September 3, 2013

Piedmont City Council rejects wind farm

By: Christine VanTimmeren, Primetime Reporter | Posted: Monday, August 26, 2013 | Updated: Tuesday, September 3, 2013 |

PIEDMONT – Folks west of the Metro have a simple message for wind farms, “Not in our backyard.” People in the town of Piedmont came together Monday night to consider taking legal action against the company wanting to put up wind turbines.

City council voted Monday night to declare wind turbines a public nuisance and to take legal action against Apex Clean Energy.

Pam Suttles lives right on the edge of Piedmont and knows the wind farm Apex is proposing would affect her.

“As far as I’m concerned, if they’re within miles of me it’s going to hurt,” said Suttles.

About a year ago Suttles formed a group called COPRA or the Central Oklahoma Property Rights Association. The group wants to file suit against Apex keeping them from putting up wind turbines within three miles of Piedmont city limits.

“There’s property value negative effects, there’s health and safety. So all of those things play into it,” said Suttles.

The city has already established an ordinance saying wind turbines cannot be built within city limits, but COPRA says that’s not enough.

Mayor Valerie Thomerson said, “By no stretch of the imagination are we against wind energy. We just want to protect Piedmont.”

Mayor Thomerson says city council’s decision will have a huge impact on citizens.

COPRA says it will file the lawsuit very soon and they will bear full financial responsibility for legal costs. They have been raising money from Canadian County residents for the last year.

Some residents say the city is overstepping its bounds by not allowing wind turbines three miles outside of city limits. They also believe the issue should have gone before the planning board first.

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