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Wind test plan stirs big storm

January 20, 2012

BIG TURNOUT ... This is only part of the crowd that gathered Thursday night to hear the Board of Zoning and Appeals decision regarding construction of a wind test tower in Adams County, only to be told the meeting had been postponed. (Photo by Jannaya Andrews)

    Tensions were high at Thursday night's Adams County Board of Zoning and Appeals meeting as a crowd gathered to hear the board's decision regarding a proposed wind test tower being constructed in Adams County.
    As the meeting began, however, attorney Adam Miller announced that the company, Mesa Wind Works, failed to meet ordinance regulations set forth by the county, requiring them to file for a variance and postpone the meeting for one month. This was little deterrent to the throng of residents that had come out to have their say.
    The majority of residents expressed opposition to the test tower, stating that once a test tower is constructed it is a near certainty that a wind farm will follow. Not true, said board members, pointing out that at least two other companies have built test towers in Adams County in previous years, only to decide there was not sufficient wind to proceed to the next step.
    The proposed tower would be located at 200 E. 1100 N on the farm of Leroy Boerger.
    Miller stated that the board cannot control an individual's choice to enter into a contract with a company, as long as any structure constructed falls within ordinance or variance regulations.
    "So, can I build something on my property to block their wind?", asked one resident.
    "Well, you'd need a variance," Miller replied, laughingly.
    Miller reminded residents that the zoning board does not have the authority to deny permission for construction if the tower falls within ordinance guidelines, prompting the question, "Who can?" by one concerned resident.
    Miller told the crowd only the Adams County Commissioners can change the ordinance, and that's who residents would need to address any concerns to.
    A representative of Mesa Wind Works stated that the company is "responsible and respectful to citizens and the county. We'll make the necessary changes and resubmit next month."

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