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Balancing growth in Woodland and county

The Board of Supervisors, Planning Commission, and members of our local community have been working together diligently to address growth in Yolo County. A recent article in the Daily Democrat quoted one of our supervisors regarding the need to balance urban development and industrial growth while maintaining agricultural production as a priority in our county. This is a major concern, and rightly so. What was implied in his comments, but not directly stated, was the dilemma that currently faces our leaders regarding the inclusion of the wind power industry in Yolo County.

The landscape of northern Yolo County will be forever changed if the decision is made to move forward with plans to allow a wind turbine industrial plant to be built in the Dunnigan Hills region. Both our state and federal government is pressuring local governments to move forward with the implementation of “green energy” production. Large sums of taxpayer money continues to be funneled into such projects, often without the extensive research needed to make wise and informed decisions.

“Green energy” is definitely green in so far as developers and government agencies receiving large sums of money for implementing such programs. The fact that many, if not all, of these “green” energy companies could not survive without government payments is cause for great alarm. Some have already gone under, even with government financial incentives. In tough economic times, any source of revenue is welcomed by
local governments struggling to balance budgetary demands. Too often the cost of accepting that money is not factored in. Many on our Board see the Dunnigan Hills area as the best place to allow the development of industrial wind turbines for the simple reason that development there will keep it out of prime agricultural land.

Some landowners in the Dunnigan Hills region have already signed contracts and accepted large prepayments to allow a wind turbine development company to lease their land. At the same time, other landowners in the Dunnigan Hills who have not accepted money to allow wind turbines on their land are faced with the daunting prospect of having such industrial development surrounding them, impacting both their livelihood and quality of life. Green energy requirements can be met without wind turbines development in our county. There are other better options available.