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Neighbors appeal family’s permit for Windmill plan

The lofty dreams of wind-powered energy for a Miraloma Park home have run up against the concerns of neighbors, who appealed a city permit issued for a 35-foot windmill.

Homeowners on the windblown 400 block of Teresita Boulevard, near Twin Peaks, secured city approval to install a Skystream-model windmill in their front yard. The three-bladed device would be taller than the two-story house behind it.

Homeowner Nathan Miller said he calculated that he could get more clean power out of the windmill than he would generate if he spent a comparable amount of money on solar panels.

Under Mayor Gavin Newsom, The City encourages residents to install wind turbines by offering simplified permitting procedures and providing advice.

Just a handful of such devices have been installed, however, and only a demonstration house in the Mission district has a working residential windmill as conspicuous as that proposed by the

The Miraloma Park Improvement Club filed appeal documents that seek to have the Teresita Boulevard windmill permit overturned or modified.

The appeal, known as a request for discretionary review, will trigger a Planning Commission hearing. A commission ruling could be appealed to the Board of Appeals, but not to the Board of Supervisors, City Planner Adrian Putra said.

Club officials say they are worried about noise, strobe-light effects and aesthetic impacts of the device.

Wind-power generators for urban areas are being developed without spinning blades, but they are not as powerful as more traditional windmill models.

“We do not oppose the concept of wind-power electrical generation in residential areas,” club officials wrote in a letter to The City. “But we cannot support the installation of the windmill model.”

The controversy could spread citywide. The Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods plans to consider supporting the club’s

The coalition, which represents dozens of neighborhood groups, will consider asking the Planning Department to restrict use of the devices.

A homeowner in the Forest Hill Extension neighborhood recently removed a backyard windmill because of noise and light effects and because it generated less electricity than expected.