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1 1 IN THE STATE OF WASHINGTON 2 COUNTY OF KITTITAS 3 __________________________________________________ 4 KITTITAS COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY ) COMMISSIONERS SPECIAL MEETING ) NO. 2-2003-01 5 RE DESERT CLAIM WIND POWER ) PROJECT ) 6 __________________________________________________ 7 VERBATIM TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS 8 __________________________________________________ 9 10 March 1, 2005 11 6:00 p.m. Kittitas County Fairgrounds 12 Ellensburg, Washington 13 14 15 16 17 BEFORE THE KITTITAS COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 REPORTED BY: LOUISE R. BELL, CCR NO. 2676 26 2 1 APPEARANCES: 2 KITTITAS COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS: 3 COMMISSIONER PERRY HUSTON COMMISSIONER DAVID BOWEN 4 COMMISSIONER ALAN CRANKOVICH 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 3 1 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: It is March 1st, 2 year 2005. It is 6:00 p.m. We are at the 3 Kittitas County fairgrounds in special 4 meeting of the Kittitas County Board of 5 County Commissioners. This meeting will 6 please come to order. 7 We are in special meeting this evening 8 for purposes of conducting a continued public 9 hearing regarding the Desert Claim wind power 10 application. 11 Before we begin, let me start by 12 introducing the commissioners. To my -- 13 well, not far right, but almost far right, is 14 Commissioner Alan Crankovich, District 2. In 15 the center, Commissioner David Bowen, 16 District 1. I'm Perry Huston, Commissioner 17 of District 3. To my far right is Julie 18 Kjorsvik, the clerk of the board. 19 Let me introduce Darryl Piercy, 20 Community Development Services director, to 21 my immediate left, who will introduce the 22 staff table. 23 MR. PIERCY: Mr. Chair, thank you very 24 much. To my left is Allison Kimball, 25 assistant director of Community Development 26 4 1 Services. And to my far left at this table 2 is Jim Hurson, Chief Civil Deputy Prosecutor. 3 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Thank you. 4 Again, we're in public hearing this 5 evening to consider the application of the 6 Desert Claim Wind Power Project. 7 Specifically, we have a revised development 8 agreement which has been put out for public 9 comment. That's the purpose of our meeting 10 tonight. 11 We'll later receive a report from staff, 12 report from the applicant, as well as take 13 public testimony regarding the information 14 you've heard and have had available to you. 15 Because this is an application that 16 deals with the specific rights of an 17 individual -- in this case a company, but an 18 individual nonetheless in the eyes and ears 19 of the law -- it is a quasi-judicial process, 20 and to that end we are prohibited from 21 ex parte contact or contact outside of this 22 hearing process relevant to the application. 23 However, things happen, so the remedy 24 for those occasional and hopefully 25 inadvertent contacts is that we disclose 26 5 1 those for the record so that anybody has the 2 opportunity to question or otherwise bring to 3 bear any concerns they might have regarding 4 those third-party contacts. 5 I'll begin with those disclosures. I 6 have had -- well, actually let me do some 7 housekeeping. We have -- since we released 8 the revised development agreement, we 9 received a variety of letters, e-mails, 10 et cetera. Those have all been assembled 11 through 4:00 p.m. of today and are now part 12 of the public record. 13 So any of those documents that we have 14 seen, you can see; they're a matter of the 15 record at this time. 16 In terms of in-person contacts, I did 17 have a visit by Tuffy Morrison, who had 18 questions concerning the status, if you will, 19 of the process that would now be driven by 20 the revised development agreement. We had 21 the discussion that tonight it would be open 22 for public testimony and eventually the board 23 would make some sort of a decision vis-a-vis 24 the development agreement. 25 As well, Steve Lathrop called -- well, 26 6 1 now that I think about it, I believe he was 2 talking about one of the other wind farm 3 applications. At any rate, again, a question 4 of process in terms of the status of the 5 development agreement and the various 6 hearings. I explained -- well, I guess it 7 was the other application. I explained to 8 him that we'll be reviewing documents 9 Thursday night. 10 So it's actually beginning to happen: 11 It's beginning to merge together. 12 So at any rate, I had that contact with 13 Mr. Lathrop and I'll disclose that Thursday 14 as well. 15 Hearing that, let me ask for the record 16 if there's anyone would who object to my 17 remaining sitting in hearing on this 18 application. 19 Let the record show there's no one 20 indicating an objection. 21 Commissioner Bowen. 22 COMMISSIONER BOWEN: The only thing 23 close to a declaration, I guess, is in 24 passing in the conversation with Jim Mapes -- 25 UNIDENTIFIED AUDIENCE MEMBER: I can't 26 7 1 hear. 2 COMMISSIONER BOWEN: In a conversation 3 with Jim Mapes -- 4 Is that working better? 5 In a conversation with Jim Mapes he 6 informed me that he was in support of 7 windmills and wind farms in general, and 8 that's the only contact I've had. 9 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Hearing that, let 10 me ask if there anyone present who would 11 object to Commissioner Bowen sitting in 12 hearing on this application. 13 The record show there's no one 14 indicating an objection. 15 Commissioner Crankovich. 16 COMMISSIONER CRANKOVICH: Other than 17 various comments on wind farms in general 18 supporting or against, nothing really 19 staunchly comes forward. And incoming 20 written comments that we've been receiving. 21 I've had one outside contact, and that was 22 with Mr. Milt Johnston of the Department of 23 Natural Resources and in regard to the 24 setbacks. 25 And that's it for me. 26 8 1 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Hearing that, let 2 me ask if there is anyone present who would 3 object to Commissioner Crankovich sitting in 4 hearing on this application. 5 The record show there's no one 6 indicating an objection. All commissioners 7 will remain seated. 8 With that, how we'll proceed this 9 evening is again we'll start with a report, 10 staff comments. We'll go to the applicant, 11 who will then bring us up to date in terms of 12 the revised development agreement and other 13 activities since we last met. 14 Let me remind staff and the applicant 15 that I do expect they'd be thorough 16 presentations in the beginning. I will want 17 no new, substantive information following 18 public testimony. We'll give opportunity for 19 discussion to points made in testimony and 20 that sort of thing, but I want no new 21 information after public testimony or I will 22 reopen it to additional public comment. So 23 just to make that absolutely clear so we 24 don't run afoul of misconception. 25 After we receive that information, we'll 26 9 1 open it to public testimony. I'll give you 2 five minutes to present your testimony. You 3 can turn in written testimony of any length, 4 and that will be -- we'll accept that up to 5 the time we close the record. We'll have to 6 see how far we get in terms of our testimony 7 this evening before we take on that 8 particular decision. 9 What I'm going to propose in terms of a 10 schedule, Commissioners, is that we take a 11 break at 7:30, one at 9:00, and then if we 12 were not completed, go ahead and finish the 13 evening by ten o'clock. Should we finish 14 ahead of time, then we'll discuss our 15 schedule; but if not, we'll try to find 16 another date to continue taking public 17 testimony. 18 So in terms of your five minutes, what 19 I'll do so that you can keep tabs in terms of 20 your time, at four minutes I will give you a 21 one-minute warning; at five minutes I will 22 stop you and ask you to complete your 23 thought. So we all have an understanding of 24 what's expected. 25 With that I'm going to ask Community 26 10 1 Development director Darryl Piercy to deliver 2 whatever staff comments he believes 3 appropriate. 4 MR. PIERCY: Thank you, Mr. Chair, 5 members of the board. For the record, Darryl 6 Piercy, director of Community Development 7 Services. 8 A couple of housekeeping items that I 9 just wanted to bring to the board's 10 attention. 11 First off, the chairman did mention that 12 all letters that have been received by the 13 department and by the commissioners' office 14 are contained in a packet of materials that 15 have now been forwarded to the board. 16 I should also point out and just to 17 clarify that any e-mail correspondence that 18 would have come in in regards to public 19 comments are also included in that packet. 20 So if there was information that you or 21 any member of the public sent to either 22 Community Development Services or to the 23 Board of County Commissioners, they are in 24 fact part of that packet and are now 25 considered to be part of the record. 26 11 1 We have limited copies of those 2 available if anyone would like to have those. 3 They have been provided to the board and to 4 the applicant. 5 In addition, over to the table to the 6 far -- my far right near the door there are 7 copies of two items. One of them is 8 identified as Progress Report No. 3. 9 Contained within Progress Report No. 3 is a 10 copy of the draft development agreement that 11 will be the subject of conversation this 12 evening. 13 In addition to that is a document 14 entitled "Executive Summary" that's 15 associated with the Progress Report No. 4. 16 Progress Report No. 4 was supplied to the 17 Board of County Commissioners and to staff 18 this evening just prior to the commencement 19 of the hearing. But the executive summary 20 that's contained within Progress Report No. 4 21 is available for your review in copies at the 22 table. 23 Following the meeting on February 15th 24 of this year, staff was directed to proceed 25 towards this public hearing by providing 26 12 1 copies of the draft development agreement to 2 all parties of record. 3 That was accomplished through our 4 department. Over 350 copies of the draft 5 development agreement were mailed to the 6 names that we have identified as parties of 7 record. 8 To be a party of record you would have 9 included your name on a mailing list at each 10 of these hearings; you would have provided 11 testimony, both either -- either written or 12 orally, and all of the names that have been 13 captured through this public process are now 14 part of this mailing list. And again, the 15 number totals in excess of 350. 16 All of those parties were in fact mailed 17 directly to them copies of the development 18 agreement. 19 If for some reason you found that you 20 are here this evening and did not receive 21 that and you feel that you should be on our 22 public mailing list, please see us, one of 23 the staff members, either during the break or 24 after this hearing to ensure that your name 25 is on future mailings if you so desire and 26 13 1 you did not receive one. 2 As indicated previously, within the 3 executive summary are -- excuse me, within 4 Development Report No. 4 that was received 5 this evening -- or Progress Report No. 4 6 received this evening, I would direct the 7 board's attention to Tab 1. 8 In a brief review of Tab 1 is a brief 9 history or executive summary of the entire 10 process in terms of changes that were in fact 11 made to this document since the time that the 12 document was originally submitted. 13 You may recall that a series of public 14 hearings have been conducted in regards to 15 the original development agreement as well as 16 the original application. Those were held 17 both jointly before the Planning Commission 18 and before the Board of County Commissioners. 19 Following the Planning Commission's 20 recommendation, the Board of County 21 Commissioners also took public testimony 22 prior to closing the record for deliberation. 23 During the closed deliberation process, 24 the applicant was asked on a number of 25 hearing dates to modify the development 26 14 1 agreement based on comments received from the 2 Board of County Commissioners as well as 3 comments and deliberation from CDS staff. 4 The proposal that you have before you 5 this evening that's entitled Progress Report 6 No. 4 reflects those discussions, reflects 7 those comments that were provided by the 8 board, is a document that is identical to the 9 document that ultimately was identified and 10 moved forward by the board on February 15th, 11 with additional comments in terms of process 12 and modifications in terms of the summary as 13 identified in Tab 1. 14 This process has been undertaken through 15 a closed-record hearing process, and now the 16 record has been reopened and public testimony 17 will once again be taken in regards to the 18 application before us, including the revised 19 development agreement, again, that was mailed 20 to the 350-plus members of the public who 21 have requested that information in the copies 22 that are available here this evening. 23 With that background and history, 24 Commissioners, I would say that the staff 25 presentation is complete and we'd be happy to 26 15 1 respond to any questions that you might have. 2 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Questions of 3 staff, Commissioners? 4 Thank you. 5 Applicant, your presentation. 6 MR. STEEB: Good evening, Commissioners. 7 Thank you, Mr. Chair, for clarifying 8 what the process is tonight; that was one of 9 my first questions. And it's very clear how 10 we will respond tonight as well as everybody 11 else in addressing the issue before us, which 12 is the development agreement that went out 13 two weeks ago, and then having a chance to 14 comment on comments that are presented 15 tonight. So thank you very much for that. 16 That being said, let me just get into 17 this with the binder that's before you that 18 Mr. Piercy correctly walked through, and I'm 19 just going to walk through it shortly and 20 then move on with my presentation. 21 On February 15th of this year, we 22 presented to the Board of County 23 Commissioners our third progress report 24 regarding a number of issues in the draft 25 development agreement for the Desert Claim 26 16 1 Wind Power Project. 2 At that time, the board continued the 3 public hearing in this matter until today, 4 March 1st, and directed the county staff to 5 make the final draft development agreement 6 available for a two-week public review and 7 comment, which we're culminating tonight. 8 The board also directed us, the 9 applicant, to provide a report detailing with 10 the changes made to the development agreement 11 since the County first made it available for 12 public review back in August of last year. 13 This is our report to the board tonight. 14 I will explain the changes, both the 15 structural and the substantive changes made 16 to the development agreement in response to 17 comments we received from the public, county 18 staff, and this board. 19 At this time we are also submitting to 20 the board the following three items, as 21 Mr. Piercy said. The first one is an 22 executive summary. It's a four-page 23 executive summary of the changes. That's -- 24 75 copies are here; they're available for 25 everybody to look at. It's basically the 26 17 1 Reader's Digest version of what I'll be 2 talking about of the changes between the two 3 documents. That's in Exhibit 1 of your 4 package. 5 Second, a redline copy of the final 6 development agreement showing these changes. 7 No magic, other than pushing the buttons on 8 Word Perfect and comparing the two documents 9 so that we could develop the executive 10 summary and talk about it tonight. 11 And third, a copy of the original 12 September 16th or the original development 13 agreement that went out. 14 First I'd like to talk about the 15 editorial changes. There were editorial 16 changes that are always made in these type of 17 documents. They're in your memo. I don't 18 see any real need to go through them, because 19 they're really what they are, are editorial 20 type of things. But if the board would like 21 us to go through those we can; otherwise, I'd 22 move on to the more details in the 23 development agreement. 24 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Commissioners, any 25 preference? 26 18 1 COMMISSIONER BOWEN: It's up to the 2 applicant, as far as I'm concerned. 3 MR. STEEB: Okay, I'd just like to move 4 on. 5 Let's move on to Page 4 in your 6 agreement. And if people are following along 7 and have this, you'll -- the sequence of the 8 executive summary is laid out exactly the 9 same way it is in the development agreement. 10 So as we talk about recitals or section -- 11 the various sections, 1, 2, 3, 4, as I speak 12 about those tonight you can follow them both 13 if you have the development agreement here or 14 have the executive summary, so it's pretty 15 systematic. 16 I'd like to start with the substantive 17 changes made to the responses, to comments. 18 These were made to the development agreement. 19 The first area I'd like to look at is 20 the recitals. That's at the beginning of the 21 document. There were two to speak of there. 22 Recital J was added to document the Board of 23 County Commissioners' decision that the 24 project is covered by the County's wind farm 25 regulations as we find in KCC 17.61A. 26 19 1 In response to staff comments, Recital K 2 was added to clarify that the County has the 3 authority to enact laws and enter into 4 agreements to protect the public health, 5 safety, and welfare. 6 The next is Section 1, effective date 7 and term. In response to a comment from the 8 county prosecuting attorney, Subsection 1.2.3 9 was inserted, which requires the County and 10 Desert Claim to meet in 25 years to discuss 11 extending the term of the development 12 agreement or to make plans for 13 decommissioning the project. 14 The next section, 2, Definitions. In 15 response to comments from the County, the 16 provision requiring Desert Claim to start 17 construction within five years was deleted 18 and the definition of substantial 19 completion -- or substantial construction was 20 also deleted from the original document. 21 Also the development agreement was 22 revised to require Desert Claim to complete 23 construction, not just start construction, 24 within the five-year construction build-out 25 period. 26 20 1 Another point is in response to public 2 and County comments, the development 3 agreement was revised by inserting a 4 definition of "final construction plans." 5 What this does is it acknowledges that 6 the project may be constructed in phases and 7 to account for changes made because of 8 micrositing and/or additional conditions 9 imposed by the County. 10 A definition of micrositing was inserted 11 to make it clear that in the process of 12 micrositing project facilities, Desert Claim 13 will not use micrositing to reduce the 14 required safety zone setback and/or any 15 required turbine buffer. 16 A definition of the project power 17 collection system was inserted to recognize 18 that it ties the project together and that 19 portions of this system may be located within 20 public rights-of-way. 21 And a definition of project substation 22 was inserted to make the project -- or the 23 development agreement consistent again with 24 KCC 17.61A, which is about wind farms. 