>La Grande Observer | Union and Wallowa Counties' News Leader

La Grande, OR forecast
& Eastern Oregon University Valley Cam

Observer news NE Oregon Classifieds Web
web powered by Web Search Powered by Google

Follow LaGrandeObserver.com

Today's front page

Image of The Observer's Front Page

Get Home Delivery of The Observer for only $8.50 per month, $9.50 for motor routes. Just click here and after filling out one simple and secure online form you could be on your way to learning more information about local, state and world news.

manage your account »

Recent article comments

Powered by Disqus

Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow Wind farm permits denied

Wind farm permits denied

BAKER CITY — Baker County Planning Commissioners on Tuesday denied conditional-use permits for construction of a pair of wind farms near Huntington and Lime. 

Commissioners began deliberating about the projects last week. The large number of public comments at that time resulted in a meeting lasting more than four hours. Tuesday’s meeting concluded after about 3-1/2 hours.

The four planning commissioners originally involved with the issue in late June saw it through to the end: Commission Chair Alice Trindle and Commissioners Jim Grove, Suzan Ellis Jones and Randy Joseph.

Commissioner Bill Harvey recused himself to express opposition to the projects.

Robert Guertin, a spokesman for Oregon Wind Farms Inc., the project developer, attended Tuesday’s meeting but he didn’t speak to planners.

The developers can appeal the Planning Commission’s decision to the County Board of Commissioners.

Before denying the request for conditional-use permits, planning commissioners cited objections to wind farms made by Harvey and other opponents.

The potential effect of the turbines on the region’s viewshed came up repeatedly.

“What adverse impact is there to the value of surrounding property?” Joseph asked Grove, who brought up the issue.

Joseph operates the county’s only wind farm, which consists of six turbines on BLM land about five miles north of Huntington.

Even though the privately owned sites for the two proposed wind farms are considered less-than-optimal for agriculture, allowing the turbines — 12 at one site, and 12 to 18 at the other — might affect property values if residents are disappointed when they “look out and see” the turbines, Grove said.

“The surrounding area is rangeland,” Joseph said. “I don’t think the cows are going to care that much.”

Grove later pointed out that recreational use could be affected by the turbines aesthetically and physically. It would keep some from using the nearby BLM land.

Grove and other commissioners believe wind farms would affect the local economy as well. The county has “spent a lot of money” promoting the Oregon Trail, Grove said during the lengthy discussion.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Local / Sports / Business / State / National / Obituaries / Public Notices
Editorials / Letters / Guest Columns / Columnists
Outdoors / Ag / Spiritual / Go Magazine / Portraits
View all classifieds / Jobs / Autos / Real Estate / Rentals / Place an Ad
The Observer
About / Contact / Commercial Printing / Subscriptions / Terms of Use / Site Map
Also Online
Photo Reprints / Slideshows / Weather and Valley Cam / /index.php?option=com_rss&feed=RSS2.0&no_html=1">RSS Feed ?> RSS Feed

Follow La Grande Observer headlines on Follow La Grande Observer headlines on Twitter

© Copyright 2001 - 2014 Western Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. By Using this site you agree to our Terms of Use

LaGrandeObserver.com works best with the latest versions of Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer or Apple Safari