HUTCHINSON, Kan. — On a 3-0 vote, the Reno County Commission approved the protest petitions Tuesday that were deemed valid over the proposed NextEra Energy wind farm south of the Haven area.
County Consultant Russ Ewy broke down the numbers of petitions received and those deemed valid and invalid. He says the two-week protest period started after the Reno County Planning Commission finished its meeting on April 23.
“Over that two weeks, we had received approximately 233, just over half of which were deemed to be effective, meaning they were within or touched this 1,000-foot buffer,” Ewy said. “Some 90 petitions fell well outside the 1,000-foot buffer area.”
Some petitions were deemed invalid for other reasons, bringing that total to 114.
The commission agreed that 46% of the petitions received were more than the 20 percent threshold required to force a unanimous vote on the conditional use permit for the wind farm by the Reno County Commission.
The Reno County Planning Commission recommended that the permit be denied after hearing numerous residents speak against the farm.
The company wants to build as many as 83 wind turbines in that area of Reno County but needs the conditional use permit for zoned areas of the county.
The issue of the wind farm is not dead, however at a special meeting Thursday evening at the Fox Theatre, the commission will consider the request and make a final decision. That meeting will be at the Fox Theatre starting at 6:30 p.m.