25 There's a catch-all here. Definitions 26 21 1 were added for various other pieces that were 2 needed, such as CDS, Community Development 3 Services, for example. Repowering FAA, 4 et cetera, and I'll just leave that up to 5 people to look at. 6 The next section, No. 3, was permitted 7 land uses. No changes were made to that 8 section. 9 Section 4, applicable laws/vesting. The 10 development agreement was modified by 11 deleting the construction build-out period 12 and substantial construction concept for the 13 reasons I just talked about in the 14 definitions. 15 This section was modified by tying 16 mitigation measures to those contained in the 17 final EIS. This section was modified to 18 include an explanation of the term "County 19 approval." That was it for Section 4. 20 Section 5, development standards. In 21 order to insert new subsections pursuant to 22 directions from the County Board of 23 Commissioners, the development agreement was 24 revised by renumbering and reordering the 25 subsections in the September 16th, 2004, 26 22 1 draft. 2 In accordance with the board's 3 instructions, a new subsection 5.2, which 4 deals with turbine buffers, was inserted to 5 require a 1000-foot buffer between turbines 6 and the build line on adjacent private 7 property unless Desert Claim obtains a buffer 8 waiver agreement from the property owner, 9 which must be reviewed and approved by the 10 County. 11 I want to take a quick break here to 12 what I'm doing, because this is also public 13 and the applicant would like to put some 14 public pieces into this at this time. I want 15 to take a quick break to talk about the 16 1000-foot turbine buffer from undeveloped 17 property. This is not part of your report 18 that you have in front of you. This instead 19 is our position on this issue. 20 A while ago you've asked us to come back 21 to you with workable buffer alternatives. We 22 did; we came back with two. Alternative 1, 23 which was the 487-foot safety zone setback, 24 and Alternative 2, which is the 487-foot 25 safety zone setback plus a 1000 turbine 26 23 1 buffer. 2 You asked us whether we can live with 3 either option. We told you that we could. 4 But we want to make something very clear. 5 We'd prefer the safety zone setback. We 6 think it is better for the project and for 7 the County. And we hope that you will not 8 impose a 1000-foot turbine buffer requirement 9 from undeveloped property. The safety zone 10 setback is all you need to impose, for a 11 number of reasons. 12 First, it is based on the science in the 13 EIS, while the 1000-foot turbine buffer is 14 not. The EIS establishes that the safety 15 zone setback is sufficient to mitigate noise, 16 turbine collapse, blade throw and ice throw. 17 Although the EIS recognizes that our 18 voluntary good-neighbor 1000-foot buffer will 19 provide additional noise mitigation benefits 20 to nearby existing residences, the EIS is 21 also very clear that a 1000-foot buffer is 22 not necessary to mitigate noise impact 23 because noise from the project will be 24 between 53 to 55 dBa or decibels at the 25 project area boundary. 26 24 1 Because of this, nothing more is needed. 2 It is not needed to mitigate for noise, 3 turbine collapse, or blade and ice throw. As 4 such, there is simply no basis for the EIS to 5 require this additional buffer. 6 Second, the additional 1000-foot buffer 7 from undeveloped property I believe is bad 8 for the county. The buffer will eliminate 9 turbines from the project. Every turbine we 10 lose diminishes the public benefit from the 11 project. It diminishes the amount of tax 12 revenue for the county. It diminishes the 13 amount of renewable power produced by the 14 project. And it diminishes the amount of 15 construction and long-term operation-related 16 revenue that will pour into this county. 17 In exchange, all the County would 18 accomplish is to encourage people to build 19 houses on agricultural land, land that should 20 not be developed with houses in the first 21 place but should be protected for farming. 22 For these reasons we think imposing the 23 1000-foot buffer is a bad idea. We ask that 24 you eliminate this requirement from the 25 development agreement. We think that the 26 25 1 safety zone setback is more than sufficient 2 to protect the citizens of Kittitas County. 3 We think that imposing anything more on 4 our project would be unfair to the citizens, 5 who would lose the additional tax, power, and 6 revenue benefits from the project, would 7 create an inconsistent precedent in the 8 county, and would not generate any real 9 benefits but would instead continue the 10 pressure to convert agricultural land to 11 housing. 12 For these reasons we ask you not to 13 impose the 1000-foot buffer from the 14 undeveloped land on our project. 15 Now let me get back to my report, and 16 I'll pick it up again on Page 6, last bullet, 17 under "Development Standards." As instructed 18 by -- as instructed by the board, the 19 development agreement was revised to prohibit 20 a residential structure from being located 21 and/or constructed within the safety zone -- 22 safety zone setback which will be maintained 23 within the project area. 24 The safety zone setback requirement is 25 now set forth in Section 5.3. 26 26 1 In response to comments from the county 2 prosecuting attorney, Subsection 5.6 was 3 modified to require Desert Claim to 4 substantially complete the project within 5 five years. 6 In response to public comments, 7 Subsection 5.8 was clarified to provide that 8 portions of the project power collection 9 system may be located within public 10 right-of-ways -- rights-of-ways so long as 11 Desert Claim obtains a franchise and permits 12 from the County to do so. 13 In response to public comments and 14 direction from the county public works 15 director, the decommissioning section, 16 Subsection 5.11, was revised to increase the 17 amount of the decommissioning bond by 18 $500,000 from 3.46 million to 3.96 million, 19 to require Desert Claim to post the bond in 20 five-year increments, and to require Desert 21 Claim to adjust the bond every five years 22 using the U.S. Department of Labor Consumer 23 Price Index. 24 Also this section now requires the 25 project or any turbines therein to be 26 27 1 decommissioned if they produce electricity 2 for fewer than 250 hours within any 3 continuous 12-month period. 4 In response to a comment from a county 5 commissioner, the development agreement was 6 revised to provide that the wind power 7 overlay zone and comprehensive plan 8 designation be removed after the project is 9 decommissioned. 10 In response to comments from the public 11 and the county public works director, 12 Subsection 5.15 relating to project access 13 roads was modified to require Desert Claim be 14 solely responsible for building and 15 maintaining all project access roads. 16 In response to comments from the public 17 and working with the county public works 18 director, Subsection 5.6, again, Smithson 19 Road extension, was modified to require 20 Desert Claim be solely responsible for 21 building the Smithson Road extension, be 22 solely responsible for maintaining it unless 23 and until it is dedicated as a public road, 24 and that Desert Claim be required to 25 construct to it county road standards so that 26 28 1 the Smithson Road extension could be used as 2 a public road if the County obtains the 3 necessary rights-of-way dedication. 4 And the last part in Section 5, in 5 response to instructions from the Board of 6 County Commissioners that the development 7 agreement focus only on County-required 8 approvals, Subsection 5.17 was inserted 9 stating that Desert Claim will comply with 10 all state and federal laws applicable to the 11 project. This enabled the deletion of 12 numerous references in Section 6 to state and 13 federal permits. 14 Next section, Section 6, SEPA mitigation 15 measures. All the SEPA mitigations measures 16 that were in Exhibit F to the September 2004 17 draft were moved to Section 6 of the February 18 15th draft. 19 In response to comments from county 20 staff, additional SEPA mitigation measures 21 were inserted in the development agreement to 22 make it consistent with both Chapter 1 and 23 Chapter 3 of the final EIS. These changes 24 are shown in your redline version which is 25 attached as Exhibit 2 to this report, and 26 29 1 they include additional mitigation measures 2 in the following subsections: 6.1, -2, -3, 3 -4, -5, -10, -16, and -21. 4 In response to public -- county staff 5 comments, Subsection 6.8 was revised to 6 further explain the role and function of the 7 Technical Advisory Committee or otherwise 8 known as TAC. 9 As revised, the development agreement 10 now provides that the TAC shall function 11 pursuant to Washington State Department of 12 Fish & Wildlife, or WDFW, guidelines, which 13 are attached in the development agreement; 14 shall have up to nine members, including 15 citizens and agency representatives; shall 16 have its expenses paid for by Desert Claim; 17 and may recommend additional mitigation 18 measures which the County can require Desert 19 Claim to implement. 20 In addition -- in addition to adding 21 provisions for the TAC to better protect 22 wildlife, additional provisions were inserted 23 into Section -- Subsection 6.8, requiring 24 Desert Claim to participate in industry-wide 25 monitoring studies aimed at addressing 26 30 1 specific wildlife impacts for wind farms. 2 In response to public comments regarding 3 shadow flicker impacts, additional 4 requirements were inserted into 5 Subsection 6.15 of the development agreement, 6 requiring Desert Claim to provide proactive 7 mitigation measures for potentially affected 8 property owners before Desert Claim starts 9 operation of the project. 10 Pursuant to instructions from the Board 11 of County Commissioners, Subsection 6.18 was 12 revised to include provisions for tourism 13 management that require Desert Claim to 14 construct and maintain a tourist kiosk at a 15 suitable viewpoint within the project area; 16 to provide ample parking at the visitor kiosk 17 to handle up to ten vehicles, with space for 18 recreational vehicles to turn around; and to 19 provide interpretive signage at the tourist 20 kiosk describing the project and wind power 21 generation. 22 Pursuant to instructions from the board, 23 Desert Claim entered into a fire services 24 agreement with Fire District No. 2 to provide 25 fire service to the public -- to the project 26 31 1 area. The development agreement was revised 2 by adding a reference to the signed fire 3 services agreement in Section -- or 4 Subsection 6.20. 5 The next section of the development 6 agreement is Section 7, complaint resolution 7 process. In response to public comments and 8 direction from county staff, a new section, 9 Section 7, was inserted to set forth a clear 10 and comprehensive complaint resolution 11 process. 12 Section 7 includes and expands upon the 13 complaint resolution provisions contained in 14 the September 2004 draft of the development 15 agreement. 16 What that does is the development 17 agreement now provides in one place, 18 Section 7, specific mitigation measures to 19 address potential noise, shadow flicker, and 20 TV interference from the project. 21 Most importantly, the development 22 agreement now provides that the complaint 23 resolution process will be in place for the 24 life of the project. Not just for the two to 25 five years as originally proposed by the 26 32 1 staff in the first staff report to the Board 2 of County Commissioners. 3 Section 8, Reports and Mediation. In 4 order to provide a comprehensive response to 5 comments regarding complaints about the 6 project, a new Section 8 was inserted into 7 the development agreement, requiring Desert 8 Claim to provide reports to the County and 9 creating a process for citizens to appeal 10 disputes to the County. 11 The major features of this new Section 8 12 are that Desert Claim must comply -- comply 13 and submit reports to the County every six 14 months, detailing its efforts to resolve any 15 complaints about the project. 16 Affected landowners can submit their own 17 statement to the County if they are not 18 satisfied with Desert Claim's report. 19 Once these reports are submitted to the 20 County, county staff will compile these 21 reports and forward them to the Board of 22 County Commissioners twice a year. 23 The development agreement now provides 24 that in the event the parties cannot resolve 25 any dispute, the director of Community 26 33 1 Development Services will first work with the 2 parties, is authorized to resolve the 3 dispute, and the director may also now send 4 the parties to mediation if they cannot 5 resolve any ongoing disputes. 6 And last in this section, the 7 development agreement now provides that any 8 party may appeal the director's decision to 9 the Board of County Commissioners, ensuring 10 that the board has ultimate control over this 11 process. 12 Section 9, fees for process 13 administration. In response to county staff 14 comments, a new Section 9 was inserted into 15 the development agreement which requires 16 Desert Claim to pay for the County's 17 administrative costs of the dispute 18 resolution process described above. 19 If we construct all 120 turbines, Desert 20 Claim will pay the County $15,000 under this 21 section. 22 Section 10, consistency with local 23 requirements. Or regulations, excuse me. 24 This was originally Section 7 in the 25 September draft, and it was renumbered here 26 34 1 to Section 10. There were no changes, no 2 changes made to this section. 3 Section 11, amendments and revisions. 4 In response to the public and county staff 5 comments, this section was revised to clarify 6 that all revisions, whether they are minor or 7 major, can be reviewed by the Board of County 8 Commissioners to ensure that the board has 9 final control over this process. 10 This was accomplished by making minor 11 revisions appealable to the board, while 12 major revisions, of course, require board 13 approval already. 14 Additionally, minor revisions were 15 limited to items listed in Subsection 11.1 16 and major revisions were limited to items 17 listed in Subsection 11.2. 18 Section 12, termination. This was 19 originally Section 9 in the September draft 20 and has been renumbered here. And again, no 21 changes. 22 Section 13, general provisions. This 23 was originally Section 10 in the September 24 draft and now is part of 13. In response to 25 public and county staff comments, a provision 26 35 1 was inserted into Subsection 13.3, requiring 2 the project landowners to sign the 3 development agreement in order to ensure that 4 it can be enforced against them and their 5 successors in interest. 6 Subsection 13.6 was inserted to clarify 7 that Desert Claim is not required to 8 construct the project. 9 And in response to comments from the 10 public and the Board of County Commissioners, 11 Section 13.9 was inserted, requiring the 12 County to review and approve any assignment 13 of the development agreement. 14 Section 14 is notices. No changes 15 there. 16 Section 15, default and remedies, no 17 changes other than renumbering. 18 Section 16, dispute resolution. This 19 was originally Section 13 and has been 20 renumbered. 21 Also, in response to county staff 22 comments, the mediation process in 23 Section 16, this section was expanded to 24 apply to any citizen complaints filed 25 pursuant to Section 17, which we've gone 26 36 1 through, which is the complaint resolution 2 section. 3 Section 17 is the catch-all, it talks 4 about the entire -- there's no changes there. 5 Those are the sections within the 6 development agreement. There are also 7 various exhibits attached to the development 8 agreement, and let me quickly go through 9 those. 10 I'm just going to list off that there 11 are several of these that are very 12 self-explanatory and then just did not make 13 any changes there. I'd like to focus on 14 about four or five of them, though. 15 Exhibit D, which is the form buffer 16 waiver agreement, was inserted in response to 17 instructions from the Board of County 18 Commissioners requiring a 1000-foot buffer 19 from undeveloped private residential property 20 unless Desert Claim obtains a waiver from the 21 affected property owner. 22 Exhibit F, which is the form franchise 23 agreement, was obtained by working with the 24 public -- with the director of public works 25 and was inserted in response to comments from 26 37 1 the Board of County Commissioners. 2 Exhibit H. This is the WDFW or Fish & 3 Wildlife guidelines. This was inserted as 4 part of modifying the provisions to protect 5 wildlife by further defining the role and 6 responsibility of the Technical Advisory 7 Committee or TAC. 8 Exhibit I, which is the draft 9 construction traffic management plan, was 10 obtained by working with the director of 11 public works and was inserted in response to 12 comments from the board. 13 And finally, Exhibit J is the signed 14 fire services agreement. Desert Claim 15 obtained this agreement from Kittitas County 16 Fire District 2. It was inserted in response 17 to comments from the Board of County 18 Commissioners. 19 Under this agreement, Desert Claim is 20 paying an annual fee to the fire district. 21 It's providing fire service to thousands of 22 acres that previously did not have fire 23 service and is paying up to $100,000, 24 approximately two-thirds of the cost, to 25 construct -- or support construction of a new 26 38 1 fire station out in that area. 2 In concluding, thank you for the 3 opportunity to present this report on how the 4 development agreement was modified to respond 5 to comments from the public, county staff, 6 and the Board of County Commissioners. We 7 would be happy to answer any questions now or 8 later. 9 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Questions, 10 Commissioners? 11 COMMISSIONER BOWEN: Not at this time. 12 COMMISSIONER CRANKOVICH: None. 13 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Other applicant 14 observations? 15 MR. STEEB: At this time, no. 16 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Very good. 17 MR. STEEB: If you're satisfied with 18 what we've done so far. 19 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Before we move to 20 public testimony, let's take five minutes and 21 give our court reporter's fingers an 22 opportunity to regain their feeling, and then 23 we'll be back. So five minutes. 24 (A break was taken.) 25 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: We'll now begin 26 39 1 the public testimony portion of our hearing. 2 I have four sign-up sheets before me. I'll 3 go down through the list as you have entered 4 your name. 5 Some of you have indicated you do not 6 wish to testify, and that's certainly fine. 7 At the end, if you change your mind, I will 8 ask for those who have not testified if they 9 wish to do so. Or if you did not sign up on 10 the list, you'll also have that opportunity. 11 For now I'll move down through the list. 12 Again, five minutes; at four minutes I'll 13 give you -- rather, one minute remaining, 14 I'll give you a sign. At five minutes I'll 15 ask you to conclude your thoughts. 