Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from Oregon

Umatilla County rejects wind farm plan

The board voted 3-0 against the application and found Wheatridge failed “to provide adequate evidence to comply with Umatilla County and state of Oregon standards” and the “application does not comply with relevant state law standards and should be denied.”
22 Sep 2015

Umatilla County turbine rules OK'd

"We were trying to set standards that would be a protection for the environment but also the citizens. Umatilla County is unique in our landscape, we have a number of critical streams in our mountains and some very erodible soils in some area and we don't want to create issues that could damage those."
30 Jun 2011

Siting council frustrated by turbine laws

People living near the proposed project who came to the meeting agreed. They said they were glad to see the council deliberating their concerns, but after a daylong meeting, they saw the need for changing the laws. "The public comment that's been put on the table in this is eye-opening," said Beyeler.
21 May 2011

CB tries to block the wind -- briefly

Coos Bay officials are predicting that wind turbines soon could join TV satellite dishes on residential rooftops. They see the potential benefits, but also possible pitfalls. They also don't have protocols to regulate the technology. So the city imposed a three-month moratorium on installations this week to give staffers time to write an ordinance.
19 Mar 2010

Turbine debate goes into round 3; County's third meeting will seek public comment

Richard Jolly, the man who filed the Goal 5 amendment aimed to disallow windmills in a 200,000 acre area of the Blue Mountains, may re-file his amendment. Jolly said he wanted to rewrite it to include more than just the viewshed, which was the basis of his Goal 5 amendment addressed by the Umatilla County Planning Commission at its last two meetings. The proposal has flared up opinions on both sides - those who want to preserve the beauty of the Blues without wind farms, and those who want a chance to get their share of the wind energy gold rush.
23 Aug 2009

Wind discussion goes into round 2; County will weigh both sides of turbine issue

A proposal to disallow wind turbines in the Blue Mountain foothills continues Thursday night before the Umatilla County Planning Commission in the Pendleton Convention Center. Milton-Freewater-area resident Richard Jolly first made his proposal to the nine-member commission at a June 25 meeting, asking for a Goal 5 amendment to set aside a section of land east of Highway 11 as a viewshed to be protected for its aesthetic, natural resource and wildlife values.
22 Jul 2009

County asks state to remove designation; Commissioners say energy generation area is unneeded

Along the northern border of Umatilla County, at about the center of the county, the state drew a 400,000 acre box and called it an energy generation area. It includes Milton-Freewater, some of Pendleton, Adams, Athena and Weston. This week the Umatilla County Commissioners decided they want to ask the Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council to get rid of it. ..."It creates a disadvantage in the marketplace when the state leads instead of the county," Mabbott said.
19 Jul 2009

Commission set to hear wind ideas; Planning group will listen to proposal to keep turbines out

A proposal to keep wind turbines out of the Blue Mountains and foothills will go before the Umatilla County Planning Commission Thursday. Richard Jolly of Milton-Freewater submitted a Goal 5 amendment to the county's comprehensive plan, which aims to set aside an area as a wind turbine-free zone. ...It seeks to designate the area as a viewshed, or a visual resource, which needs to be protected by the county.
21 Jun 2009

Chase for wind power turns to Oregon's public lands

Rows of tall turbines have already remade the landscape on wheat farms and ridgelines on private land around the region. But so far there have been no wind farms built on public land in the Northwest. That's about to change. In 2006 the BLM received six right-of-way applications for wind testing in Oregon and Washington. The number last year was four times that -- 24. Wind farms in relatively untrammeled public lands present a number of potential problems while pitting two environmental concerns ...against each other.
23 May 2009

Sevenmile wind project dies; First Wind letter withdraws application (includes link to letter)

A controversial proposal to site wind turbines on Sevenmile Hill near The Dalles has been cancelled. A letter from Massachusetts-based applicant First Wind dated Jan. 20 formally withdrew the company's application. ..."We're dancing in the street," said attorney Mark Womble, a Sevenmile resident who was part of fierce opposition to the plan. "We're excited. We're very happy."
22 Jan 2009

Zoning ordinance gets first public hearing

The chapter on commercial wind power has also "risen to the top," he said, especially after Idaho Power's proposal to run a 500-megawatt transmission line through Baker County. Some residents believe that wind farms are the almost inevitable result of such a large capacity transmission line. Companies or individuals considering a wind power project in Baker County deserve to know the process that's in place for approving or denying their project, Bennett said. The overall goal of the new ordinance is to "have a tool that assists individuals, the (planning) department and (planning) commissioners to make decisions clearly and simply," Bennett said.
11 Nov 2008

City council takes stance on windmills viewshed issue

The city council doesn't want to see windmills surrounding Milton-Freewater. Thursday morning, about six hours before a Umatilla County Planning Commission meeting to discuss windmills, the city council unanimously approved a resolution and letter to the commission declaring its "serious concern" with windmills going up in the viewshed along the Blue Mountains. It asked the planning commission to come up with rules for where it places wind farms and power lines within the viewshed.
7 Nov 2008

State asks whether wind farm projects are separate

Chris Crowley, head of Columbia Energy Partners, filed separate applications for the three wind projects he called the Echanis, East Ridge and West Ridge wind farms. They lie next to each other ...Each would generate a maximum of 104 megawatts. Any project with a capacity of 105 megawatts or more triggers review by the state. The county reviews smaller ones. "These are blatant attempts to circumvent the public process," said Dave Becker, an attorney with the Oregon Natural Desert Association. The state's Energy Facility Siting Council should review the projects, he said.
31 Aug 2008

Wind farm plans clash with pristine site in eastern Oregon

Steens Mountain stretches through the open lands of southeastern Oregon's Harney County for more than 30 miles, a twisting spine of rock and brush punctuated by steep gorges and rushing streams. Remote and rugged, it has come to symbolize the state's wild, austere side. It's also becoming a battleground for a wind power developer that sees gold in the Steens' stiff breezes -- and red in the eyes of environmentalists. At issue are about 200 wind turbines that Columbia Energy Partners wants to build along the northern boundary of the Steens Mountain Wilderness. ...The conflicts come into sharp relief in a state that prizes its green credentials and its pristine lands.
31 Aug 2008

Brocato worried about power line

Baker City Manager Steve Brocato doesn't want Baker City to "start looking like Boardman." He's afraid a proposed Idaho Power transmission line that will pass through Baker County - and perhaps skirt the east side of Baker City - might do just that. Brocato told city councilors Tuesday the proposed power line "will detract from the beauty of this area" and believes its presence will spawn more wind farms, which he said are "detrimental to the beauty of the community and don't contribute to economic development." ..."If the county grants a wind farm, it should be somewhere where we can't see them and I would like the caveat that it has to be built by a local industry."
13 Aug 2008

Echo-area wind farm moving ahead

The Umatilla County Planning Commission has approved the Echo-area project. Commissioners voted unanimously to approve a land-use permit for the wind farm's transmission line along Highway 207. The line will carry the project's electricity to a PacifiCorp substation at Hinkle. For the project's investors, the land-use permit was the final step before going to work. ...
8 Jul 2008
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