Thursday, June 21, 2007

Citizens in Opposition to the Location of the Industrial Wind Complex Make History

PRESS RELEASE: For Immediate Release, June 21, 2007
Contact: Jacinta Faber, Media Liaison, (785)-628-8817

Yesterday morning, Wednesday, June 20th, on the second floor of the Ellis County Court House, history was made:

Citizens brought in the first ever protest petition since the county's adoption of zoning regulations and procedures. The protest petition was submitted by the Ellis County Environmental Awareness Coalition, ECEAC, to Alberta Klaus, County Clerk.

The purpose of the protest petition is to allow citizens to express opposition to the land use application submitted by CPV Wind Hays for the construction of a wind project south and west of Prairie Acres.

The protest petition, as stated in the zoning regulations, is a tool for affected citizens living within 1000 ft. of the proposed land use area. It allows citizens a chance to influence land use decisions made by the county commissioners. The protest petition is successful if the land owners of at least 20% of the land area surrounding the project sign the petition.

The successful completion of this step means that if the county commissioners are to approve the wind project, the vote must be unanimous. At the time of submission, between 65% and 70% of the land area had been covered by the protest petition.

The petition was completed despite what ECEAC co-chair Tim Davis called "an injustice." According to the county zoning rules and regulations, a list of affected land owners was to have been submitted along with the land use application by CPV Wind Hays.

"The list,” according to the Procedural Guide, “must contain the names and mailing addresses of all the owners of property within the notification area. This list shall be obtained from an [sic] licensed abstractor."

But CPV Wind Hays provided no such list. Without this list of land owners, the ECEAC worked from the map of the proposed project published in the Hays Daily News on May 2 and finished the petition.

From the beginning, the ECEAC's purpose has not been debating the virtues of wind power or the effects of global warming. The opposition has been strictly about inappropriate usage of land in Ellis County.

Due to major irregularities in the zoning rules and regulations, and with no comprehensive plan in place for the placement of industry, the protest petition is an important tool the people of Ellis County have to protect themselves from ill-conceived land usage.

The Ellis County Commission meets each Monday in the Ellis County Courthouse and can consider the CPV Wind Hays application at its next meeting or a subsequent meeting.

Submitted by our Coalition's Media Liaison, Jacinta Faber

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