16 I'm sorry, was there a question? Very 17 good. 18 Let's start, then, with Ed Garrett. As 19 you come to the podium, please indicate your 20 name and address for the record, whether you 21 are speaking for yourself or whether you 22 represent a group or other individual. 23 MR. ED GARRETT: My name is Ed Garrett. 24 19205 67th Avenue Southeast. I'm here 25 representing myself, my wife Rosemary 26 40 1 Monahan, as well as being spokesperson for 2 ROKT, Residents Opposed to Kittitas Turbines. 3 First I want to thank you for the 4 opportunity to comment what the Desert Claim 5 development agreement is. I would like to 6 present a parcel map that was produced with 7 the help of the Kittitas County Community 8 Development Services. 9 In the development agreement on Pages 2 10 and 3, Recital G, H, and J, it mentions and 11 there's a suggestion or the rationale of why 12 this is considered to be adjoining 13 properties. There's also discussion about 14 whether or not this project area is 15 considered to be contiguous. And with the 16 earlier BOCC of 2005 that was also a 17 continued discussion. 18 Issue being we have several areas. One 19 here, it's adjoined at that area. This one's 20 separate. This one up here is separate by 21 more than maybe a quarter to a third of a 22 mile, and then this section over here. So 23 they're not contiguous, they're not adjoining 24 parcels of land, which is what the definition 25 is supposed to be in the utility ordinance. 26 41 1 We've -- we have reviewed several other 2 applications in this county to other wind 3 farms, and Zilkha had both of those, the 4 Kittitas Valley project as well as the Wild 5 Horse project. When they did the Kittitas 6 Valley project, that was presented as one 7 contiguous area. It was bisected by 8 Highway 97. There were no landlocked pieces 9 on that one. 10 Wild Horse, as you reviewed last week -- 11 and I've got my little map here -- it was a 12 contiguous area, as well as for almost a mile 13 to a mile and a half around it there was 14 considered a buffer zone. It was required to 15 mitigate all issues related to the wind farm, 16 that mostly being noise. 17 The problems we have with this project 18 is we have areas in this area here and areas 19 down in here where there are houses. The 20 parcels have all been subdivided. On this 21 map, which can reach out to about a mile on 22 the whole map area, there are 800 separate 23 parcels that could be developed for 24 residential use. 25 Mr. Steeb brings up about the area of 26 42 1 agricultural going on in that area. Well, it 2 was stated by one of our commissioners that 3 for the last 15 years agriculture in that 4 area has been displaced mostly by rural 5 residents. 6 This current map shows about 25 7 residences within 1000 feet of the project 8 area, and they're non-contracted. 9 Sun East area, which is this big area up 10 here, hasn't been discussed too much. That's 11 the area in the black. Currently up there 12 there are 168 land parcels in the place that 13 have sold out. There's no land up there for 14 sale, other than a landowner that's current 15 is trying to resell it, which I hear that may 16 be going on, and the prices continue to go up 17 because it's a desirable area. 18 With this area of the wind farm going 19 here, you can see you've only got 1000 feet, 20 maybe 1500 feet from the border of that area 21 for Sun East community. So they have big 22 concern, and their viewshed is looking out 23 this direction over all of this going on. 24 I coded in the DNR property in green, 25 just to show where they're located, and then 26 43 1 the Smithson Road extension down in this part 2 down here. Currently, from what I can tell 3 in the application, there's no direct 4 contract with DNR to place turbines just for 5 an easement. Or the franchise, whatever that 6 arrangement is that is being discussed. 7 So as I said, there's about 800 8 developed parcels shown in this area. 9 Compatible land use, I think I addressed 10 that already, that the area is slowly turning 11 over to rural residential and not 12 agricultural use in that area. 13 And the same with farming. You just 14 heard in the presentation by Mr. Steeb, he's 15 saying that the 1000-foot setback probably 16 isn't required because anything going on in 17 that area is just agricultural and farming. 18 And as you can see, that's not the case, 19 with all the little black dots moving in 20 there. And as you made comments in the Wild 21 Horse project last week that you have to make 22 a decision on this, but you have to look out 23 30 years. And 30 years -- this has been 24 going on for maybe 5 or 10. You know what 25 this area's going to look like in 30 years, 26 44 1 the way the property is divided up out there 2 in subplatting. It's not going to be a big 3 corn field; it's going to be rural residences 4 eventually. 5 Thank you very much for the opportunity 6 to comment. 7 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Thank you. 8 Frank Robertson? Written comment, okay, 9 thank you. 10 Gina Jefferson Lindemoen? 11 MS. GINA JEFFERSON LINDEMOEN: Thank you 12 for allowing me here this evening to speak to 13 all of you. I've been here before and I 14 really don't know why I'm here again, simply 15 because I think it's gone a little bit too 16 far. I don't feel that we should be doing 17 this again. 18 You had a commission board that said no 19 unanimously; and I don't know, it doesn't 20 take a rocket scientist to figure this out. 21 But I do have some other points. 22 I went on a website today, and this is 23 for the County and -- well, this is the 24 City's website, and it says Ellensburg, the 25 scenic hub of the Pacific Northwest. What a 26 45 1 laugh that'll be when they put in the towers. 2 We will no longer be the scenic hub of the 3 Pacific Northwest. 4 So are we wanting to be called the 5 laughingstock of the Northwest because we've 6 ruined our way of life here? It's you all's 7 job to preserve that for the citizens. We're 8 taxpayers. And by putting in something that 9 will ruin the landscape of our city, you've 10 ruined Ellensburg. And we'll all remember 11 who did it and how it was done. 12 Also on another website I saw the 13 Kittitas Valley stretches from the top of the 14 Cascade mountains to the west city of 15 Ellensburg and to the Columbia River Gorge to 16 the east. Foothills surround the county and 17 off road routes to Cashmere, Wenatchee, 18 Yakima, and more remote areas like the 19 Manastash Canyon, Lion's Rock, Table 20 Mountain, and they are accessible from 21 Ellensburg. Ellensburg, Washington, is the 22 county seat of this beautiful valley. 23 Why are you all putting this up on your 24 websites if it's not going to be a beautiful 25 valley? 26 46 1 So now on the way to Lion's Rock what 2 are we going to see? It'll no longer be a 3 beautiful valley. Wow, let's go back and 4 look at the 400-foot windmills as we drive 5 out Reecer Creek. And wonder what these 6 people are going to say. How can those 7 people live there? How can we live there 8 with windmills right in our back yard? 9 And also there's another thing I found 10 on the website. It says, Big city amenities, 11 small town values. Where are your values? 12 Also it says this farm is compared to 13 Ellensburg. I found this in the newspaper. 14 It had something to do with one of the 15 attorneys here in town had said that our town 16 would be ruined, not only the property value 17 out on Reecer and the surrounding areas, but 18 the whole town. 19 Simply due -- this is no longer a wind 20 farm; it will be considered an industrial 21 area, and it will be not degrading the city 22 of Burien or SeaTac, but the land value there 23 decreased dramatically when SeaTac airport 24 went in due to the noise, the land value 25 decrease, which would have people coming in 26 47 1 that can't afford homes of any value. You're 2 going to decrease the value of Ellensburg and 3 anybody can live over here then. 4 Also there was a comment that you were 5 basing the property value -- which we haven't 6 heard anything in regards to this from you 7 all that have said anything about the 8 property values. You haven't proven anything 9 except to know that it doesn't take a rocket 10 scientist, again, to know that your property 11 value is going to decrease. It will never go 12 up in value and no one will ever give us a 13 tax cut when the property value decreases. 14 It was compared to the windmills or the 15 wind sites in Vermont. That was a comment 16 from a person with the last name of Best, and 17 I'm not real sure how she was involved. 18 But I looked this up today too, and 19 Easthaven Wind Farm is proposing to install 20 four state-of-the-art wind turbines on the 21 Summit Ridge of East Mountain in Easthaven. 22 It's about 30 miles north of St. Johnsbury, 23 Vermont. There are more -- it's -- they are 24 more than seven miles from the nearest 25 permanent habitation. 26 48 1 The other project, and these are by the 2 company that's proposing this here for us 3 too, are in Searsburg. They only have 11 4 turbines in this town. It's a town of 85 5 people. And they are not in view of the 6 public's eye. They are up on a mountain that 7 has been forested and they have -- they have 8 no lights. And they're half the height. 11. 9 The whole state of Vermont has 15. 10 So how can you compare land value to a 11 place that has 85 residents that only has 11 12 turbines in their town and they can't be 13 seen? 14 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Could I ask you to 15 conclude your testimony. 16 MS. GINA JEFFERSON LINDEMOEN: Well, I'd 17 like to say something about the shadow 18 flicker. And it said that they would help 19 with blinds and help with the homes with 20 their windows and things. 21 I have three walls in my house that are 22 nothing but windows. I have skylights in my 23 home and I have cathedral windows that 24 overlook the valley. So I don't know how 25 many trees you would have to put up around my 26 49 1 house. They can't be blinded; you can't put 2 blinds on skylights in a home. I have three 3 of those. And also -- 4 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Thank you for your 5 testimony. 6 MS. GINA JEFFERSON LINDEMOEN: Okay, 7 thank you. 8 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Jerry Gulgell? Am 9 I even close? 19110 Reecer Creek? Google? 10 Gurgle? I must not be coming very close, or 11 they've left, so. 12 Christine Cole. 13 MS. CHRISTINE COLE: My name is 14 Christine Cole. I'm representing myself and 15 my partner Roger Bernette. We live at 7430 16 Robbins Road in Ellensburg. 17 The wind industry rage has become an 18 epidemic that is now attacking our community, 19 the visions of benign and money-producing 20 promises. The lure of money overtakes common 21 sense. It's beyond time for our county to 22 refuse to make this valley into an 23 unprecedented experiment that opens the door 24 to even more turbines within the area. 25 I continue to find new documented 26 50 1 evidence from public experiences of how much 2 damage has come into the lives of the advent 3 of these towers through their homes and 4 community. 5 I quit trying to print out everything I 6 found, because the pages were extensive, but 7 just a few were included in this statement. 8 One is titled "Wind Power Facts," and 9 there's a website attached. And the second, 10 "Beware of Commissionary Zeal Over Wind 11 Farms." And the website is also attached 12 here. 13 The remaining documentation is listed at 14 the end of my statement. These real warnings 15 must not be disregarded. They come from 16 sources already experiencing the damage. It 17 has been stated in one letter to the editor 18 of the Daily Record that the wind power is a 19 worldwide growing trend. The reason is due 20 to government subsidies. 21 However, countries are now stopping 22 those types of money because of the problems 23 with the wind power. 24 We have tried to tell you in the hopes 25 that you will do the right thing and deny 26 51 1 this site proposal. It is so inherently 2 wrong. Please listen to the voices of those 3 who have experienced these problems firsthand 4 and wish to heaven the turbines had never 5 been allowed near their land and homes. They 6 are speaking from experience, and that is 7 said to be the best but often painful 8 teacher. 9 Here are a few excerpts from the above 10 two reports. This quotes: Each turbine 11 required a hole the size of a three 12 double-decker bus to be dug out and filled 13 with reinforced concrete. In Germany there 14 are a growing number of people who live near 15 wind farms that are unfit for work due to 16 pulse irregularities and states of anxiety 17 from the effects of infrasound. In 18 parentheses, sound of frequencies before the 19 normal audible limit, end of parentheses. 20 Documented hazards linked with those 21 wind turbines include examples which have 22 caught fire, had part blown off in high 23 winds, blade breaks off and fly distance in 24 excess of 500 yards. Induced lightening 25 strikes, killed turbine workers, caused grass 26 52 1 fires. Caused ice blasts, which is large 2 shards of ice that fly from the blades in 3 cold weather. Flickering effects caused by 4 sunlight filtered through the blades causes 5 problems up to a distance of two kilometers 6 from the wind farms. This has been 7 extensively documented to cause horses and 8 other wildlife to bolt unexpectedly. 9 This may also have an impact on people 10 suffering from brain damage or epilepsy. The 11 noise that it emits, a mixture of whooshing, 12 whistling, humming, can be heard 1000 yards 13 away. 14 One turbine manufacturer states that 15 dwellings should be two kilometers away. 16 TV radio and mobile phone interferences. 17 Effectively turbines can cause a reception 18 shadow of up to 10 kilometers when they stand 19 between a TV transmitter and dwellings with 20 TV aerials, pointing the wind turbines 21 towards the transmitter. Viewers in such 22 locations will have their signals scattered, 23 causing loss of detail. 24 The turbines at Altamont Pass in 25 California have an average kill of two to 26 53 1 three hundred red tail hawks and 40 to 60 2 golden eagles each year, while it is 3 estimated that 7000 migrating birds a year 4 are killed at other turbine sites in southern 5 California. This is from the California 6 Energy Commission. 7 If you approve this siting, this is just 8 some of the damage you will have allowed to 9 happen to those of us who come to live in 10 these communities. More than a few 11 landowners have invited the county 12 commissioners to view firsthand the reality 13 of these structures will be placed. 14 The photos in the environmental impact 15 statement are grossly deceptive. We know 16 well that when we take a photo of a 17 view-imposing mountain filling the camera 18 lens that it becomes a tiny dot in the 19 distance in the developed picture. 20 I have already stated this in in more 21 detail in previous testimony regarding photos 22 taken from our property in which only one was 23 represented. The views shown in the EIS was 24 definitely understated as to the actual 25 visual impact, and the selection of that one 26 54 1 photo is very deceptive as to reality. 2 We will be surrounded on three sides by 3 EnXco's proposed sitings and Ellensburg will 4 be downwind. There's absolutely no 5 justification for placing these turbines 6 where proposed. How many different ways can 7 the majority of folks to get the placement of 8 these turbines state their anger, 9 frustration, and absolute opposition? 10 These massive structures are not 11 welcome. We do not want them, and placing 12 them near our homes is absolutely detrimental 13 to our well-being and quality of life we have 14 worked so hard for and for so many years. 15 Some things should just not be for sale; the 16 cost is too high. 17 Thank you. 18 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Thank you. 19 Milt Johnston. 20 MR. MILT JOHNSTON: Good evening my name 21 is Milt Johnston. I live at 1211 View Crest, 22 Ellensburg, Washington. I'm here 23 representing Department of Natural Resources. 24 The purpose of my comments is to address 25 only the need for consistency in the 26 55 1 application of setbacks to private lands 2 versus DNR lands. I am not commenting on 3 whether or not setbacks are appropriate or if 4 the setbacks -- or if the distances are 5 appropriate. 6 Section 5 of the development agreement 7 addresses turbine buffers or setbacks 8 required between wind turbines and property 9 boundaries. Currently the buffer or setback 10 is limited to privately owned lands on which 11 residential structures are or could be 12 constructed. 13 Treating similar lands differently only 14 because of the type of ownership is not 15 appropriate. It has long been held that 16 zoning ordinances must be uniform and equal 17 in operation and effect. If the buffer is 18 not uniformly applied to all lands, private 19 lands are treated differently than 20 state-owned trust lands. 21 In addition, state trust lands are not 22 being afforded equal protection from 23 activities that may adversely affect it. 24 State lands managed by DNR in this area 25 are in public ownership, and at the current 26 56 1 time we do not see these lands moving out of 2 current -- or public ownership. 3 Over the long-term, however, these lands 4 could be sold or exchanged to private 5 individuals who may wish to develop these 6 lands for residential purposes. 7 I am -- again, I am requesting that 8 lands managed by Department of Natural 9 Resources be treated in the same manner as 10 other private lands within this area. 11 Standards for setbacks or waivers should be 12 the same for both private and public DNR 13 lands. 14 In closing, let me state that we are 15 supportive of wind power and of this project 16 even though we do not have a lease with EnXco 17 or Desert Claim. Our only request is that we 18 be treated consistently with other landowners 19 next to this project. 20 I also want to commend the Board of 21 Commissioners for your due diligence and 22 attention to detail through this progress -- 23 through this process. I do appreciate it. 24 Thank you. 25 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Thank you. 26 57 1 Woody Woodcock, did you wish to testify? 2 He had a question mark. Very good. 3 Jake Thomas? Did you wish to testify? 4 Jeff Slothower. 5 MR. JEFF SLOTHOWER: Thank you. Jeff 6 Slothower. 2581 Hunter Road, Ellensburg, 7 Washington. Testifying as an individual 8 tonight and also on behalf of my client, 9 Steve Lathrop. 10 First, we specifically reserve rights 11 and obligations related to the Board of 12 Adjustment not issuing conditional use 13 permits this project calls for. The 14 development agreement, the draft before you 15 does nothing to remedy that defect. 16 Secondly, Recital J in the draft 17 development agreement that Mr. Steeb 18 referenced is not supported by the evidence, 19 is really wishful thinking on the part of the 20 applicant. 