Monday, October 1, 2007

Over 700 Ellis County Residents Have Asked Ellis County Commissioners for a Moratorium

(The following appeal for a moratorium was presented in person at the Ellis County Commissioners meeting by Keith Pfannenstiel, Ellis County resident, October 1, 2007)

I have asked to be put on the agenda today requesting a hold on any new applications for wind development. Also to call for a moratorium with an impartial committee, to propose a comprehensive plan and rewrite proper zoning regulations, to ensure Hays and Ellis county at large will not be financially hurt. This independent committee is the way zoning should have been implemented in the first place. Not by appointed people who also want to serve on the zoning board and insure their own financial gain.

There are plenty of well educated people in Ellis county who are not close friends or business partners of the commissioners. Not county employees looking for recognition or possibly a salary increase, not family members or landowners with lease agreements who stand to profit directly from turbine placement. This also would exclude any person who has publicly or privately contacted any wind developer for interest in future personal gain or their land.

Commissioners, our zoning board members don't even know what their roles are.

Now, correct me if I'm wrong. Ellis county said they hired zoning consultant, David Yearout, for approximately $16,000 to guide a committee appointed by you, in devising a zoning plan for consideration of adoption to protect this county. Two of you implemented this zoning against over whelming disapproval.

According to Mr. Yearout, Ellis county refused to take his advice of starting with a comprehensive plan and proper wind and zoning regulations. I believe he offered wind regulations of nearly 30 pages. I don't want to hear that zoning is a "work in progress". That only works if you start with adequate regulations. Anything less is an excuse and dreadfully dangerous.

Commissioners, I find it very hard to believe that a professional zoning consultant, who truthfully specializes in zoning for wind development, and knowing Ellis county was per suing wind energy, would risk not advising this county to require one single study. Especially knowing that an approval letter for wind energy had been sent out. My guess, is that any place else would have had a grand jury investigation.

So, unless you have conflicting interests, this moratorium is needed for more than one reason.

It is time you commissioners admit that zoning is far from where it should be and that it needs to be revised completely.

Proof of this mess showed up last Wednesday night again at the zoning meeting. A large number of good people and families in Victoria are being divided because of an inadequate zoning system that was manipulated and sacrificed from the beginning.

Today, I am personally asking there be a motion made for a moratorium. I don't need to hear "you will think about it". If a motion is made, at least the public knows which commissioners want to do this right.

They will also know which commissioners want to push it off so they can waive the one year waiting period and accept another wind application. This only pulls back the boundaries to try and eliminate the protest petition forcing it into Ellis county without any studies or guarantees.

There are over 700 signatures requesting a moratorium.

It's time to do it right!

Presented in person by:
Keith Pfannenstiel
Resident of Ellis County, Kansas

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