I guess I don’t understand. In March of this year, after several hours of expert and public testimony, the BZA granted the petition for the Prairie Breeze Wind Farm with two conditions. No. 1, that a 1,500-foot setback from property lines be maintained and, No. 2, that juwi return to the BZA with a property value guarantee. One thousand five hundred feet from any property line, period.
The BZA did not ask for an opinion, rebuttal or any discussion on this. The BZA did ask for juwi to return with a property value guarantee that would protect the non-participating property owners. It is my understanding that juwi had 30 days to submit an appeal to a court of law if it did not like the ruling, not an appeal to the BZA. The BZA does not have a procedure to hear an appeal because it does not hear appeals to their rulings.
I commend and applaud the BZA on voting to uphold its ruling in March.
The setback is a done deal. The BZA ruled to use property lines. Using property lines with a minimum of a 1,500-foot setback needs to be included in the county wind ordinance and in the comprehensive plan for future wind applications. Using property lines protects the rights of a property owner to use the property as the owner sees fit, without imposing on their neighbor. Using a setback from a residence restricts the use of the property, which is a violation of the rights of the property owner.
It’s time for juwi and E.ON to move on to some other unsuspecting county, if there is one. Thanks to the efforts of the CRD and others in surrounding counties and around the world, it is getting harder for the wind companies to sneak in and set up.
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