21 And I would point out to you that you 22 can only review and decide the application 23 that's before you; you can't modify it 24 midstream, as they would have you want -- as 25 they would want you to. 26 58 1 Their comments in the recital about even 2 if they were considered four separate wind 3 farms the same process would be undertaken 4 are wrong. It's clear that if they were four 5 separate applications, you would have a 6 radically different environmental impact 7 statement that would have been done. 8 So we don't believe that Recital J 9 does -- nor the lack of evidence to support 10 Recital J does anything to cure the defect 11 and that this application does not qualify as 12 a wind farm within the defined county code. 13 Lastly, unlike the Wild Horse project, 14 this project is not proposed for a workable 15 location or a location where the impacts, 16 which are obvious, can be mitigated. The 17 notion that you would buy someone curtains to 18 mitigate impacts of your project is 19 ludicrous. 20 I would ask you to please review the 21 copies of the articles that I submitted 22 tonight. They directly rebut things 23 Mr. Steeb said tonight about this being 24 agricultural property and a way to preserve 25 agricultural property. I've addressed that 26 59 1 before; I'm not going to go back there. 2 The development agreement, and 3 particularly the sections of the development 4 agreement dealing with setbacks and the 5 environmental impacts and mitigation 6 measures, are in my opinion written in 7 complete disregard of the non-participating 8 property owners' rights. These negative 9 impacts cannot be mitigated. 10 And a careful reading of the development 11 agreement, particularly the section on 12 setbacks, shows that the impacts can't be 13 mitigated. 14 Our position on this experiment with 15 wind energy is that if you're going to 16 experiment, you need to put it in the right 17 place, like I think you're going to do on 18 Thursday night with Wild Horse. 19 And secondly, you have to shift all of 20 the risk of this project to the applicant. 21 They have to bear the risk that adjoining 22 property owners face with this type of an 23 industrial complex. 24 The only realistic means of ensuring 25 that the applicant bears all of those 26 60 1 risks -- including the risks associated with 2 land values being decreased, noise, 3 vibration, shadow flicker, and the 4 degradation of our way of life -- are with 5 significant setbacks, if you decided you were 6 going to permit this project. Those setbacks 7 should be a mile from tower -- towers to the 8 boundaries of the participating parcels. 9 Look at Mr. Garrett's and ROKT's tax 10 parcel configuration. You can't impose the 11 risks and burdens of these impacts associated 12 with this development agreement on the 13 adjoining property owners. 14 If -- you know, this project doesn't 15 belong in an area that's characterized by 16 rural residential densities like that. 17 That's not an agricultural area. That's an 18 area that in years will be nothing by houses. 19 And if -- and if the applicant really 20 wants the project in this area, they should 21 do what Zilkha did and simply buy all of the 22 property that their -- that their application 23 and their project will impact. 24 Thank you. 25 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: I actually don't 26 61 1 mind the applause in between speakers. I 2 need the time to conclude my bookwork anyway. 3 So go ahead and express yourselves as you 4 will. 5 I would ask, however, during a person's 6 testimony please refrain from that; because 7 frankly, you're eating into their time and 8 largely breaking their chain of thought. 9 So in between I don't care, but during 10 the time the speakers are present, please try 11 to restrain yourselves so that they have a 12 clear field to express their views. 13 Belinda Coppernoll? 14 Belinda Coppernoll? 15 Patricia Itzen? 16 MS. PATRICIA ITZEN: Thank you. My name 17 is Patricia Itzen. My address is 13915 18 Southeast 41st in Kent. 19 I do own 28 acres up in Sun East, up 20 north of Sun East. I will be one of those 21 people that's looking out over this wind 22 farm. I'm not too happy about the idea. 23 I'm also concerned about those people 24 that live closer. 55 decibels is a lot of 25 noise. And I think there ought to be more 26 62 1 mitigation for that kind of thing. And I'd 2 like somebody to buy my 28 acres, please. 3 Thank you. 4 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Thank you. 5 Jeffrey Howard. 6 MR. JEFFREY HOWARD: My name is Jeff 7 Howard. I have a home at 21 Faun Road in Cle 8 Elum, and I'm representing myself and my 9 wife. 10 Several items jumped out at me, kind of, 11 from this agreement that probably warrant 12 some very serious questioning by the 13 commissioners. And I don't have time to 14 address them all. 15 As a homeowner in this county and as a 16 professional real estate agent, the main 17 concerns that I must address relate to the 18 very distorted idea here of a contiguous land 19 mass. 20 The concept that these large parcels, 21 spread about with other properties in between 22 under different ownership, could 23 theoretically be considered a contiguous 24 property or land mass stretches the bounds of 25 creative imagination, to say the least. 26 63 1 The fact that these Desert Claim sites 2 abut common easements at different points is 3 nothing but an elaborate subterfuge. It is 4 an attempt -- basically a legal fig leaf, so 5 to speak -- to comply with requirements but 6 definitely does not fall within the language 7 of the enabling ordinances. 8 The non-participating property owners 9 between the sites will be adversely affected 10 without any compensation or adjustment 11 whatsoever. And this is flat out morally 12 wrong. 13 Another thing. There's mention that PSE 14 wants to buy this power, but to my knowledge 15 at this time there's no proof of that. These 16 folks will divest themselves of this project 17 as soon as they can, but to whom and at what 18 price remains a mystery. 19 What little power will eventually be 20 generated if this project is built will 21 probably end up in California. 22 Once this project is completed, any and 23 all damaging effects -- whether it be bird 24 and bat kills, shadow flicker, noise 25 intrusion, or television reception 26 64 1 problems -- will be subject to negotiations 2 through a long and drawn-out process while 3 the project continues to operate. 4 As we can see from the legal talent and 5 out-of-town support that the applicant has 6 mustered to ram this project through at this 7 time, one can only imagine the difficulties 8 that future complaint resolution will take. 9 As I have said before, this whole fiasco 10 boils down to money. These applicants are 11 here for only one reason, and they will do 12 anything and say anything to get this project 13 in the ground so they can reap the tax 14 benefits, sell the machinery, and leave our 15 little town as fast as they can. 16 If they cannot be stopped completely, at 17 least require them to build their project 18 someplace on their own property in a location 19 where it'll have the least adverse affect on 20 local residents. 21 Thank you very much. 22 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Thank you. 23 J.P. Roan. 24 MR. J.P. ROAN: My name is J.P. Roan. I 25 live at 13991 Reecer Creek Road. I'm 26 65 1 speaking for myself and Jim Nelson. 2 I am concerned that imposing a 1000-foot 3 buffer will not benefit anyone but will 4 punish everybody. The 487-foot safety zone 5 setback is right as it addresses the health 6 and public safety. 7 However, the 1000-foot buffer does not 8 do anything more than potentially create a 9 smaller project. This means fewer jobs, less 10 taxes, revenue, and reduces the production of 11 power. Less is better for the benefit of 12 everyone. 13 Now I will read a letter that was 14 submitted to me from Dr. Jim Nelson. 15 To the Kittitas County Board 16 of Commissioners: I am a landowner 17 in the proposed Desert Claim farm 18 area. I'm unable to attend this 19 meeting and would like to make the 20 following comments for your 21 consideration. 22 It's unfair for the County to 23 restrict development on a large 24 portion of my property. The 25 County's 487-foot safety zone 26 66 1 setback has already restricted 2 developments of approximately a 3 third of the section of land. 4 By imposing a 1000-foot buffer 5 and an additional safety zone 6 setback, the County has taken an 7 additional 28 percent of the total 8 of approximately 61 percent of a 9 section of ground. 10 I can no longer use that 11 property for wind farming. All I 12 have left is approximately 13 39 percent of the section, and I 14 feel this is -- violates my 15 property rights. 16 The County's EIS does not 17 support a blanket 1000-foot buffer. 18 EIS establishes significant noise 19 impact from the project will remain 20 within the project area. 21 Desert Claim proposed a 22 1000-foot setback from existing 23 residences in order to be a good 24 neighbor and is not to reduce the 25 potential environmental impacts 26 67 1 from the project. 2 While it is true that the 3 1000-foot setback between turbines 4 as existing established that this 5 setback is not necessary to 6 mitigate noise impact of the 7 project because the noise of the 8 project boundary will be between 53 9 and 55 decibels, which is well 10 within the County limits. 11 The 1000-foot buffer is 12 inconsistent with the County's land 13 use policy because it protects the 14 kind of development that is 15 inconsistent with this area. 16 This area is zoned Ag 20 and 17 forest and range which is supposed 18 to be used for farming, agriculture 19 operations, or residential 20 development. Wind farms, not 21 houses, are consistent with Ag 20 22 forest and range classification. 23 The 1000-foot buffer is being 24 imposed to protect undeveloped 25 property so that it can later be 26 68 1 developed with houses. The 2 problem, it does not make sense to 3 impose a buffer in order to protect 4 an inconsistent type of 5 development. 6 The county is not being 7 consistent if it imposes a 8 1000-foot buffer on the Desert 9 Claim project but on the Wild Horse 10 project. For the Wild Horse the 11 County is only imposing a safety 12 zone setback. 13 The size of the safety zone 14 setback in both projects is being 15 established using this same 16 criteria. There is no reason for 17 the County to impose an additional 18 buffer on one project but not the 19 other. 20 As such, the County should be 21 consistent with the (inaudible) of 22 the 1000-foot buffer for Desert 23 Claim. 24 The 1000-foot buffer reduces 25 the public benefit from the project 26 69 1 because it will eliminate turbines 2 and will reduce the amount of tax 3 money that flows to the county from 4 the project. It will reduce the 5 amount of power production of the 6 project. It will reduce the amount 7 of construction-related revenue 8 that flows through the county. 9 The County is not gaining 10 benefits by imposing this 11 additional buffer, because it does 12 not eliminate the environmental 13 impacts from the project and it 14 only allows people to build houses 15 on land that is zoned for 16 residential development. 17 As such, there is no basis for 18 eliminating public benefits that 19 will occur to all citizens of the 20 county in order to protect a few 21 landowners. Instead, the County 22 should eliminate the 1000-foot 23 buffer, recap the full benefits of 24 production of this project. 25 Thank you for your 26 70 1 consideration. James Nelson. 2 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Thank you. 3 Let's take our 7:30 break as advertised. 4 We'll be back in session at 7:40. 5 (A break was taken.) 6 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: We'll come back 7 into session, please. We'll pick up with our 8 next speaker, Ross Marvin. 9 MR. ROSS MARVIN: My name's Ross Marvin. 10 I reside at 12611 Wilson Creek Road. And I'm 11 representing myself and my wife. 12 And this gentleman was so kind to let me 13 use his scale. 14 When I bought the property four years 15 ago, the Planning Commission says just for -- 16 if you want to develop it in the future, 17 survey it and plot it out. Which I did. And 18 these are the -- and my wife, in her infinite 19 wisdom, had to build a house to view this 20 way, the best view of the valley. We got 200 21 degrees of view. 22 With our house on there and the 23 utilities, underground utilities and 24 everything, we were going to develop the 25 other three pieces of property. I've got 26 71 1 $282,000 invested in that now, and it's going 2 to be worth nothing if I got to look at 26 3 huge monstrous windmills. 4 And when I called the planning 5 department, I couldn't find anybody that 6 could tell me what 104 decibels with two 7 windmills right here, right next to my 8 property line, what the hell the noise was 9 going to be on the downward side on my 10 property. It's going to be a jackhammer or 11 what? Maybe you guys can answer that for me. 12 And if my property value goes down, is 13 the assessor going to reduce my taxes? 14 When I developed this property, I hired 15 people in this valley, workmen and companies, 16 and paid them good money to develop that. 17 And I certainly isn't going to invest any 18 more money in the damn thing if you're going 19 to put in this monstrosity. 20 I don't understand if your Planning 21 Commission turned it down and said it wasn't 22 worth it, why are you people are 23 second-guessing them and why we're doing 24 this. 25 Thank you. 26 72 1 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Thank you. Janet 2 Nelson. 3 MS. JANET NELSON: My name is Janet 4 Nelson. I live at 271 Via Kachess at Lake 5 Kachess, and I'm here to represent Kittitas 6 Audubon. I'm the conservation chair for that 7 organization. 8 Once more we have the opportunity to 9 express our opinions on the proposed Desert 10 Claim wind farm and the development 11 agreement, this time a second revision. 12 Kittitas Audubon has commented on all 13 the phases of this project that have gone 14 through your jurisdiction, and we refer you 15 to our prior comments. 16 Speaking in reference to the current 17 revised development agreement, we question 18 the dropping of the sections that dealt with 19 mitigation under Section 6.6, vegetation. 20 Specifically 6.6.2, in which Desert Claim 21 said that they would coordinate with the 22 Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife to 23 mitigate for impacts to sagebrush, steppe, 24 and grassland habitat; and Section 6.6.4, 25 where they said they would prepare a detailed 26 73 1 reclamation and site restoration plan to be 2 coordinated with and improved by the 3 Department of Fish & Wildlife. 4 In hearing about the section on 5 compliance, is this where that Section 5.17 6 was used to replace the wording? Or is it an 7 oversight or what? If there is sagebrush, 8 steppe, and grasslands within the project, 9 they need to be addressed through the 10 Department of Fish & Wildlife. 11 The development agreement before you, 12 which will last for 30 to 35 years, depending 13 I think upon when the end of the build-out 14 is, by denying the Technical Advisory 15 Committee the ability to suggest the 16 moving -- removing or temporarily shutting 17 down of a turbine lacks the flexibility to 18 address major problems should they occur with 19 the turbines affecting wildlife or the public 20 in general, for that matter, I would think. 21 Concerns for cumulative impact in 22 general, not just in this valley, and the 23 lack of sufficient wildlife studies resulted 24 in Kittitas Audubon Society board of 25 directors voting 10 to 3 to not support the 26 74 1 three wind farms in Kittitas Valley. 2 Kittitas Audubon remains committed to 3 the protection of wildlife and the 4 environment of our valley and again urges the 5 Board of Commissioners to follow the 6 determination of the Kittitas County Planning 7 Commission by rejecting the Desert Claim 8 application. 9 I thank you. 10 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Thank you. 11 Bertha Morrison, did you wish to speak? 12 MS. BERTHA MORRISON: I'm Bertha 13 Morrison, and I live on 9131 Naneum Road. 14 And I'm also a landowner of the Desert Claim 15 project. 16 My family has lived here over a hundred 17 years and have paid taxes. The beauty of our 18 valley is being ruined by houses and 19 depletion of our groundwater that has also 20 dropped your property values. 21 My son will speak and he will speak for 22 me too. Thank you. 23 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Thank you. 24 David Boyavich. 25 MR. DAVID BOYAVICH: Good evening. My 26 75 1 name is David Jack Boyavich, Sr. I reside at 2 18830 Reecer Creek Road. 3 Perfect map. When this thing first 4 started years ago, I thought about it and I 5 thought about it, and then I decided that I 6 was going to fight this thing. Well, I'm 7 here on behalf of about 49 families that have 8 my proxy. 9 Mr. Huston has a packet that I gave him 10 about a year and a half ago. You two 11 gentlemen don't, unless those two people you 12 took over for passed them on to you. If you 13 don't, I'll get some more for you. 14 I've always maintained location, 15 location, location, location. And I feel 16 that if you people approve these things for 17 Wild Horse -- now, I've given this an awful 18 lot of thought. I'm definitely against it up 19 on Reecer Creek, without a doubt, because you 20 guys got me 360 up there. 21 Mr. Roan here has 45 below me. Guy up 22 above me's got 25. Guy down below me's got 23 20, and then there's a bunch over on Zilkha 24 that's going to put some up. So I'd have 25 about 400 of those damn things I'd be looking 26 76 1 at. 2 Anyway, if you guys approve this thing, 3 what you're going to wind up doing is letting 4 them get a foot in the door. Once you 5 approve this thing for Wild Horse, that's 6 just the beginning, people. They're going to 7 put these things from the Columbia River all 8 the way to Cle Elum. Trust me, they're going 9 to do it. 10 Groundwater. I just heard Mrs. Morrison 11 say something about the fact that houses and 12 people were sucking up groundwater. Yeah, 13 that's a concern; I agree. 14 But by the same token, when they go to 15 put these things in, how are they going to 16 put the footings in? They're not going to 17 get excavators out there to do every one of 18 those things. They're going to have to 19 blast; they're going to be using dynamite. 20 And how many wells are going to go dry 21 because these people have blasted either 22 above me, alongside of me, or on the other 23 side of the road? How many people are going 24 to lose their wells? Something else to think 25 about. 26 77 1 Today I called Mrs. Rominger, Iris. I 2 asked her, I says, Iris, I said, what's the 3 profit in it for Kittitas County for these 4 things to be put in here? And she really 5 didn't have a definitive answer other than 6 some moneys for schools, some tax bases will 7 go down, some people will profit. 8 And I find that the only people that are 9 going to profit off of this thing are Zilkha, 10 EnXco, and the people's property they're 11 putting these things on. The rest of us are 12 going to suffer. 13 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Rick Forster. 14 MR. RICK FORSTER: My name's Rick 15 Forster. My address is 2411 268th, Redmond, 16 Washington. 17 I have 40 acres up on Sun East. I have 18 windmills looking right in my front window. 19 This last Saturday's paper had a 20 beautiful brochure on Kittitas Outdoors. 21 What a nice picture there. That's your 22 tourist industry right there, okay? 23 There's been a lot of talk about how 24 noisy these things are. Do any of you guys 25 know what 104 decibels is? Tonight I'd like 26 78 1 to show you, okay? 2 This is a decibel meter, and I will turn 3 the radio up, and when it hits 104, you can 4 read it right there, okay? 5 UNIDENTIFIED AUDIENCE MEMBER: What are 6 you using, Rick? 7 MR. RICK FORSTER: This is a chain saw 8 running. 