Strong neighborhood opposition to a proposed wind turbine on a Torrance elementary school campus has prompted officials to drop the project.
Residents near Hickory Elementary School flooded Torrance Unified School District officials with calls Monday after reading in the Daily Breeze about the proposed turbine that would tower almost 40 feet over the neighborhood.
Opponents were concerned about aesthetic, noise and safety issues.
The turbine was intended as an educational project to teach children about environmentally friendly forms of energy.
School district officials announced at the outset of Monday’s board meeting they would nix the idea, apparently in an attempt to defuse the issue.
Karen Galvin, who lives near the school, said she appreciated the change of heart.
“I hope this has been a lesson for the district officials, school board members and Hickory staff,” she said at the meeting. “Our neighborhood cares what goes on and wants to be kept informed.”
School officials angered some residents by approving the $10,000 grant for a “windmill” – as it was described on a June school board agenda – with no public input.
District officials had not disclosed details about the “windmill” until after the grant won board approval and then only to a few residents in the neighborhood.
District Superintendent George Mannon did not return a call seeking comment Tuesday.
Newt Young, president of the Southwood-Sun Ray Homeowners Association, said the school board did not formally rescind its approval of the grant.
However, the idea was effectively killed when the teacher who received the grant said Monday she would not accept it after officials hastily convened meetings to discuss the issue among themselves earlier in the day.
“If they weren’t looking to pass a very large school bond in November, they probably would have stonewalled (on the issue),” Young said.
District officials will decide next month whether to seek approval of two bond measures in November’s election.
By Nick Green, Staff Writer
22 July 2008
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