An appeal of the Lompoc Wind Energy Project tops the agenda of the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission when it meets at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the county Engineering Building, 123 E. Anapamu St.
As proposed, the project will turn approximately 2,950 acres of mostly rangeland near the western end of the Santa Ynez mountains into a wind farm.
Between 60 to 80 wind turbine generators will be placed on the hilltops near the southeast portion of Vandenberg Air Force Base. The site is near the end of Miguelito Canyon Road.
Each turbine has a tower height of 200 to 330 feet and a similar rotor diameter.
The project was initially approved and its environmental impact report was certified by the commission in 2008. However, George and Cheryl Bedford, who own property adjacent to the project, appealed the approval to the county Board of Supervisors, which denied it and approved both the conditional use permit and the certified EIR in February 2009.
According to the county staff report, the Bedfords sued the county in Superior Court on the claim that the EIR was inadequate under the California Environmental Quality Act and that the project conflicts with the county general plan and land use development code. Both the Superior Court and Court of Appeals denied the petition.
The Pacific Renewable Energy Generation LLC has not yet started construction of the project and is asking the county for a second two-year time extension, which the Bedfords are appealing.
The appeal claims the extension violates the plain language of the original conditional use permit and land use development code.
County planning staff is recommending approval of the time extension.
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