9 (Audio tape played.) 10 MR. RICK FORSTER: So we're not -- we're 11 not even getting there. 12 Let me turn it down; let me turn the 13 meter down, okay? 14 Okay, that's -- that'll be 90 category. 15 (Audio tape played.) 16 MR. RICK FORSTER: So we're still not in 17 the 90s yet, okay -- 18 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Actually, you were 19 at 98. 20 MR. RICK FORSTER: Okay, we're at 98. 21 Okay, good -- 22 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: You were at 99 23 previously. 24 MR. RICK FORSTER: Okay. Now, these 25 guys are allowed 104 decibels plus 9 more, 26 79 1 because they don't have to fix anything 2 unless it goes 10 over, okay? 3 On their draft, 7.2, they have up to 4 1500 feet they have to monitor this thing. 5 Is there some kind of wall there where the 6 sound stops? You know, under the adverse 7 conditions sound, just like a gunshot, goes 8 forever. So where does 1500 feet come from? 9 And this is one -- this is one source of 10 noise. You've got 120 sources of noise. 11 Okay? 12 So when Cadman -- Cadman put a gravel 13 pit in down there at North Bend; when you 14 come down the hill by the truck stop there, 15 over on the right they put a gravel pit. 16 They spent a million dollars on berms for the 17 people across I-90 that live there. They had 18 to keep their decibels down to 70. 19 These windmills are industrial 20 equipment, okay? There's three 21 classifications of noise. There's A, 22 residential; B, commercial; and C, 23 industrial. Industrial, you have a top level 24 of 70. Residential, 50. 25 If we had a wild party up there and 26 80 1 we're bothering our neighbors because we're 2 making too much noise, people -- neighbors 3 call the cops, the cops come in ten minutes, 4 party's shut down, okay? 5 These people have ten working days to 6 come out and look at the problem. There's 7 not -- there's not even a time when they have 8 to fix the problem. The problem can go on 9 forever. There is no teeth for them to take 10 care of a problem. Why don't you guys have a 11 lemon law? 12 At SeaTac airport, you should call 13 SeaTac -- Port of Seattle and ask them how 14 much money they're spending for sound 15 mitigation for sound problems. If this went 16 through, and the County, also by issuing the 17 building permit, is going to be right in bed 18 with these people with the problems, okay? 19 You're going to be sued just like they will 20 be. And I don't know if there's enough tax 21 dollars to really cover all that. 22 Why don't you please send these hired 23 guns home and not build this. 24 Thank you. 25 Different noise levels, state 26 81 1 industrial. Kids can have earmuffs on 2 running around outside. Thank you. 3 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Thank you. 4 Steve Kolchin. 5 MR. STEVE KOLCHIN: My name is Steve 6 Kolchin, and I live at 7507 245th in Redmond. 7 I own 20 acres in Sun East and I'm currently 8 under construction in a second home for my 9 family. 10 I'm here tonight representing myself, my 11 wife, and I think hundreds and hundreds of 12 other families who are thinking of doing what 13 I've just done in the last year, and that's 14 come over to this beautiful area after 15 searching long and wide for probably six 16 years for a place to build a second home. 17 We chose Sun East. I chose it because 18 of the view, the rural atmosphere, the 19 accessibility to recreation, the forest is 20 there, but mostly the beautiful valley and 21 the view. 22 I'm very, very concerned if this project 23 goes through that my property values will 24 definitely drop. I think I'll be staring at 25 lights. I'm not certain, do these things 26 82 1 have pinwheels on them or is it just the 2 blinking light? But there'll be a hundred of 3 them down there. 4 The noise is an interesting one, as 5 we've heard. 1500 feet, 500 feet, 104 6 decibels. I know in the summertime in the 7 right conditions, when you have cold air and 8 then you have warm ground, sound travels a 9 long way. And if there are 120 of these 10 things that sound anything like this 11 (indicating), you're going to not only hear 12 it a thousand feet away, you're going to hear 13 it in town and everywhere else. 14 I would definitely look at not buying in 15 Sun East if these were here, and I'm certain 16 hundreds of others would feel the same. 17 I found out about this after starting 18 construction this last summer, and I 19 appreciate the opportunity to come here and 20 tell you how I feel. I really wish you would 21 oppose this project, and I trust that is an 22 option at this time. 23 I understand the Planning Commission has 24 denied it, yet it's come up to a higher 25 level. And I think having the public here to 26 83 1 tell you in overwhelming opposition to this 2 project, I trust you'll deny it. 3 What I, what I sense is these folks have 4 come in and tied up leases. Maybe I stand 5 corrected. They don't own a chunk of land. 6 They've tied up individual pieces. And there 7 seems to be some legal finagling whether 8 that's one farm or many. 9 I'll tell you as a trained landscape 10 architect it is one in its impact on an area. 11 It doesn't matter in easements that run 12 between the two or if they're a quarter mile 13 apart. You are going to have a regional 14 impact when these towers go up, and it is 15 going to drastically alter the landscape and 16 the quality of life. 17 Thank you, and I urge you to oppose. 18 Thank you. 19 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Thank you. 20 Preston Shugart. 21 MR. PRESTON SHUGART: Good evening. My 22 name is Preston Shugart. I'm here 23 representing myself and my wife Carla and my 24 children. We're landowners out on Wilson 25 Creek Road at 13201 Wilson Creek. 26 84 1 We have 44 acres out there that we 2 bought right before we heard about the wind 3 farms. At the present we're about 1500 feet 4 away from our property line. 5 And let me just back up a bit and say 6 that I'm all for wind power, all for all 7 forms of alternative energy if it's properly 8 located. In my opinion, this farm and this 9 project is not properly located. 10 The other thing I have with -- in 11 particular with this agreement is the 12 setbacks. There's discussion about the 13 setback from property line and setback from 14 existing residences. 15 And in my opinion, if you put a setback 16 from the existing residences, you're 17 basically giving the project rights over 18 other people's property for the next 30, 35 19 years. 20 To my understanding, the property owner 21 would have to get the project owner's 22 permission to develop their property within 23 that thousand feet from a turbine. And you 24 know, with no compensation to the neighboring 25 property owner, that just doesn't seem fair. 26 85 1 There has been some mitigation or things 2 that they said that they can do to mitigate 3 the visual effects and noise effects. You 4 know, they'll buy you some trees or some 5 blinds. I imagine if the noise bothers you, 6 they might even buy you some earplugs. 7 Or maybe they'll just tell you to close 8 your eyes and not look and maybe, you know, 9 wear earplugs or a headset or something like 10 that to not hear the noise. I guess that's 11 generous in their opinion. In my opinion, 12 it's not. 13 Everything here that I've been saying 14 and everything everybody else has been saying 15 comes down to one thing: money. Your 16 opinion about the wind farm depends on the 17 financial gain that you stand to see. And 18 it's been that way for the entire discussion 19 that I've seen. 20 If you stand to gain money, then you're 21 in favor of it. If you stand to lose money, 22 you're against it. And in my opinion, you 23 stand to lose a lot more than you stand to 24 gain. 25 But that's not my call; that's your 26 86 1 call. So what are you going to do? What are 2 you going to tell the people of this valley 3 when you say that these eight landowners 4 stand to gain money, so we'll vote for them; 5 the rest of you can go to hell. 6 Thanks. 7 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Thank you. 8 Carla Shugart, did you wish to speak? 9 MS. CARLA SHUGART: No thank you. 10 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Thank you. 11 William Erickson. 12 MR. WILLIAM ERICKSON: Well, I've read 13 the proposed agreement. We live at 6980 14 Wilson Creek Road, and we also have property 15 over on Naneum Road. Been county residents 16 for 39 years. 17 I find some concerns missing from the 18 agreement. There's nothing in the agreement 19 that allows the County to shut down the 20 project when health and safety of the county 21 residents is at risk. 22 There's nothing in the agreement that 23 addresses the liability insurance for fire 24 and health risks. I would recommend 75 to 25 100 million -- may seem like a lot -- 26 87 1 increased each year by the Consumer Price 2 Index, the minimum it should cover for 3 tangible property five miles downwind from 4 the industrial complex plus the loss of life 5 and health issues. 6 I understand that this -- there's an 7 agreement with the fire district; however, 8 this doesn't guarantee there will not be a 9 fire. A wind-driven fire is very hard if not 10 impossible to contain, especially if it 11 happens at night. 12 And with our wind, high winds, I presume 13 this is when the towers collapse. You've got 14 something like 80 gallons of oil that are 15 hazardous material up there, way up. And 16 when it comes down, I'm sure there's going to 17 be a lot of sparks. That's when fire 18 happens. 19 And if you're downwind of a strong wind, 20 if you're downwind and there's a strong wind, 21 then the fire department, even though they're 22 well-equipped and we've got a good one, isn't 23 going to be able to contain that. Especially 24 at night. It's gone and there's going to be 25 loss of life. 26 88 1 So there needs to be something in there 2 for insurance. My insurance broker says it's 3 the -- the -- like Desert Wind Claim's 4 responsibility, liability. I don't see 5 anything in here for liability insurance. If 6 they're a limited liability corporation, 7 who's going to pay? What is it? 8 There's nothing in the agreement for -- 9 that addresses the reduced property values 10 both current and future. This could be a 11 tiered-down increase that Desert Claim would 12 pay to the current landowners on property 13 sold from zero to five miles. And this would 14 be at appraised value where before the 15 windmills. 16 One mile, 100 percent more. 1 to 2 17 miles, 80 percent. 2 to 3 miles, 60 percent. 18 3 to 4 miles, 40 percent. 4 to 5 miles, 19 20 percent. This would be at the first sale. 20 If somebody buys that close to a wind farm, 21 well, that's their problem. 22 There's nothing in here that 23 increased -- that -- for the increased dust 24 and pollen issues; it wasn't -- it hasn't 25 been addressed. 26 89 1 Okay, concerns with the agreement, 2 Page 3, K. This project does not promote the 3 health and safety and welfare of the citizens 4 of Kittitas County. How can this project 5 promote the health, safety, and welfare of 6 the citizens when Page 5 T states, This 7 agreement is created in part to mitigate 8 probable significant adverse environmental 9 impacts associated with the project? It's in 10 conflict with itself. 11 Okay, Page 5. Furthermore, development 12 of the project is expected to provide fiscal 13 benefits to the county. This statement is 14 false. The black hole of attorney's fees and 15 litigation, along with increased road 16 maintenance, increased insurance premiums, 17 reduced residential tax base, will cost more 18 than the taxes received. Instead of adding 19 more shares, you might be looking at having 20 to cut more. 21 Page 5. Let's see, I'll try and not get 22 all of them here. The safety zone setback, 23 there needs to be a greater setback from the 24 KRD north branch canal. If the tower 25 collapses, see Page 40. There's 80 gallons 26 90 1 of hazardous fluid in the turbine at nearly 2 400 feet high. If it falls towards the 3 canal, it could contaminate the canal and 4 crops and pastureland downstream. 5 And buffer zone for residents needs to 6 be more than a thousand feet. A thousand 7 feet is less than a quarter of a mile. 8 And let's see, shadow flicker and noise 9 and that kind of problems should be at the 10 option of -- of -- if they -- if they want to 11 create this thing, then the residents have 12 the right to -- to shut it down if it causes 13 problems to them, or else they can buy their 14 property. 15 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: I need you to 16 conclude your remarks, sir. 17 MR. WILLIAM ERICKSON: Okay. I don't 18 think that you want to get into this. It's a 19 real mess. It's detrimental to the county, 20 to the residents, and there's a lot of false 21 statements in here when you really look at it 22 and study it. 23 Thank you. 24 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Thank you. 25 Marla Parsel. 26 91 1 MS. MARLA PARSEL: Marla Parsel. I 2 reside at 13043 Reecer Creek Road. I 3 represent myself; Lawrence Ruble, who is a 4 partner in the property with me; and I also 5 represent my neighbors to the south of me, 6 Chris and Lee Perchet. 7 And I'm going to walk over to the map 8 and show you where I'm located. Right in 9 here (indicating). 10 We purchased this property back in 2001. 11 And I'd like to dispel the rumor about this 12 being a real agricultural area. You see the 13 blue line there's the KRD canal. Only people 14 to the south of the KRD can have irrigation 15 water. So all of us to the north have to 16 rely on the creeks that come down in. 17 But there's another thing too. A lot of 18 the landowners that are involved in this 19 project sold their water rights to Trend 20 West, so there's even less water. 21 We have tried to farm. We have 22 150 acres in that area right there, and we've 23 put some things in. We lost most of all of 24 our oat last year because there's just not 25 enough water to sustain a crop. 26 92 1 So the next thing you can do with the 2 property is pasture cattle. Well, if you 3 don't have enough water to keep the grass 4 green, you've got about a month or so that 5 you can pasture cattle on. 6 We bought the property with intentions 7 to subdivide it in the future. We paid $2500 8 an acre for that. If this project goes in 9 and we cannot subdivide, it's probably going 10 to be worth about 500 an acre, because the 11 only thing you can do on it is pasture cattle 12 on it. 13 I have a kind of -- well, if you look at 14 the picture there that I took, this is the 15 ranch property on the bottom. And on the 16 top, I imposed what the windmills are going 17 to look like. And there is more windmills to 18 the north of us. 19 But according to this agreement, if I 20 have a complaint regarding shadow flicker -- 21 and I'll definitely have a complaint on the 22 noise after that last demonstration -- if you 23 see the big Three Creek barn there, it's 24 about three to four stories high, and that's 25 where we are camping cattle at right now. 26 93 1 And I spent about the last two hours 2 before I came here out there, and about that 3 would be the time when you would have either 4 sunrise or sunset. I get it both; I get it 5 both at sunrise and sunset. 6 So curtains on the window and some 7 trees, I don't think that there's going to be 8 trees high enough to hide the shadow flicker 9 coming from these turbines that are on both 10 sides of me on that. 11 And according to your agreement, I fax a 12 complaint to the County; the County then 13 contacts the wind turbine people; they send 14 their guy out to take a look at this 15 complaint. And then there's a bunch of 16 paperwork, it seems like. And then that's 17 about it. Because I don't see how you could 18 ever resolve my problem with me living right 19 there with the turbines on both sides of me, 20 and that close, completely surrounding me. 21 And I guess my biggest issue is that the 22 property values, there's absolutely nothing 23 that I've seen regarding what happens to us 24 when our property goes down at least 25 60 percent or even more. It looks like that. 26 94 1 And in addition, the thousand -- or the 2 1000-foot setback, that has just got to be 3 required. Because my residence is in the -- 4 right in the middle of my property. And if 5 you allow them to use my residence as a 6 setback, then you take away my right to do 7 anything with the rest of the property. 8 And I have -- you know, it's a great 9 place. I'm abutting Reecer Creek Road on 10 both sides there. It's perfect to subdivide. 11 That's what we bought it for. And so I 12 just -- I don't think that you have the right 13 to take that away. So I oppose this wind 14 turbine project. 15 Thank you. 16 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Thank you. 17 Andrew Johnson. 18 MR. ANDREW JOHNSON: Andrew Johnson. 19 I'm representing myself. 260 Lennis Road, 20 off Look Road, just east of the airport. 21 I have been looking at some of the 22 documents and remembering my experience in 23 the airline industry and when the jet engines 24 came in and so forth. I don't hear too well 25 anymore because of that. 26 95 1 I heard the noise a little while ago, 2 though. It sounded just like the airport. 3 And I'm here to say that I challenge any 4 one of you to try and live day in, day out, 5 night in and night out with 51 decibels 6 ringing away in your ears. 7 The 1000-foot setback is not adequate. 8 It is not. I talked to a friend of mine the 9 other day that's in the development business. 10 I asked him, How many houses did you build 11 last year? He said 100. Then he turned to 12 me and he said, This year I'm going to build 13 200. 14 I am minded of Mr. Garrett's testimony 15 in which he pointed out that houses are 16 springing up all over this area that this 17 project is going into. We're becoming a 18 bedroom community for Seattle. 19 They've run tests to see how many 20 house -- sorry, how many cars cross the pass 21 every day to go to work and come back. It's 22 over a thousand. Every day. It takes as 23 long to go from here to downtown Seattle as 24 it takes to come from Lynnwood to downtown 25 Seattle in rush hour. Think about that. 26 96 1 Thank you very much for listening. 2 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Thank you. 3 Alan Lindemoen. 4 UNIDENTIFIED AUDIENCE MEMBER: He went 5 home. 6 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: He went home? 7 Phyllis Whitbeck. 8 MS. PHYLLIS WHITBECK: My name is 9 Phyllis Whitbeck. I live at 7440 Robbins 10 Road in Ellensburg. 11 I have here a map similar to Ed 12 Garrett's, except I went ahead and put the 13 houses in. The friends that I have at Sun 14 East and myself got together. The green are 15 the houses that are here permanently. A lot 16 of the cabins, which will become permanent 17 homes. 18 I'd like to give this to the council. 19 And I thank my friends at Sun East for 20 helping me put that together. 