HUTCHINSON, Kan. — The Reno County Commission made it official by passing a resolution for the decision to not grant a conditional use permit to the NextEra Energy wind farm project near Haven.
It was nearly two weeks ago when commissioners held a special meeting at the Fox Theatre and failed to get a supermajority vote for the conditional use permit for the wind farm project.
Commission Chair Bob Bush and Commissioner Ron Sellers voted in favor of the permit, while Commissioner Ron Hirst, who represents the area where the proposed wind farm was to be built, voted against it.
Hirst talked about his reasons for the no vote.
“We had to determine whether it improved the comprehensive plan and the zoning regulations,” Hirst said. “What it all boiled down to, my constituents in that area, the majority had relayed that they were against that. I found lots of situations relating to the comprehensive plan as well as zoning regulations that I felt didn’t justify the conditional use permit.”
Commissioners needed the unanimous vote because of the number of protest petitions presented to the county. 46% of the petitions were deemed valid. That number was well above the 20% needed.
What comes next is up to NextEra Energy. The company has 30 days to file any type of lawsuit over the county’s decision.