Boone County leaders were at odds Tuesday over the type of comments heard on wind energy.
The purpose of Tuesday’s Zoning Board of Appeals meeting was to hear testimony about whether to double to 2,000 feet the distance between “primary” structures and wind devices; expand the list of primary structures; and create a fund to cover the cost of eventually taking the wind turbines out of service once their parts fail. The county’s Planning, Zoning and Building Committee proposed these suggestions months ago.
However, topics surrounding shadow flicker, property values, alpaca farms and Mainstream Renewable Power’s intentions were brought up by residents. Many attendees argued those issues factored into the setback distance.
ZBA Chairman Norm Stimes repeatedly asked residents to focus on the text amendment at hand. Issues surrounding specific projects are addressed in special use permits; zoning code amendments address general requirements of all wind power projects.
“What I’m hearing is emotional reaction without a straightforward, calm presentation of a proposal,” said Darrel Davis, who a member of the ZBA. “It is ridiculous. I would just (like them to know) how it hurts their cause to perform like this.”
However, ZBA member Joan Krumm said all testimony must be heard, no matter how long it takes. She said she intends to base her vote only on information presented during these meetings.
“There are quite a few people, who part of the staff and this committee, who do not want to hear all of this. I don’t care how many other meetings they have been to. It matters what I’m hearing from the public and the public forum,” she added.
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