21 On the questions and comments I have, I 22 understand that Desert Claims can get a bird 23 kill permit to make it legal to kill eagles, 24 hawks, owls, bats, and many small birds. To 25 check and see how many are being killed would 26 97 1 be impossible. The coyotes, rodents, skunks, 2 and other scavengers would dine for dinner 3 and the feathers would blow away in the wind. 4 Did I hear right that Desert Claim plans 5 to sell the wind farms after they get it up 6 and running after collecting government 7 subsidies? Will the same operating rule 8 apply to the new owners? 9 I live one mile away from -- or further 10 than one mile away from the turbines, and 11 it's still too close. In fact, I live one 12 and a half miles away from the turbines and 13 they could mess up our TV reception. Would 14 the one-half mile apply to us also in having 15 it fixed? 16 How about our cell phones? That is all 17 we have and that is all we want to use. 18 The flashing lights. We are high enough 19 to look directly at the flashing lights 20 24 hours a day. We are one and a half miles 21 away. Will they provide blinds for our 22 windows also? You know, closing off open 23 windows in the summer with blinds would be 24 very hot and stuffy. 25 When the airport was repaired -- 26 98 1 repairing their flashing lights, they flashed 2 through our house all night long before they 3 corrected the problem. The airport is six 4 miles away. Cell tower lights are ten to 5 twelve miles away, and only one very bright 6 light flashes. Instead of 121 turbines 7 flashing away there. 8 Planting trees are a laugh. It's too 9 windy for them to grow large enough to be 10 effective. Barriers -- to be effective 11 barriers. And close to the house is 12 dangerous in a range fire. 13 Range fires after turbine construction 14 was not addressed. The only thing that can 15 stop a raging range fire blowing 30 to 60 16 miles per hour are the fire 17 retardant-dropping planes. It would not be 18 safe for them to fly within a half to three 19 quarters of a mile near the turbines in that 20 stiff a wind. 21 How could a little man protect 30 or 22 more homes or 70 parcels of land near the 23 turbines from a raging fire? That will take 24 more than a new fire station and extra money 25 added to the bill from Desert Claims. This 26 99 1 stuff here could be used for the city. But 2 not on a wind-driven fire on the range. 3 Desert Claim's area may be made 4 rodent-free with poisons, but what about the 5 land outside of their territory? Without 6 hawks that guard this area, other predators 7 will increase in populations. Coyotes, 8 snakes, weasels, and many other small 9 animals. There will go the neighbors' 10 chickens, rabbits, dogs, cats, and et cetera 11 because these make good little snacks. 12 Will Desert Claim's wind farm be fenced 13 in to keep out the public so people will not 14 get close to the turbines and get hurt or 15 destroy private property? 16 Shadow flicker. When the sun is high, 17 it will affect few people. When the sun is 18 rising or setting, lots of people will see it 19 because of longer shadows. No more watching 20 the sun rise or set. Winter sun will also 21 produce very long shadows. A 2000-foot 22 leeway is not enough. This would be only 23 good maybe on a summer afternoon. 24 The city of Ellensburg is also the only 25 service city in the state of Washington that 26 100 1 owns and operates both municipal electricity, 2 natural gas utilities, water, and sewer 3 services. They also -- I can't read my 4 writing. 5 They also research and evaluate 6 renewable energy for the city. Will they get 7 a big piece of the wind turbine operations; 8 and if so, how much? And if not, why not. 9 Oh, and what a nice gesture for Desert 10 Claims to help pay the County for any of the 11 lawsuits that might arise from the good 12 citizens of Kittitas County. That hurts. 13 Please reread all the reasons people 14 sent in against the turbines. Most of these 15 people out here are quiet folk. That's why 16 they got away from the city hassle. They 17 aren't used to being impolite and continually 18 nag, nag, nag, like it seems we're forced to 19 do. 20 Our county commissioners, please listen 21 to the people of Kittitas County and say no. 22 Keep our county beautiful to live in and to 23 share with others. 24 Thank you. 25 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Thank you. 26 101 1 Chet Morrison. 2 MR. CHET MORRISON: I'm Chet Morrison. 3 I live at 2607 Judge Ronald Road. I'm one of 4 the landowners of the proposed Desert Claim 5 wind project. 6 I can understand the County's opposition 7 to imposing the new restrictions on my 8 building a residence within the project 9 closer than 487 feet from a turbine. This 10 safety zone protects the residents from the 11 potential risk of turbine collapse, noise 12 impacts, ice throw and blade throw. 13 This new county-imposed requirement is 14 clearly stating that residents within the 15 project have the same protection and benefits 16 as residents outside the project boundaries. 17 This provision equally protects every 18 citizen's rights. 19 I cannot understand, however, the 20 County's reason for imposing a 1000-foot 21 buffer in addition to the safety zone 22 setback. This requirement will reduce the 23 number of turbines that I can put -- that can 24 be constructed in this project. 25 I cannot understand the additional 26 102 1 requirement. No health or safety concern has 2 been identified to require the additional 3 setbacks. 4 It places an unfair restriction on my 5 right to fully utilize the property by 6 drastically reducing the amount of land that 7 I can use, taking me from being able to use 8 about 62 percent of the property down to 9 being able to use about 38 percent of the 10 property. 11 The big question is who benefits -- the 12 big question is why do we need this 13 additional buffer? Who benefits from this? 14 My answer is nobody. 15 The adjacent landowners do not gain any 16 additional benefits; they already have the 17 health and safety setbacks of 487 feet, the 18 same as residents within the project. I lose 19 economic benefits from my property and the 20 County receives less tax revenue from the 21 project. 22 I will also ask the County to explain to 23 me how my property rights are being treated 24 equally with all the other citizens of 25 Kittitas County if this buffer is imposed. 26 103 1 Let me read to you a portion of the 2 development agreement from another proposed 3 wind farm here in Kittitas County. I sat in 4 on their hearing before this board, and this 5 is a provision inserted into their agreement 6 in response to the request from the board 7 regarding turbine setbacks, Section 5.16, 8 turbine setbacks from residents. 9 "A minimum safety zone setback 10 of 541 feet shall be maintained 11 between project wind turbines and 12 residents located outside the 13 project boundaries, illustrated in 14 Exhibit B. 15 "In the event the applicant 16 wishes to install wind turbines 17 closer than 541 feet to the project 18 boundary, applicant shall obtain an 19 easement or covenant that restricts 20 construction of any new residence 21 within 541 feet of any turbine as 22 measured from the nearest turbine 23 tower center point at any such new 24 residence." 25 In that project the County is not 26 104 1 imposing a 1000-foot turbine buffer. So 2 again I ask you why are you imposing it on my 3 property? Why am I being treated differently 4 than the neighbors who live to the east? 5 Thank you. 6 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Thank you. 7 Mike Gossler. 8 MR. MIKE GOSSLER: Good evening. My 9 name is Mike Gossler. I reside at 3212 74th 10 Place Southeast, Mercer Island, Washington. 11 I'm here on behalf of myself and my wife 12 Cheryl and my brother-in-law and his wife, 13 Gary and Susan Edie. 14 Between Gary and my family, we both own 15 20 acre parcels of property that look 16 directly down over this proposed project. 17 I've testified at previous proceedings before 18 the Planning Commission, and I'm not going to 19 reiterate those comments. I believe those 20 are part of the record. 21 I'm here because this really truly is 22 the wrong project in the wrong place. But I 23 want to address two features of the February 24 15th, 2005, development agreement that I 25 think in and of itself should render this 26 105 1 project fatal. 2 The first relates to the noise issue, 3 and a number of people have addressed that. 4 But I'd like to refer you to some specific 5 provisions of the agreement. 6 Section 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168 basically 7 define the decibel level that's permitted to 8 be 104. Although as Mr. Forster pointed out 9 earlier, it actually can -- there's a buffer 10 of another 9 or 10 above that, which is, as 11 he's demonstrated, a rather significant 12 noise. 13 In addition, Section 7.8.2 says that the 14 applicable noise standard is defined in the 15 Washington Administrative Code at 16 Section 173-60. And it refers to the Class C 17 section for noise. 18 Now, if you go to that section of the 19 Washington Administrative Code, it defines 20 the maximum allowable decibel levels for 21 Class C as between 60 and 70. 22 I submit to you, first of all, that 23 that's the wrong classification. It really 24 ought to be Class A, because that would pick 25 up residential and recreational property, 26 106 1 which for the most part is what we're talking 2 about here. 3 In addition to that, even for Class C 4 property, the maximum permissible decibel 5 levels is 60 to 70, and yet here we've got an 6 agreement that permits it to go to 104. 7 That's completely inconsistent and contrary 8 to the regulations that they say are 9 applicable to this project. 10 Third, if you look at the exceptions in 11 the Washington Administrative Code that allow 12 you to get beyond the 60 to 70 decibel level, 13 it talks about short -- basically it's the 14 kind of things or uses or -- that involve 15 short bursts of large amounts of sound. 16 Examples include aircraft in flight, 17 railroad traffic, warning devices not 18 operating continuously for more than five 19 minutes, or bells, chimes, and carillons. 20 Sounds created by emergency equipment. 21 Petroleum refinery boilers during setup of 22 boilers. Discharge of firearms. 23 We're not talking about windmills that 24 operate continuously over long periods of 25 time at decibel levels that well exceed the 26 107 1 standards set forth in the Code. It's simply 2 wrong. 3 Second, under Section 7.2, if you own 4 property that's outside 1500 feet from the 5 location of these windmills, you don't even 6 have a right to complain. 7 Unfortunately for me, my property is 8 beyond 1500 feet, which is barely beyond a 9 quarter of a mile. We all know how sound 10 travels. And so I don't even have recourse 11 in the event there is a problem. 12 For those fortunate enough to be within 13 1500 feet -- and this is my final comment -- 14 look at the dispute resolution section of the 15 agreement, which is basically in Section 9. 16 It puts the County basically in the forefront 17 of the problem-solving. 18 In Section 9.1 it says, "Kittitas County 19 shall be the initial point of contact for any 20 complaints submitted pursuant to the 21 complaint resolution process in Section 7." 22 Then it goes on to describe some of the 23 procedures. 24 What kind of compensation does the 25 County get for being embroiled in that kind 26 108 1 of a procedure? You get a whopping $15,000. 2 If you build 120 turbines. 3 Now, I have had a little familiarity 4 with the legal process, and I'm here to tell 5 you $15,000 isn't going to take you anywhere. 6 Those two sections of the revised 7 agreement in and of itself should give you 8 ample reasons to reject it. 9 Thank you. 10 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Thank you. 11 Linda Schanz. 12 MS. LINDA SCHANZ: Hi, my name is Linda 13 Schanz, and I'm representing my husband, my 14 son, and myself. We reside at 4190 Robbins 15 Road in Ellensburg. 16 And our property adjoins the Desert 17 Claim project boundary and we will have wind 18 turbines north of us within a thousand feet 19 of our property line as stated. To the 20 northwest and due east of our property within 21 one-quarter to a half-mile and southeast of 22 our home in view upon the ridge. 23 For the record, I want to state that we 24 are against allowing this wind farm 25 application in its current proposed location. 26 109 1 I also want to thank you for giving me 2 another five minutes to listen to me. 3 My comments on the applications are as 4 follows. Under the development standards at 5 5.2, turbine buffers, a thousand feet is not 6 an appropriate buffer. I know you've heard 7 this over and over again tonight. 8 And while the numbers for the noise 9 decibels and the ice throws and the danger in 10 the EIS do not necessarily support our 11 position, there's several dozens, if not 12 hundreds, of statements from websites and 13 newspapers around the world that tell us 14 otherwise. 15 Many of us have spent many hours in the 16 last year and a half researching. We all 17 know that numbers can be manipulated to fit 18 any need. Just ask any math graduate or 19 anybody who does budgets. 20 I would ask you to believe the people 21 who have to live within the noise of the 22 turbines within a thousand feet before I 23 would trust any engineered document. 24 When both of those things agree, both 25 the engineering and the people, then we have 26 110 1 something I think we can act on, and I don't 2 think a thousand foot is agreed by -- by both 3 of those people here. 4 So on the SEPA section, 6.0, there's 5 several things that do not protect the 6 residents and landowners a hundred percent. 7 A example of this is in 6.5.2, the 8 groundwater section. It discusses mitigation 9 measures; however, there's no mitigation 10 addressed if a well is disturbed or damaged, 11 if its water reroutes or is silted. Perhaps 12 wells within a recommended distance should be 13 tested prior and after blasting. 14 I do believe that EnXco should have to 15 address any damage, because we need to 16 protect the landowners a hundred percent in 17 this matter. 18 On the wildlife, I know Janet Nelson 19 spoke about the TAC. I think it's a great 20 idea; however, it was written with really no 21 teeth in it. It'll probably work as written 22 for about a year, and then once you've done 23 all the mitigation that is feasible, short of 24 stopping a turbine or removing a turbine, 25 that's it; there'll be no other mitigation 26 111 1 that will fix the problems. So it will 2 become just red tape and probably go on to 3 Superior Court, as you state in I think 16.6. 4 And really I think that's just an 5 example of it is what it is; it's an 6 industrialized wind plant in an agricultural, 7 rural, residential, and wildlife area. 8 It really only goes so far in protecting 9 our wildlife. In 6.8 and 6. -- 22.214.171.124 and 10 -4, both indicate that there'll be a study if 11 bats are attracted to turbines and to 12 investigate how we're going to -- mechanisms 13 for deterring them. 14 We already know in Virginia thousands of 15 bats are being killed and are seemingly 16 attracted to the turbines. This was a study 17 that was done by a graduate student from a 18 nearby university and was in the Washington 19 post in January. 20 Really the item's only in here because 21 we did no studies of bat kills in our 22 sanctioned bird study, and we went ahead and 23 accepted that in the EIS. And much against 24 the recommendations of the Audubon Society. 25 And in the current language EnXco only 26 112 1 has to try to mitigate problems, short of 2 tearing down turbines. 3 So the shadow flicker is a joke, really, 4 to me, because even if EnXco pays for the 5 mitigation, weak as it is, it makes the 6 homeowners responsible for alleviating a 7 problem that cannot be fixed. It's a known 8 problem and it once again spells out that 9 turbines don't belong in populated areas. 10 As it's written, the mitigation measures 11 are -- once they're implemented, there's no 12 requirement for EnXco to further address 13 problems, and that's stated in 7.9. 14 It does not protect the landowners a 15 hundred percent, although it does protect 16 EnXco a hundred percent. 17 So I'll -- one more thing and I'll wrap 18 this up. 7.0, the complaint resolution 19 process. All problems within two miles of 20 the project area should be part of the 21 complaint resolution process. Because if you 22 believe that only people within 2500 feet of 23 this project area are going to be affected, 24 just go back to the EIS under unavoidable 25 adverse impacts, and you'll see that it goes 26 113 1 much further than that. 2 So just in closing, we would ask that 3 the Board of County Commissioners follow the 4 recommendations of the Planning Commission 5 and make the only responsible decision, and 6 that's to deny the Desert Claim wind farm 7 application in its current location. 8 Thank you. 9 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Thank you. 10 Helen Wise. Did you wish to speak? 11 Art DePalma? 12 MR. ART DePALMA: I'm Art DePalma. I 13 live at 6991 Manastash Road, and I represent 14 my wife and myself. 15 And I also agree that this is not the 16 right place to be building 120 wind turbines. 17 I also agree there's just no mitigation for 18 shadow flicker, the strobe lights by day, the 19 red lights by night, eight miles from 20 Ellensburg. 21 And going back to Recital K, that the 22 County should be supporting the health and 23 welfare of the people in the county, a lot's 24 been said. And it's true about the noise, 25 but there's also the effects of low level 26 114 1 noise for residents for vibration, which is 2 real. It's not -- it's not something that's 3 made up. And it's something that's just -- 4 we've become more aware of this last year. 5 And that's why the British government 6 has been supporting research at Salford 7 University in Manchester, England. And I 8 have something from their website at Salford 9 University from their acoustics research 10 center. And it says a team from the 11 acoustics research center headed by Andy 12 Morehouse has been chosen by the Department 13 of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to 14 carry out a research project to develop 15 guidelines for assessing disturbance by low 16 frequency noise. 17 And they go on to state how they're 18 going to do it. And they haven't done it 19 yet; this is just starting. It really is 20 just in progress. 21 And in the development agreement under 22 noise, it -- Desert Claim says that they're 23 going to avoid low frequency sounds. But how 24 do they know? There's no way to know, 25 because there's been no way to detect for 26 115 1 sure vibratory noise scientifically. 2 In fact, there's disagreements -- and I 3 don't understand this -- but some of the 4 scientists say that you should be using the 5 C weighting scale and others the A weighting 6 scale and it's usually the A weighting scale 7 that's used and this doesn't pick up 8 residence or vibratory low-level noise. 9 And there's already hundreds of cases of 10 medical problems that has been documented at 11 least in England. In Europe -- England, 12 Germany, Holland, Denmark -- they're backing 13 away from putting wind farms near homes. 14 In this country, I don't know of any 15 place in the country that's like this, that 16 wants to put a wind farm or where there is a 17 wind farm right in the middle of hundreds of 18 homes. 19 Also there's the thump-thump noise that 20 is there, depending on how the wind and the 21 rotating blades are interacting. 