A misleading postcard was mailed out to Reno County residents this week claiming that county officials were proposing to impose a 2,500-foot setback on wind farm developments in the county.
The mailing, from the anonymous “Kansans for Energy Options,” asked those receiving it to call Reno County Commissioners and “tell them to oppose the new 2,500 ft setback regulations and stand with landowners!”
The County Commission had been expected to vote next week on whether to grant NextEra Energy a conditional use permit to allow the development of a commercial wind farm in the southeast quadrant of the county. That meeting, however, was pushed back on Friday for three weeks over an apparent legal issue.
The Reno County Planning Commission previously voted 4-3 to recommend denial of NextEra’s permit application.
Several residents who addressed the planning commission during some 20 hours of public hearings did ask for larger setbacks than the 2,000 feet offered by NextEra.
Then, during the debate by the planning commission, at least three amendments to a motion were offered which included a minimum 2,500-foot setback requirement from wind turbines to non-participating residences.
None of those motions, however, succeeded, and there have been no discussions by the County Commission to require greater setbacks.
“There is no such thing as that,” County Counselor Joe O’Sullivan said of setback claimed in the mailing. “The only time I remember discussion of 2,500-foot setback was in a motion before the planning commission, and it was defeated.”
The postcard states it was “Authorized and paid for by Kansans for Energy Options,” and lists a PO Box in Lenexa. The postcard was mailed using a presorted mailing rate. It was unclear how many postcards went out or who they targeted.
Kansans for Energy Options has a Facebook page, but it contains no information about the “community organization,” other than that it is “a project of American Policy Advocates.” Facebook does not list it as a verified organization. Messages sent by The News via messenger received no response.
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