During the public comment period, homeowners expressed frustration over the turbines. Carol Schweiger spoke about the shadow flickers on her property and inside her home that come from the turbines, as well as the constant "jet engine" noise when the turbines are moving, which reduces the value of the property. She also provided information about the adverse health conditions that people living around wind turbines suffer from. Schweiger pointed out many of the lessees that receive lease payments don't live near where turbines in phase I were installed or where the new turbines will be located. Another homeowner, Sherry Salvador, agreed about the noise saying it's "like several train engines running" when the wind is high. She said her family has thought about selling the property because of the wind turbines. "You guys force this stuff down our throats," she said. "We're not the landowners and we have to look at it."
STERLING – The Logan County Planning Commission tabled a special use permit application for a USDA packing plant and recommend the commissioners approve additional parcels for the Colorado Highlands Wind, LLC, wind energy generation project, at their meeting on Tuesday.
In a 5-0 vote, the commission decided to table a special use permit application submitted by 326, LLC, dba Mike’s Meat Market, for the operation of a USDA Packing Plant, located at 18501 County Road 27, in Sterling, so the county attorney can look into the situation surrounding the operation.
Dave Whitney abstained from the vote due to a conflict of interest, and Tom Kiel was absent from the meeting.
The plant will be located at the former H Bar G packing plant site and will have no retail sales or processing of wild game. They plan to accept animals for custom processing. Meat processed at the plant will be transported to the applicant’s retail store location in Sterling and customers will pick there.
During a time for public comment, Nolan Ulmer representing URB Properties, H Bar G, LLC and Platte River Bottom LLC, explained that URB owned the property and in May of 2012, Colorado Community Bank appointed a receiver, Mike Tribbett, owner of Mike’s Meat Market. According to Ulmer, at that time Tribbett said he had no intention of taking over the plant.
They asked that the Tribbett be released as receiver after the building went into foreclosure, but that didn’t happen, Ulmer said. Now a lawsuit has been filed involving Colorado Community Bank, Tribbett, URB Properties, H Bar G, LLC, Platt River Bottom, LLC and Ulmer. The case will go to court June 14.
Commission chairman Dave Whitney expressed confusion about who is applying for the permit, 326 LLC or Mike’s Meat Market. Gary Link, representing 326, said they own the property and Mike’s has been hired to manage it.
Michael Bornia asked, if they lose the case in court in June, if they would still have possession of the packing plant. Link said they would because 326 owns the packing plant.
He pointed out that the lawsuit has nothing to do with him; it’s between the bank, Ulmer and Tribbett.
Jill Distel asked if the county attorney had seen all of this information. Planning Coordinator Kris Pennington said he hadn’t because the lawsuit information just came to the county’s attention late Tuesday afternoon.
Distel asked was postponed for the county attorney to look at it, what impact that would have on Link’s business. Link said it shouldn’t impact his business.
In other business, the commission voted 5-0, to recommend to the commissioners approval of a conditional use permit amendment, submitted by Colorado Highlands, LLC, to amend the permit boundaries for the Colorado Highlands wind energy generation project, near Fleming.
Bournia abstained from the vote due to a conflict of interest.
Colorado Highlands requested adding the following parcels to the permitted area:
SE1/4 Section 17 and NE1/4 Section 20, Township 9 North, Range 48 West;
NW1/4 Section 13, Section 14, Section 23, SW1/4 Section 24, SW1/4 and W1/2 SW1/4, all except a portion in the NE1/4 Section 25, S1/2 Section 26 Township 9 North, Range 49 West.
The company plans to install approximately 14 additional GE 1.7 turbines in the expansion area, which falls within their capped amount of output of 67 turbines on the site. Last year, they installed 42 turbines GE 1.6 turbines. The company found a way to go down to 56 total turbines with the same amount of output as 67 turbines.
“We want to spread it out to a larger land area, slightly larger land area, same amount of area watts, less turbines, so a smaller impact in terms of turbines,” said Jim Michael, managing member of Colorado Highlands. “On a larger area there’s more landowners that can be involved in the project, sort of share the wealth.”
He pointed out this project will be completed much quicker than the first phase, because they don’t have to build a transmission line or put in a switchyard.
Michael said they will be mobilizing in May and June, with turbines scheduled for delivery in July.
During the public comment period, homeowners expressed frustration over the turbines.
Carol Schweiger spoke about the shadow flickers on her property and inside her home that come from the turbines, as well as the constant “jet engine” noise when the turbines are moving, which reduces the value of the property. She also provided information about the adverse health conditions that people living around wind turbines suffer from.
Schweiger pointed out many of the lessees that receive lease payments don’t live near where turbines in phase I were installed or where the new turbines will be located.
Another homeowner, Sherry Salvador, agreed about the noise saying it’s “like several train engines running” when the wind is high. She said her family has thought about selling the property because of the wind turbines.
“You guys force this stuff down our throats,” she said. “We’re not the landowners and we have to look at it.”
She asked that the amendment be denied. If approved, she asked that no new wind turbine be erected within a 3700-foot square radius of her property, though that still won’t eliminate the noise.
Schweiger’s husband, John, talked with Colorado Highlands about their request.
“It was hardship for our project in terms of additional costs, it was probably a hardship for some other adjoining property owners that will receive less, move turbines off of their property and on to someone else’s, Michael said. “But we did listen to his request.”
He couldn’t publicly say where exactly the wind turbines would be placed, but he said the new turbines aren’t going be any closer than the two already near the Schweiger’s home. Michael did show the commission members on a map where the turbines will be located.
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