22 It also -- we've talked a little bit 23 about real estate prices, lawsuits. There's 24 already been one lawsuit in England where a 25 homeowner was given a judgment because of 26 116 1 damage to visual amenity, noise pollution, 2 and the irritating flicker caused by the sun 3 going down behind the moving blades of the 4 turbines 550 meters from the house. 5 And we've talked about a 1000-foot 6 setback versus 400-and-some-feet setback. 7 And again, I mentioned this before, but I'd 8 just like to read the Riverside County, 9 California, ordinance that says, Restrict the 10 placement of wind turbines within two miles 11 of residential development unless the 12 applicant supplies documentation that the 13 machines will not produce low-level 14 frequency -- low frequency impulsive noise. 15 And you can't do that. You can't show 16 that it's not going to produce this type of a 17 noise, because the research is just starting. 18 So it doesn't make a whole lot of sense 19 to put a wind farm in a residential area when 20 you really don't know what's going to happen 21 as far as responses to vibratory noise. 22 Also there's been arguments that, well, 23 it'll stop runaway growth, there'll be less 24 pollution, less people moving here, and so 25 on. 26 117 1 But, you don't blight an area to keep 2 people from coming. I mean, you wouldn't 3 build a huge nuclear waste dump here to keep 4 people from moving here. 5 Secondly, it's in your power, you know, 6 the zoning laws, you're not going to change 7 all of these zones to residential, so you're 8 not going to have another Issaquah here; this 9 is still going to rural and there'll be rural 10 development. 11 You know, when I first came to -- 12 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: I need you to 13 conclude your remarks. 14 MR. ART DePALMA: Okay. My last comment 15 is, when you weigh your decision, please take 16 into account the Planning Commissioners' 17 votes that have confidence that you'd come to 18 the same conclusions. 19 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Thank you. 20 Diane Schwab. 21 MS. DIANE SCHWAB: My name is Diane 22 Schwab. I represent my husband and myself. 23 We live in Maple Valley, Washington. We have 24 50 acres up here in the hills. 25 I've read through the entire agreement 26 118 1 between Kittitas County and Desert Claim. 2 And there's a few misquotes in there that I 3 think really stand out. 4 David Steeb stated that PSE is looking 5 at their project to buy it. PSE has denied 6 this fact and publicly stated in one of the 7 journal magazines that they're not 8 interested. 9 "The County has determined that this 10 agreement is appropriate for the project and, 11 therefore, desires to enter into this 12 agreement." I have not heard anyone from the 13 County make that statement. And it seems 14 quite presumptuous on the part of EnXco 15 unless the County's told them something else. 16 And then it says development of the 17 project is expected to provide fiscal 18 benefits to the county. This fact is not 19 known. Once again, it's speculation. 20 All of these three items should be 21 stricken from the draft. 22 Section 11.2. This section states that 23 if they wish to expand this wind farm, this 24 would be a major revision to this agreement. 25 This tells us that either there could be more 26 119 1 wind turbines placed on this land or they 2 would require more land. Let's worry about 3 this one wind farm and not go into the future 4 yet. 5 EnXco has previously claimed that these 6 turbines do not pose a fire hazard, yet there 7 are over 30 pages of documentation regarding 8 fires in this -- in this latest book that 9 they put out. 10 Lest we not forget to mention that if 11 the County pays to demolish a fire station, 12 EnXco will pay $100,000 towards the cost of 13 building a new fire station. How much is 14 that going to cost the County? 15 Once again, EnXco has failed to consider 16 the public concerns. To offer to place 17 blinds, curtains, shutters, et cetera on 18 windows and homes is not an acceptable answer 19 to shadow flicker. To plant trees to hide 20 their turbines is not an acceptable answer. 21 To paint the turbines a neutral color is not 22 an acceptable answer. 23 A 400-foot turbine will produce a 24 1000-foot shadow at one o'clock in the 25 afternoon. As the sun goes down, the shadow 26 120 1 gets longer. So I didn't do the math to 2 figure out how much more it would go up, but 3 we're talking a long distance. 4 The citizens of Kittitas County do not 5 want to stay in their homes on a bright sunny 6 day. We came here for the open country. A 7 tree is not going to hide a turbine unless 8 you plant a very tall tree. But then again, 9 how are you going to water it? 10 If the County Commissioners sign this 11 agreement, it will be a slap in the face to 12 the citizens of Kittitas County. We have 13 provided you with proven statistics, 14 testimonials from real people who live among 15 wind turbines, and many, many pages of data 16 which clearly has stated that wind turbines 17 do not belong among the public. 18 Yes, taking care of county politics and 19 finances is important, but you also have a 20 responsibility to protect the people of this 21 county. 22 Oh, yes, I also read in this draft that 23 when the lawsuits start that EnXco attorneys 24 will team up with the County attorneys to 25 fight these lawsuits. Now, isn't that cute. 26 121 1 I guess one way to put this is the 2 County can either be about big business and 3 wind turbines or people. The only way to 4 have it both ways is to keep the wind farms 5 away from people. 6 We ask that you deny this agreement and 7 protect the citizens who will be forced to 8 live out there with nothing in return but 9 miseries. The people have clearly spoken; 10 have you been listening? 11 Thank you. 12 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Thank you. 13 Clint Coppernoll. Clint Coppernoll? 14 Dennis Romppel. 15 Terri Petrey, did you wish to speak? 16 MS. TERRI PETREY: My name is Terri 17 Petrey. I reside in Ellensburg. My address 18 is 300 East Helena, No. 113. 19 I live in an apartment building. I do 20 not own property here or anywhere else. And 21 I have in the past been fortunate enough to 22 be a property owner. 23 I wound up here in Ellensburg, not 24 because I came here to retire, not because I 25 came here for a high paying job, but because 26 122 1 it was the only job that my husband could 2 find at a time when our family had had a 3 child that had become seriously disabled. 4 And we had lost our home, our business, our 5 preferred occupation, and many, many other 6 things in the course of that situation. 7 However, in the last two and a half 8 years I've involved myself in a number of 9 things in the community, largely because I 10 couldn't find employment here. And so our 11 family is not a family that's privileged to 12 live on a ridge overlooking the valley. We 13 live in an apartment and we do the best that 14 we can. 15 But I want to talk to you a little bit 16 about what does makes Ellensburg unique. 17 This (indicating) is a picture of the Wu-Tang 18 clan, and probably most of you in this room 19 don't have a clue who these people are. This 20 is a rap group. They're one of the early rap 21 groups. 22 And reason I'm talking to you tonight 23 about a rap group is I'm talking to you about 24 the asset of culture. The rap and the 25 hip hop groups have managed to mine the black 26 123 1 urban culture and it has become a 2 multi-billion-dollar industry. Not only 3 music but clothing, lifestyle, what-have-you. 4 And I would submit to you that our 5 greatest asset here in this county is our 6 agrarian historic western past. Arguably 7 reflected by this group (indicating), the 8 Ellensburg Rodeo Grandma Cowboys. I guess I 9 don't remember what we call them. The Rodeo 10 Grandmas. 11 And this is an unexploited asset that we 12 have here. This asset will be lost if we 13 continue to parcel out 3-acre parcels, 14 20-acre parcels. 15 One of the reasons that I support the 16 wind energy here is maybe it's not 17 compatible, as some people would say, with 18 these parcels, okay, but I would submit to 19 you that in terms of the entire valley and 20 helping this valley to retain its agrarian 21 culture and also its agricultural industry -- 22 Which I note is one of only two 23 industries here right now; it's the industry 24 that we came here to work in, and it's a 25 growing industry, expanding not only into 26 124 1 Korea but into Vietnam and potentially into 2 China. So it's something we need to take 3 care of because it's here now and it provides 4 family wage living jobs, okay? 5 We have a situation here where most of 6 this development is not going to provide 7 housing that most of the people who work here 8 in this county can afford, okay? 9 So if we're going to have continuing 10 parceling out of land or even building on 11 existing parcels, we need to make sure that 12 we have industry that can support the people 13 that come here. Not just to take care of 14 these people, but the people who are already 15 here and didn't come here trailing wads of 16 cash behind them. 17 This is a picture of the Puyallup Valley 18 before it developed many, many, many, many 19 decades ago. This represents agrarian 20 culture and the agrarian industry of many 21 places. Not only just the Puyallup Valley. 22 Could have been San Fernando Valley in 23 California. Lots of places. Long Island at 24 one time in New York was the place that did 25 the farming. 26 125 1 But if we don't protect that, eventually 2 this (indicating) is what we're going to see. 3 And I'm not even sure what this city is or 4 where it is. It is either in a basin or a 5 valley. Surrounded by mountains much like 6 our place. 7 And I would submit to you that I would 8 much prefer to see 120 wind turbines than 9 this happen to this valley, okay? 10 So with that, I urge you to vote to 11 approve this project. 12 Just one more minute, though. I want to 13 talk a little bit about property rights. 14 It's something I know a little bit about -- 15 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Direct your 16 comments to the board, please. 17 MS. TERRI PETREY: Let's just say this 18 (indicating) is an individual landowner's 19 bundle of property rights. And I realize 20 maybe we'll take 40 percent of those property 21 rights away. But there's still a bundle of 22 property rights that are left. Let's 23 aggregate with some other landowners. 24 But let's compare that to the benefits 25 to the community. Which include not only the 26 126 1 property rights of the landowners; they 2 include employment, better funding for county 3 services, a future source of power. And we 4 could go on and on. 5 As a government entity in the state of 6 Washington, you're required -- 7 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: I need you to 8 conclude your remarks, please. 9 MS. TERRY PETREY: (Continuing) -- 10 you're required to balance the burden on the 11 property owner against the benefit. I submit 12 to you the benefit far outweighs the burden. 13 Thank you. 14 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Thank you. 15 Liz Lasell, did you wish to speak? 16 MS. LIZ LASELL-McCOSH: Hello. My name 17 is Liz Lasell-McCosh. I just moved to this 18 lovely area two years ago. I live at 201 19 Casey Drive. And I'd be surrounded by those 20 things if you guys went ahead and put them 21 up. 22 I didn't get a chance to read the packet 23 because apparently I'm not on the mailing 24 list, although looking at that map, there 25 would be one within a thousand feet of my 26 127 1 house. 2 I'm out there with my horses and my 3 lifestyle, and this morning I had the 4 privilege of looking out my living room 5 window and watching the elk. And I'm 6 wondering, you know, how they're going to 7 feel about 120 turbines out there. 8 All the information on the oil in the 9 machinery and the fires, I called the fire 10 department this morning because I saw smoke 11 in a place I didn't think there ought to be 12 smoke. Found out later it was probably a 13 neighbor burning something. But, you know. 14 I didn't leave my house last year during 15 a fire outbreak right up above me, and now 16 you're saying, well, if the wind kicks up, 17 the turbines might just help speed it along. 18 And that's a major concern for me. 19 I kind of wonder, you know, with all 20 this nice sunny weather and no wind that 21 we've been having lately why nobody has 22 thought of coming in with solar power instead 23 of wind power. Because I don't think they're 24 400 feet high. 25 And I don't like curtains. Thanks very 26 128 1 much; I'll do my own decorating. 2 I'd really like to stay here for a 3 little while and listen to the coyotes at 4 night and watch the stars and not worry about 5 the flicker of little lights other than the 6 planes and the satellites going overhead. 7 I really hope you can follow the 8 Planning Commission's recommendation and not 9 approve these things. 10 Thanks very much. 11 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Thank you. 12 Let's take our nine o'clock break as 13 advertised. We'll be back at 9:10. 14 (A break was taken.) 15 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Let's come back 16 into session, please. 17 Before we begin with our testimony 18 again, let me do a little strategic planning, 19 if you will. I have two -- or at least one 20 that's indicated they wish to speak still on 21 the list, and then one, perhaps, Tom McKosh? 22 Are you still here? Did you wish to speak? 23 And Sue Bangs. Are you still here? You 24 are. And you wish to speak? 25 MS. SUE BANGS: Just briefly. 26 129 1 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Who is not on my 2 list -- or for that matter if you're on my 3 list but have changed your mind and wish to 4 speak this evening that have not spoken? 5 One, two, three, four, five, six. Okay, 6 very good. 7 Let's go ahead and move to Sue Bangs. 8 MS. SUE BANGS: My name is Susan Bangs. 9 I live at 751 Clarkey Road. 10 And I just want to urge the 11 commissioners to go with the recommendation 12 from the planning board. You are our voice, 13 so please hear us. 14 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Thank you. 15 (A discussion was held off the 16 record.) 17 (Pause in the proceedings.) 18 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Who else would 19 speak at this public hearing? Sir. In that 20 green hat, right here, sir, please. 21 MR. SANDY SANDALL: My name is Sandy 22 Sandall. I reside at 8560 Elk Springs Road, 23 Ellensburg, Washington. 24 I have a question on the 25 decommissioning. According to this, 26 130 1 decommissioning the project or any turbine 2 and related project facilities within -- 3 therein within 12 months after the project or 4 any turbine therein ceases generating 5 electricity for at least 250 hours during any 6 continuous period of 12 months. 7 To me, 250 hours, you've wasted ten and 8 a half days. Is this all they're required, 9 all they're -- all Enxco is required to 10 operate these things and get by with it? 11 We're talking about how much energy they 12 produce; 250 hours won't seem like much. 13 Maybe I'm misinterpreting something here. 14 I think that they -- you've got 8760 15 hours in a year. Half of that's 4380, so I 16 think that they ought to at least produce 17 half or de -- have them decommissioned from 18 there. 19 I'm opposed to the wind farms in the 20 project that they're in. I'm for alternative 21 energy. I live on solar panels; I know what 22 it's like to have alternative energy. And 23 the right place at the right time; the right 24 location is the key. 25 Thank you. 26 131 1 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Thank you. Who 2 else would speak at this public hearing? 3 The hand right here. 4 MS. DARLENE YOUNG: Thank you. My name 5 is Darlene Young. I represent myself and my 6 husband Bob. We live at 771 Sun East Road. 7 We are opposed to the wind farm 8 location, not necessarily to the project. I 9 don't think it's fair that we are part of an 10 experimental project, not knowing what the 11 outcome will be. 12 One of my concerns is the vagueness of 13 the fire department and what areas that they 14 will be protecting. Right now in Sun East it 15 is considered DNR land; it is contracted to 16 them. Does this mean that only the fire 17 district is going to cover the wind turbine 18 areas per se? 19 That area where you have two bad fires 20 in the last five years. And fortunate to 21 have DNR with their helicopters and target 22 planes to put this out to help with 23 District 2. 24 The station that we have right now on 25 Robbins and Reecer Creek is a very tiny 26 132 1 station. It's nice that Desert Wind would be 2 willing to spend two-thirds of their money to 3 provide a new station, which would not even 4 begin to build a fire station. 5 I am aware of the cost; I was involved 6 with Fire District 10 in Issaquah for six 7 years. $100,000 would hardly begin. So that 8 means the taxpayers would get to pay the 9 balance of a new station. 10 Who would provide the fire engine and 11 the manpower? We currently have three 12 volunteer fire fighters at that station. All 13 three of them live five to ten miles from the 14 station. It takes lots of manpower and lots 15 of money to fight fires. We don't have it. 16 I just think that we're just getting 17 ahead of the -- the cart before the horse, 18 and it's not fair to make us part of this 19 experimental project. 20 Thank you. 21 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Thank you. 22 Who else would speak at this public 23 hearing? 24 Here in the aisle. Then next Ms. Wise. 25 MR. MICHAEL SPARLING: Michael Sparling, 26 133 1 2206 North Sparling Lane. 2 There seems to be some question about 3 how far sound travels. Well, I'll tell you 4 on Labor Day when the rodeo's going, I 5 probably live in a straight line about a mile 6 and a half to two miles from here. And on 7 certain nights I can hear the announcer 8 word-for-word on what he has to say. Other 9 nights I can still hear, it's pretty noisy. 10 But most of the time I can tell you exactly 11 what he has to say. 12 And that's a mile and a half to two 13 miles this way (indicating). 14 Also, as far as I'm concerned, I totally 15 support what the Planning Commission came up 16 with. 17 Thank you. 18 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Thank you. 19 MS. HELEN WISE: I'm Helen Wise. 1106 20 East 3rd Avenue in Ellensburg. I speak for 21 myself and for my children and grandchildren. 22 I will not go into a lot this evening, 23 because you've heard me before and I've 24 written plenty of letters. 25 I want you to know that -- again, that I 26 134 1 am very much impressed by all the study 2 that's gone into this. I think you have 3 worked very conscientiously, all of you, with 4 the applicant and have considered all the 5 documents very thoroughly. 6 I do -- do not have a personal interest. 7 I have a -- well, beyond what it will do for 8 the community, that's my concern, it will do 9 for the valley. And for the future of our 10 whole area and state. 11 For me, I'm an environmentalist and I 12 know that time is running out and it's going 13 to be too late to do some of these things 14 such as having alternative wind power -- 15 alternative electric power. 