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Commission might change wind zoning guidelines  

Credit:  By KALEY CONNER, Hays Daily News, www.hdnews.net 6 March 2011 ~~

The Ellis County Commission on Monday again will consider changing the county’s zoning guidelines for commercial wind energy systems.

The agenda for Monday’s 6:45 p.m. meeting includes a recommendation from the Ellis County Joint Planning Commission that would change the required setback distance from 10-times-the-tip-height to 1,000 feet and eliminate regulations for noise levels.

The document being presented Monday also would reduce the notification and protest petition area to 1,000 feet.

The item is being presented Monday for preliminary discussion, said County Administrator Greg Sund, noting commissioners can decide when, and if, they want to take action on the proposal.

Current regulations were voted into effect in August. Besides a setback of 10-times-the-tip-height from rural residences, the mandates include a notification and protest petition area of 2,000 feet and a noise standard of less than 40 decibels when measured 5 feet above ground.

The planning commission in January recommended the county commission scrap the current document and revert to the previous regulations. The county commission declined and requested the planning commission to consider recommendations submitted by Butterfield Wind, an organization consisting of more than 70 landowners.

Those recommendations included a residential setback distance of 1,500 feet, reverting the notification and protest petition area to 1,000 feet, and noise levels not to exceed 65 decibels.

Source:  By KALEY CONNER, Hays Daily News, www.hdnews.net 6 March 2011

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