Letter to the Editor: Are you willing to live with the alternative?
I believe it is time to take a step back and objectively consider the situation facing our towns and county.
NextEra and Invenergy’s Special Attorney, Alan Claus Anderson, testified against HB2273 in an Opponent Hearing at the State Capitol, citing that:
• Local Control of Land Use is in the Kansas Constitution
• Property concerns are held at the County Level because nothing is more local than Land Use decisions
• It is done at the County Level so they can take the input from the locals in ways sensitive to their needs
• Land Use decisions are based upon the local community’s goals and values when controlled at the Local Level
• The process for doing this is through Zoning (Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Regulation)
State Bill (HB 2273) was introduced back in February of this year and intended to add regulation of industrial wind and protection of Kansas citizens at the State Level. HB2273, if passed, would have regulated Residential Setbacks at a minimum of 7,920 ft and Property Line Setbacks at a minimum of 1,500 ft., as well as add other protections for Kansas citizens. The bill did not make it out of committee due to the majority of committee members holding the position that Kansas towns and counties are solely responsible for protecting their citizens from the Industrial Wind takeover that is sweeping across Northeast Kansas and this Country.
Zoning our Cities and County is our right… NextEra’s own attorney, Alan Claus Anderson, testified to that. It appears NextEra understands the strength this local control can offer, as evidenced by their recent attempt to lure elected officials with a “$550,000 Opportunity” for the City of Corning, contingent upon stopping their Extra-Territorial Zoning and their entrance into a Contract.
Zoning our Cities and County is the only means to regulate, restrict, and fight Industrial Wind. This is the situation… this is the reality. It is time to face this reality and start the Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Process with seriousness and sincerity at the County level.
Zoning, if done simply and correctly, is far less intrusive and restrictive than most originally thought. IN ACCORDANCE WITH KANSAS STATUTES, IT CANNOT AFFECT/REGULATE AGRICULTURE AND A FARMER’S PROPERTY RIGHTS. It can be done simply and need not be strict, nor far-reaching. Zoning provides means for the Citizens to chart the direction for our County and serves as an anchor for which our elected official should be operating. Zoning can and should serve to protect the county and its communities and plan for the future.
We cannot afford to ignore what I believe to be obvious. We cannot pretend other means exist to protect ourselves from Industrial Wind. It is my belief that we collectively need to be supporting and pushing our Commissioners in the pursuit and proper execution of simple common-sense Zoning in our County… are you willing to live with the alternative?