Member, Riley County Planning Board
January/February/March 2004 and March 2007 ...
March 1, 2007 ... On the last day of February, the Wabaunsee County District Court upheld the Board of Commissioner's legislative ban of WECS-C in Wabaunsee County. Read the judge's ruling in the Zimmerman, et al case (pdf 690 KB). Bruce Waugh was a principal author of an instrumental memorandum for the Wabaunsee County Commissioners (Word doc.) regarding the legitimacy of prohibiting WECS-C; he drew on some of the materials listed below -- especially the March '04 "fair and bullet proof" memo I wrote in response to key concerns of Riley County Commissioners.
Way back in February 2004 ... The following presentation was shown at the:
Microsoft Power Point Presentation: Visual Aspects of WECSs ... now has three parts. This presentation summarizes my research on the visual aspects and impacts of wind energy conversion systems; the landscape character of southern Riley County (first part); and the significance of vertical elements in our landscape (second part). It alludes to observable social, economic and ecological impacts from the location and construction of industrial-scale WECSs. The third part starts to document the legal authority of elected officials in Kansas to regulate land use based partly on aesthetics.
Development of thought
Here in Riley County we need to learn as much as possible, as quickly as possible, about locating and siting WECS (wind energy conversion systems) as we confront the questions of where and how to put wind turbines into our part of the Flint Hills, if they should be there at all. It seems appropriate for me, as a professional educator, landscape architect and attorney to share my expanding knowledge of the subject. I am aware that several counties in Kansas are watching Riley County to see what we will do.
I do not consider myself to be an expert, although I do read with comprehension. I am enjoying the study of this compelling subject, and hereby acknowledge that it was County Commissioner Bob Newsome who set us on this productive course of action. Certainly the moratorium period, as approved by all three county commissioners, is the key to our success in developing the knowledge for sound and research-based decisions regarding WECS-C in Riley County. I find myself writing early in the morning in order to clarify my thoughts, and test ideas. Please consider all of the papers linked to this index to be working drafts, probably needing refinement, elaboration, and perhaps redirection in some cases. Nonetheless a record of my thought is evident below.
I will continue to add to the list; I am open to constructive criticism and revision. Chronological order is the easiest way to organize the papers, and is indicative of the growth of my awareness and understanding of the various issues swirling around wind turbines, and their placement in the landscape. I hope that we can apply that knowledge for the common good of all residents and visitors to Riley County, for the long term.
A final note on intentions: it is my intention to develop WECS-C knowledge and insights sufficiently that our position on the issues becomes one characterized by a common understanding of the issues with the Board of County Commissioners -- I am confident that I can speak for the entire planning board in writing that we are not interested in power games and understand our advisory role. It is my intention to communicate sufficiently with the county commissioners, through good minutes of the planning board meetings especially (See the Manhattan Mercury 01.27.04) so that there are no surprises in what is finally recommended for the regulation of WECS-C installations. I hope we can reach consensus on how to deal with WECS-C in Riley County. Certainly, I do not have all the answers, but I am learning, and the planning board is learning. We are committed to doing the right thing for Riley County.
Documents below are listed in order of creation.
January 13, 2004 ... WECS ppts at the RCPB on 01.12.04 -- Process to-date, the long version, written the morning after the January 12th planning board meeting.
January 14, 2004 ... Wind Power in Riley County -- Process to-date, the short version, published in the Manhattan Mercury 01.16.04.
January 20, 2004 ... Scale Visible Qualitative Change Memory, written after the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce Leadership Summit presentation made at the Overland Park Marriott Hotel on January 16th, 2004.
January 21, 2004 ... Nuisance Worries, reflections on the education sessions of the 20th at CICO Park, Manhattan.
January 22, 2004 ... WECS Aesthetics -- an oxymoron?
January 23, 2004 ... The British Pasture
January 24, 2004 ... RE: Minutes of the RCPB, written while reflecting on recent planning board meetings, in terms of what is being said, and who is in attendance -- with the intention of developing a reasonably informative and reliable record of our proceedings.
January 24, 2004 ... RE: Intact Areas of the Tallgrass Prairie, written while reflecting on the educational sessions of January 20th conducted at CICO Park.
January 27, 28, 2004 ... RE: Growing concerns about scale: WECS Aesthetics II: Towards a community-based standard for regulation.
February 9, 2004 ... What if strict regulation of WECS-C is not possible? Presented to the Riley County Planning Board as a proposed change of course: to a comprehensive plan update, with regulations for new special use WECS-C zones; versus a county-wide set of regulations. This will be discussed at the next regular meeting (March 8, 2004). Scale, context, visibility really matter.
February 10, 2004 ... Ethical choices in land use planning ... some ruminations after the February 9th planning board meeting: Leopold and Power.
February 16, 2004 ... Leopold and Power quotes: food for thought ... developing the above thoughts a bit.
February 20, 2004 ... Visual Aspects of WECSs was presented to the Governor's Wind and Prairie Task Force in Topeka.
February 26, 2004 ... Latest edition of Visual Aspects of WECSs was presented at the Council Grove High School auditorium as part of the Wind Energy Symposium sponsored by the Greater Morris County Development Corporation.
March 1, 2004 ... Memorandum to the Riley County Planning Board regarding regulations that would be Fair and Bullet-proof in preparation for the March 8th meeting -- proposing the consideration of prohibiting industrial scale WECSs in Riley County. We should follow Bay Township's example from Michigan, as described and upheld in the Johnecheck case.
March 1, 2007 ... Wabaunsee County District Court upholds Board of Commissioner's legislative ban of WECS-C in Wabaunsee County. Read the judge's ruling in the Zimmerman, et al case (pdf 690 KB).
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