September 25, 2012

County supervisors to review wind turbine maps 24 September 2012

It has been nearly a year-long battle, with residents looking to curb the seemingly endless number of wind turbines popping up on the mountains near Tehachapi and Mojave.

The County Planning Department has been putting together a map that would show where wind farms can be built and where they would be banned.

And, Tuesday the Board of Supervisors is set to review the most recent inclusion – exclusion maps, and possibly make them law.

But, residents near the turbines are worried they are back to Square One with no real zoning that might stop the wide expansion.

The planning commission held four workshops to get input on the maps. At first, the maps were thought of as a hard line in the dirt where wind turbines could be built.

But, the maps have since evolved to where they may be used only for guidance.

“The problem is it looks like they are going to be recommending something that really has nothing that we can say ‘hey, there are turbines here and there’s no turbines there.’ The problem with that is that’s where we are right now,” said resident Robert Moran.

This has some residents upset. They say the 500-foot tall towers are not only killing birds, but also their quality of life and property values.

“If you go to bed at night like I do and you see these huge flashes of red light that shine and flash off your bedroom walls, and those things can shine up to 30 or 40 miles away and are 500 feet tall, ” continued Moran.

Some landowners would like the option to lease their land to wind companies for extra income.

Moran estimates some of the larger wind farms can bring hundreds of thousands of dollars per year to the landowner.

17 news tried to speak with County Supervisor Zack Scrivner who represents the Tehachapi area, Supervisor Ray Watson, and the Planning Department on Monday, but they were all unavailable for an interview.

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