On May 21, the Lee County Board voted against its own Zoning Board of Appeals and approved a special use permit for Green River Wind Farm.
The Zoning Board voted to deny the petition because it failed to follow multiple Lee County ordinances and rules, including to enhance and protect the health, welfare and safety of residents. Coincidentally, that same statement is the first thing you see when you go to the county board’s webpage, right above Mr. Ketchum’s picture.
The petition was approved with eight additional conditions attached. Strangely enough, those conditions were already printed up and handed to a member of the board who made the initial motion. This board member was recognized even though Marilyn Shippert was standing up waiting to be recognized by the chair. It definitely appeared to the crowd that this had all been arranged behind closed doors out of the public’s view.
The crowd seemed to know at this point that the chair’s votes were all in line to pass the petition. If you paid attention to the first thing that happened in the meeting, before the wind energy conversion systems vote, Mr. Considine, a first-year member, was appointed to the finance committee, one of the better committee appointments. He voted with Mr. Ketchum’s gang of 12. Are those two things connected? I have no idea.
Mr. Ketchum’s gang of 12 doesn’t appear to have any setbacks that would protect residents or any wildlife areas in this project. This vote also does not appear to hold Mainstream to anything that was promised during hearings. One of the conditions says it is only going to log and investigate complaints related to the wind energy conversion systems; in other words, not do anything.
Thank you to the nine members who voted to deny.
Betsy Hartmann LaMoille
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