Edgewood Approves Wind Generator Ordinance

Modern wind energy plant in rural scenery.
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By Bob Steiner

Since last December  the town’s Energy Committee and the Planning and Zoning Commission have been working on an amendment to the town’s  zoning ordinance  which will regulate the installation and use of residential wind generating equipment in Edgewood. Most of the regularly scheduled council meeting on May 7th was devoted to this subject and any citizen present had opportunity to comment on the proposed amendment.  the town had  also  solicited email comments by citizens who were unable to attend the meeting. It seems odd but according to the town administrator only two emails were submitted regarding this subject.

After  the document was read before those present, some sixteen persons, one at a time, chose to make vocal comments on wind energy.   While six citizens expressed concern about the amendment, the remaining  ten commented in favor of it.  Those in opposition seemed  most concerned  about how generators might impact on their view of the local mountains.  Those in favor seemed  most concerned with the impact of potentially more polluting power sources (coal, for example) on our local environment.  In any event, while it appeared that the Mayor was not  overly- enthusiastic about approving the document, all four council members voted to approve the document.

From where I sat in the audience,  it seemed that all parties involved in the writing of the regulation have done a good job. Deserving of special kudos are John Abrams, who led the energy committees, and John Bassett and Janelle Turner,  commissioners in Edgewood Planning and Zoning,  whose attention to detail help make this  a viable document.  I am  convinced every effort was made to insure that the wants and concerns of all our citizens were embodied in the completed work.

Mr. Kenneth Brennan, who  works for a major commercial wind generator supplier, was present and addressed the meeting.  He seems to have a wealth of knowledge about the subject and has graciously agreed to answer wind energy  questions for his Edgewood neighbors.  He can be reached by calling  505-286-1897.

Please Note:  Gadabout-blogalot   does not endorse any specific products or sales agents.

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5 thoughts on “Edgewood Approves Wind Generator Ordinance

  1. I’ll defer comment on the ordinance until I see the final. Just a note, though: there is nothing “extraordinary” about accepting comments by e-mail; it is a very common practice, and the Mayor formally solicited public comments to be submitted by e-mail; failure to accept them on the part of the Council would have been legally actionable.

  2. John,

    Thanks for your input.

    I DID hear the final (approved) ordinance read last night.( because I was there!). Having previously sent email correspondence with comments to the town leadership and never having a reply sent to me, with the exception of one instance, I must concede that you must be held in higher esteem than I by the town. I guess I’ll just have to do without such veneration.

    It was a point of interest that I noted that your Email regarding wind energy was one of the two read in front of the council. I sincerely regret that you were not present at the meeting to provide your comments in person . By the way, I am certain that the energy committee and Planning and Zoning would have appreciated your current input at a much earlier date, say one year ago.

    If you,per chance, have followed our blog articles as well as my article in the “Independent” some two weeks ago, you would be well aware that until yesterday, I had not taken a stand on “Wind Energy”. I, too, had encouraged those WHO COULD NOT JUSTIFIABLY be there to email their comments on this subject to Ms Mahalick.. My sole goal in addressing this issue was to insure that the work done by the two committees was considered in making any decisions regrading wind energy.They have now spoken and I must respect their efforts.

    As one who attends most P&Z and council meetings, I recommend that ALL our readers who want to know what is going on in Edgewood do the same. While I too, have been critical of town staff when I felt it was warranted, I do my best to recognize those staff members who perform well. This current article does just that.

    I hope that your apparent environmental concerns are addressed as Wind energy is implemented.

    regards, Bob Steiner

  3. Bob,

    As indicated in this evening’s response to your September 23 article, my input was provided to the Town and “considered” back in January of this year. I regret that you did not have the time to obtain and review the previously submitted comments.

    Congratulations on having the time to have physically “been there.” Not all of us can be. Beyond that, your entire first paragraph makes little sense, and it is very difficult to avoid an impression that your response here is rather snide and and just a little petty. To be perhaps unfairly blunt, I consider this kind of rhetoric to be beneath you, Bob; I think you’re better than that. Those of us who took the time to research the relevant issues, develop written comments, and provide meaningful input to the Town government have no reason to apologize for not attending public hearings in addition to providing input in written form. I consider it unfortunate that you belittle the efforts of those who, rather than attending meetings, took the extra time to send in written comments, via e-mail or otherwise. I personally put a lot of time into developing my comments, time that I didn’t really have to spare, and provided what amounts to a good bit of free professional expertise. I’m sorry you think it wasn’t valuable. I disagree.

  4. Some clarification: The “wind ordinance” was not passed. What was passed is an amendment to the town’s zoning ordinance. The amendment allows an applicant to submit for approval a wind energy conversion technology and actually construct such a device/devices if they are able to gain favorable action through the Planning and Zoning commission process and final approval from the governing body. There are no blanket approvals because each “tower” will be unique and will require a unique hearing process.

    The public hearing process will allow for testimony of proponents and opponents (I assume, written and/or verbal). Of course, any “aggrieved” individual or group can appeal to district court, etc. to have their concerns further examined.

    There are safeguards inherent in the process and just because there were no extensive formal environmental and other impact studies completed thus far, does not mean that such examinations will not surface as each application is considered on its merits and potential negative impact. Additionally, although I have come late to my limited role on the “committee” the rest of the committee members, in my understanding, are currently involved in one aspect or another of renewable energy studies and pursuits. And, I am fairly certain that any existing studies, papers and other documents pertaining to various environmental impacts were consulted and considered up to this point and will be considered further as the Town goes forth with hearings and other processes. This is not to say that everything to be considered has been considered.

    I believe that the result of the Town’s work on this matter, thus far, puts the town and its citizens in a position to take advantage of one or more aspects of renewable energy. Will there be bumps and holes in the road forward … certainly. But, the amendment passed Wednesday night was movement toward actually demonstrating that Edgewood and its citizens are committed to trying solutions to the energy “problem.”

    Additional discussion here, at this time, is not likely to yield any substantive useful information. I hope additional information which may surface in the future will help to answer any doubts and concerns. For now, I ask that we hold further discussion on this article in abeyance, unless and until, new information is received.

  5. Chuck, I’m disappointed to see that you’re cutting off discussion on this issue. It’s your blog, though, and I’ll respect your decision in this regard. We’ll continue the free exchange of ideas on this article and the subject in general at NM-Central.com

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