Canyon man asks city to change wind turbine zoning ordinance - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Canyon man asks city to change wind turbine zoning ordinance

 Canyon, TX - Wind energy is picking up steam across the U.S., and especially in Texas, accounting for about seven percent of the state's total electric output.  But in most cities, there are very specific restrictions on where turbines can and cannot be erected.  And now one Canyon man wants his city to lift some of those restrictions.

Casey Dobbs installed some wind turbines on his home late last year, and has since produced all the electricity he needs and then some - and he feeds the extra energy back into the city's power grid.  But the city recently ordered him to take them down, as they are a violation of city policy.

"They have told me I have ten days to remove these wind generators," says Dobbs, "which do produce clean energy, and actually put energy back into the grid for free, or face fines of upwards of 10,000 dollars."

Canyon city policy bans wind turbines completely from residential areas, as city manager Randy Criswell explains, "If that were a commercial zone, then he would have to comply with all the other requirements which would be setbacks and spacings from the property line, and maximum heights, and that sort of thing.  The reason that particular location is illegal is because it's a residential zone."

Criswell Say the reasoning behind the policy is based on both public safety and simple aesthetics, saying, "If every house had a windmill, we felt like that would detract tremendously from the attractiveness of Canyon, Texas."

"I don't believe these to be an eyesore," says Dobbs.  "They are quiet, efficient, and they are no more aesthetically unpleasing than a windmill in your front yard, or a flagpole with a flag on it."

Dobbs says he will comply with the city's order, but plans to start a petition to ask the city to change their current policy.

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