A new wind farm that is reportedly being planned for the Chapman Ranch area has a Corpus Christi city official concerned.
The Chapman Ranch wind farm would encompass 17,000 acres between Chapman Ranch Road and the city landfill.
The first step for developers would be to seek a tax abatement from the Nueces County Commissioners Court. Although County Judge Loyd Neal said there is no pending presentation scheduled, Councilman Mark Scott said he thinks such a wind farm would be a disaster for the city.
“We’ve continued to grow. We grew 40-percent in new home starts last year. We’re up 22-percent this year. We are going to complete the infill in five to seven years, and be looking for someplace to grow,” Scott said. “That’s a natural growth. If we have these wind turbines right up against that, we eliminate the ability to grow south. That’s very important to the economic vitality of the community.”
While Judge Neal said he won’t form an opinion until he learns more about the project, Commissioner Mike Pusley said he believes the project would kill property values and could drive the U.S. Navy away from the area.
According to Pusley, wind farms often interfere with radar signals. He said it could negatively impact the flight training that occurs at Naval Air Station-Corpus Christi.
Commissioner Oscar Ortiz said he has heard pros and cons about having a wind farm in the area, but will wait to form an opinion.
Developer Bart Braselton said there is already a Coastal Bend community that has learned the hard way the disadvantage of being close to a wind farm.
“You can’t build up under them, near them, and so the perception is you’re building a dam; and Portland, Texas, is facing that right now,” Braselton said. “They’ve grown almost as close to that wind farm as they can grow.”
To qualify for a tax break in 2014, the developers of the Chapman Ranch wind farm would have to apply for a tax abatement at next Wednesday’s County Commission meeting. So far, at last report, no such request is on the meeting agenda.
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