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County Supervisors sued for wind turbine–friendly approach

All it is is a fuss over wind…energy.

That’s the crux of a lawsuit from so-called “backcountry warrior,” Donna Tisdale and far east county preservation groups, Protect Our Communities Foundation, and Backcountry Against Dumps.

The latest legal complaint, filed on June 12 against the County Board of Supervisors, focuses on the impacts from wind turbine development and seeks to curb the County’s willingness to approve expansive wind energy farms in the pursuit of cash and tax incentives.

The group prefers other types of renewable energy, ones much less intrusive, such as rooftop solar panels for homes. They say the wind turbines create “significant public health hazards, kill golden eagles and other protected avian species, kill bats and thereby increase populations of mosquitoes and other harmful insects, damage East County’s sensitive ecology, deplete the region’s limited groundwater supplies, impair the rural, scenic character of the area, reduce the supply of agricultural and open space land in the County, reduce the demand for agricultural service businesses, and induce the development, of additional large-scale electrical generation facilities, among other impacts.”

Tisdale and her fellow plaintiffs say many landowners in rural San Diego County have come under pressure to sell or lease portions of their land to developers. The decision by county supervisors to tailor the County’s General Plan and zoning ordinance by blowing up the restrictions on wind farms and individual wind turbines, only makes matters worse.

At a May 15 meeting, in spite of the objections from Tisdale and other residents, Supervisors cleared the path for higher wind turbines, less of a cushion from neighboring property lines, and are allowing for smaller wind turbine projects to move forward without hearing from local planning groups.

Tisdale and her fellow plaintiffs want the County to vacate the Environmental Impact Report that made way for the zoning changes as well as reimburse them for any and all legal costs.

Click here to read the entire lawsuit.