding the issue.
“What’s going to happen by Wednesday, I don’t know,” Wing said.
This morning, Davidson said the issue still is being investigated, and he is not yet certain what Wednesday’s outcome will be. At this point, however, it seems the hearing will continue as planned, he said.
“As of the way things stand this morning, there will be a public hearing Wednesday evening,” he said. “Unless something changes, I think right now they’re planning on having their hearing.”
By Kaley Lyon
23 June 2008