16 This location, if you look at the maps 17 you know that the location is right for the 18 resource. And I agree very heartily with 19 Terri Petrey, who spoke a while ago about 20 what it does to the scenery of this valley to 21 have it all houses and houses and 22 developments and developments. 23 Wind turbines, whether they're beautiful 24 or not is in the eye of the beholder, and 25 many people think they are graceful and 26 135 1 beautiful and much better neighbors than a 2 lot of housing developments. 3 Besides the fact I just must confess I 4 don't see -- the people that develop up in 5 that area are not part of our community. If, 6 if all those folks that build those nice 7 developments up there were actually 8 participating -- were buying their groceries, 9 for example, in Ellensburg, were buying their 10 furniture, whatever, in Ellensburg, we would 11 have a much different downtown. 12 Thank you. 13 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Thank you. 14 Who else would speak at this public 15 hearing? Way in the back. 16 MS. HOLLY PINKERT: My name is Holly 17 Pinkert. I'm here for both myself and my 18 husband Wes. I speak for myself and my 19 husband Wes. We reside at 5900 Robbins Road. 20 I am a citizen of Ellensburg and of the 21 community. I'm employed here at the 22 university. I'm a biologist by training and 23 by employment. And of -- you have reams of 24 information that I've already submitted to 25 the board, so I won't belabor those points. 26 136 1 However, I do want to address some very 2 specific points in the latest agreement, the 3 latest revised agreement from EnXco, 4 specifically regarding some of the biology. 5 They talk about revegetation. On 6 Page 23, 6.1.9, they talk about applying a 7 seed mix to revegetate damaged areas. And 8 this is a little bit naive and perhaps even 9 inappropriate. 10 If you're going to restore an area, 11 especially like the shrub-steppe up above the 12 irrigation areas, it's not as simple as just 13 throwing some seed. You've got to collect 14 something called cryptobiotic crust. It's a 15 mixture of lichens; it's soil, fungi, and 16 bacteria, and these things will help keep 17 weeds out. And if you go up to some of the 18 undisturbed areas, you can still find some of 19 this. 20 If they do not do that, then knapweed 21 and cheek grass are going to increase 22 dramatically. 23 In Section 126.96.36.199 they talk about 24 successful revegetation but don't actually 25 say who is going to be determining that. So 26 137 1 that needs to be clarified. 2 In Section 188.8.131.52 they talk about that 3 they want to attempt revegetation during the 4 dry season. And actually, if you want to do 5 this, all this is going to ensure is take -- 6 is a complete takeover by knapweed, which 7 actually flowers and then seeds in the dry 8 season. Nothing's going to be able to 9 compete at that point. 10 And again, many of these areas are not 11 subject to the irrigation, so this is going 12 to be a huge problem. It's completely not 13 even appropriate. 14 On Pages 34 through 37, the deal with 15 the advisory committee, the Technical 16 Advisory Committee or the TAC, it's clear 17 from what's written here that this is just a 18 figurehead and they have no authority at all 19 to do anything. They can do some studies, 20 generate some paperwork, but there is no 21 guarantee that EnXco will have to do anything 22 with regards to the recommendations. 23 I mean, this is a group that has really 24 no power at all. And they should have power. 25 All you need to do is look at the Altamont 26 138 1 Pass area to realize this. They're named in 2 a lawsuit right now specifically regarding 3 the biology in those areas. 4 And this is completely unacceptable and 5 inappropriate. And I'll leave the rest of my 6 comments to this document as well as the 7 comments of my community neighbors. 8 Thank you. 9 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Thank you. 10 Who else would speak at this public 11 hearing? Way in the back, sir. 12 MR. ROGER BERNETTE: My name is Roger 13 Bernette. I represent myself and my partner 14 Chris Cole. And she spoke a little earlier 15 this evening. 16 And yes, we are part of this community. 17 And I would like to make a statement on 18 noise. I don't know, I'm not an expert on 19 noise, but I've heard that there's a 20 phenomenon in this valley where sound 21 travels. 22 Well, speaking just from our own 23 experience, we have a neighbor that's half a 24 while away, approximately, and when they're 25 in their back yard having a conversation, we 26 139 1 can hear them. And they are a half-mile 2 towards the site of where the wind towers 3 will be, which will be about a mile and a 4 half. 5 Now, you take the sound of two people's 6 talking versus the sound of the wind tower, 7 that's quite a difference. 8 The railroad track's eight miles away as 9 the crow flies. We can hear the train go by. 10 And my partner, she says she can hear the 11 freeway. I don't. 12 That's my comment. Thank you very much 13 for listening to me. 14 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Thank you. 15 Who else would speak at this public 16 hearing? Right here on the left side of the 17 aisle. Right here, sir. And then straight 18 in the back. 19 MR. DANA LIND: Hello. My name is Dana 20 Lind. My family and I live at 9421 Reecer 21 Creek Road. I want to welcome the new 22 commissioners. You guys are brave to take on 23 such an important job, and I know you'll take 24 it seriously and all our comments tonight. 25 We've attended lot of these meetings a 26 140 1 lot of times, just like everybody here has, 2 and it's pretty obvious to me and I think 3 everybody that it's overwhelmingly -- the 4 sentiment is overwhelmingly against this 5 project, and I think that really matters. 6 I have a brother who has worked in power 7 production for just about 25 years. He 8 recently told me that it costs approximately 9 a million dollars per mile to build new 10 transmission lines. It's no wonder that 11 EnXco wants to build their project in our 12 neighborhood. It's close to existing power 13 lines, and it's obvious that they don't care 14 who it impacts negatively and whose quality 15 of life it'll ruin. It's all about the money 16 for them. And for the few landowners that 17 will fill their pockets. 18 If this project were resited to a more 19 remote location, the County would still 20 receive revenue and we would still get to 21 have our quality of life. It seems so basic 22 and simple to me. 23 I was born in Eastern Washington and I 24 spent about 25 years living in rural Western 25 Washington, and I left there because it's no 26 141 1 longer rural. My family and I moved here 2 about 11 years ago and I commuted for about 3 nine years; eight, nine years. 4 But we didn't move here for money or for 5 greed. Both my wife and I took a large pay 6 cut to move here. But we moved here because 7 we wanted to raise our kids in an environment 8 such as we have here today. It's a beautiful 9 place. For now. 10 We purchased an existing ranch that we 11 love from a true country gentleman whose name 12 was Harvey Shore. He's no longer with us. 13 When we talked to him, spoke to him about 14 purchasing the place, he said he had to sell 15 it because he could no longer take care of 16 it. We consider ourselves caretakers of the 17 land, and when we can no longer take care of 18 it, we hope to turn it over to someone who 19 will treat it like we do. 20 I consider you commissioners the 21 caretakers of our valley. You guys have 22 important, important jobs. You know, when 23 you mark that ballot -- you know, when I 24 first moved here I thought county 25 commissioners, what do they do? And I didn't 26 142 1 really know. 2 But the more you get involved, you 3 realize how important those three positions 4 are. You're holding a lot of weight in your 5 hands, and I know you won't take it lightly. 6 I think the County made some mistakes 7 early on before this project was proposed. I 8 think there should have been some appropriate 9 minimum setbacks. I think we could have 10 avoided a lot of these things. 11 This is -- this has caused a lot of 12 grief for a lot of people. And just because 13 of the greed of a few we've all had to come 14 to these meetings and put a lot of time -- I 15 know it's part of the process. 16 But I think if this is denied, and I'm 17 pretty sure that it will be, I hope that the 18 County will -- will correct and set some 19 guidelines that will make it less injurious 20 to people in the future for more of these 21 types of projects when they come in. Maybe 22 give these guys something to chew on before 23 they decide they're going to come in and be 24 that 800-pound gorilla that comes into the 25 neighborhood. 26 143 1 They carry a lot -- you know, have a lot 2 of money and they have a lot of lawyers, and 3 we're just people that want to raise our 4 families out there. 5 And I do buy my groceries in Ellensburg. 6 I do buy my furniture in Ellensburg. I don't 7 have any pictures of rap groups, but I do 8 live here and I will continue to live here, 9 and my wife says she'll never sell the place. 10 So thank you for your time. 11 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Thank you. 12 In the back there. 13 MR. BOB COREY: I'm Bob Corey. I live 14 over on Schnively Road. I represent Bob 15 Corey and Judy Corey. 16 We've had property here for about 12 17 years. We have lived here for about 5. It's 18 been a real good place. There has been a lot 19 of wind. It isn't consistent enough to 20 warrant this. We got a drought coming on. 21 You think it's going to power any windmills 22 during this time? And we don't know how long 23 it might go on. 24 And then if it does develop power, it's 25 going to be shipped off to California or 26 144 1 someplace. This isn't benefiting us. I 2 don't see any future in it. 3 The Planning Commission has said what 4 they thought ought to be done. Why can't we 5 go by them? That was their job and I think 6 they done a good job of it. 7 And you can have these -- I'd like to 8 see solar power instead of windmill power. 9 But if we're going to have it, it ought to be 10 up in the hills where it ain't next to these 11 people's homes and ruining their places and 12 their property value. 13 We are about two and a half miles 14 directly away from them, and it's going to 15 affect us with the flitter and all that 16 stuff. And the beautiful view and the sunset 17 we see off that direction, it's just going to 18 ruin it; and I don't think it's worth it and 19 I don't think the County needs all the 20 trouble this is going to bring them. 21 Thank you. 22 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Thank you. 23 Who else would speak at this public 24 hearing? Mr. Romppel has returned. Did you 25 wish to speak? 26 145 1 MR. DENNIS Romppel: My name is Dennis 2 Romppel, and I represent my wife Sharon and 3 our neighbor Arnold Volger. Mr. Volger is in 4 an assisted living right now and is unable to 5 attend. 6 And we've had his house up for sale now 7 for going on six months. And one of the 8 questions that most of the time the realtors 9 are asked is if it's in the area where the 10 windmill's going to be, which is up in the 11 Sun East area. We live at 1020 Chucker Ridge 12 Road. Mr. Volger lives on Chucker Ridge Road 13 as well. 14 So it is a definite question on 15 everybody's mind that looked at coming into 16 the valley, so it's of concern for all of us 17 that the majority of our retirement's tied up 18 in our residence. And we feel that if the 19 windmills go on as planned, we would probably 20 have a problem selling or retiring and 21 recovering our income that we've put so long 22 into these houses and property that we've 23 developed. 24 The other aspect for us is that we moved 25 over in 1980-81 and we bought 206 acres in 26 146 1 the hill up there, and we've enjoyed a -- a 2 nice area that we can sit and look out off of 3 our deck over the whole valley, and it's a 4 beautiful view. It doesn't matter whether 5 it's in the summertime or in the wintertime. 6 And we see the power lines below us, and 7 if the original perspective had been placed 8 correctly, the windmills would have stood 9 about three times taller than those power 10 lines. And so I have an issue with that. 11 We also have several thousand dollars 12 wrapped up in telescopes and equipment that 13 we view the stars with. We have no yard 14 lights at all up there. Our closest neighbor 15 is a half a mile away who has had a yard 16 light. And so we spend time out viewing the 17 stars, which this could be detrimental to our 18 ability to do that as well. 19 And then there is the aspect of the 20 noise. Now, I have migraines; I've been 21 having migraines ever since I was in my 30s, 22 and it was one of the reasons -- the 23 pollution and stuff like that caused my 24 migraines, and so we left Bellevue for that 25 reason and have been trying to keep those 26 147 1 under control. And noise is a factor for me. 2 And I do have an issue with the 3 50 decibels in regards that they were talking 4 about as if it was a good rating. In 5 designing hotels and apartment buildings that 6 I do, 50 decibels is an attenuation that we 7 try to strive for between rooms. 8 And so if you -- if you spent any time 9 in a hotel traveling and someone has a party 10 next door and if you assume that only 11 50 decibels is coming through that wall and 12 you try to sleep, forget it, because you're 13 not going to. 14 And if you can imagine that going on day 15 in and day out, night after night. And you 16 know, in our area up there the wind can blow 17 for a month at a time up and down. 18 So we have the aspect of just the peace 19 and quiet that we enjoy now. The -- we moved 20 away from pollution, and there's many, many 21 forms of pollution. It can be light 22 pollution, it can be sound pollution, it can 23 be pollution that affects our air, our water. 24 And so why add another pollution to our 25 valley when it's really not necessary? 26 148 1 So I appreciate the opportunity to voice 2 my opinion, and encourage you all to think 3 about our valley. The commissioners over the 4 years have prevented certain types of 5 industry from moving into the valley simply 6 because it wasn't fit for the valley. And in 7 turn, a lot of us that live in the area feel 8 that the windmills are not fit for the 9 valley. It's not that we're against 10 alternative energy sources, but not in 11 residential areas. 12 So I thank you for your attention. 13 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Thank you. 14 Who else would speak at this public 15 hearing? 16 Mr. Carmody. Jamie Carmody. 17 MR. JAMES CARMODY: Thank you, 18 Mr. Chairman, commissioners. My name's James 19 Carmody. My address is 405 East Lincoln, 20 Yakima. 21 I have been involved in this project for 22 what seems like forever. And it may well be. 23 I've represented Residents Opposed to 24 Kittitas Turbines and have participated in 25 the resultant proceedings. This proceeding, 26 149 1 all the way back to the original adoption of 2 the overlay ordinance that you are 3 administering in this instance. 4 Presently this county made a decision a 5 number of years ago to take a look at an 6 individualized project basis review. And 7 that was with an understanding and a 8 recognition that not every place is great for 9 wind farms. There are variables, there are 10 issues that are germane to each individual 11 location. And while there's an interest in 12 wind farms, that it may not be appropriate in 13 every instance. 14 And that's exactly the circumstance we 15 have here. The Planning Commission 16 recognized unanimously that this is not an 17 appropriate location. This thick document 18 recognizes there's problems. 19 There are two sides to property rights. 20 Property rights of an owner and property 21 rights of people affected by land use issues. 22 What you've heard is how this affects the 23 adjoining property owners. 24 Adjoining property owners don't have to 25 accept that if I have a development project, 26 150 1 my responsibility is to make sure that I 2 don't by the use of my property impose 3 impacts on somebody else that are unfair, 4 inappropriate. Yet this project is going to 5 do that. We know that. 6 Take a look when you get an opportunity 7 just at the complaint resolution process in 8 Section 7. What that section tells you 9 specifically is we know that people within 10 1500 feet are going to have adverse noise 11 impacts. We know that people within 2000 12 feet are going to have adverse impacts from 13 shadow flicker. There are residents within 14 2500 feet of the project are going to have 15 interference with television reception. 16 We know those distances from this; 17 they've told you that's going to happen. And 18 we're talking about -- what they're asking 19 for is a 487-foot setback, 1000-foot setback, 20 and a more appropriate setback is someplace 21 closer to 2500 or more. 22 I've been involved in wind farm 23 projects. I represented a wind farm 24 developer in Klickitat County that just sited 25 a very similar project to this. There wasn't 26 151 1 a home within a mile and a half. It's the 2 same thing, Wild Horse; mile and a half 3 distance between residences and this. Those 4 are appropriate locations. In Klickitat 5 County not one member of the public stood up 6 and opposed that project. Not one. 7 But look what we've been through here. 8 And the reason is just look at what's going 9 on in that location. 800 homes, 800 parcels 10 within that immediate area. This is the 11 wrong place. 12 Your overlay ordinance says that sites 13 need to be adjacent, need a big block. This 14 isn't even close to that. That's why ones 15 that have large parcels can work, because it 16 can be placed on a single parcel. 17 That's a jerry-rigged deal, and they're 18 fabricating an argument that they're 19 adjacent. What they're saying is we'll just 20 run some lines between them and everything's 21 all right. 22 That's not what's intended. You can 23 take the DNR properties and say that those 24 all green circles are all one project. But 25 they're separated. People are in between, 26 152 1 people are impacted. You don't even start to 2 meet the ordinance required in this case. 3 I agree with the comments made by DNR 4 officials earlier this evening, is that 5 setbacks need to apply and buffers need to 6 apply for all properties whether they're 7 privately owned or publicly owned. There's 8 no reason for a distinction. 9 So the 1000- or 2500-foot setback or 10 more should apply equally to every property. 11 And they should apply to the property's 12 boundaries. And that's the norm. 13 In the mitigation there was some 14 comments about noise levels. The noise terms 15 and compliance standards here are very 16 misleading and I think just flat wrong. What 17 they've established as a designated level 18 EDNA C, which you heard about earlier, is 19 industrial usage, not a rural usage. 20 You need EDNA A, 50 dB. And noise is a 21 big deal because each 10-dB increase, if you 22 go from 50 to 60, that's a doubling of the 23 noise. You go 60 to 70, that's another 24 doubling. So it's exponential. So 50 to 70 25 is four times. 50 to 80 is 16 times as much 26 153 1 noise. You do the math. We're talking 104 2 dB. 3 On the specific conditions that are 4 incorporated in Section 6 with respect to 5 mitigation measures, just read, if you will, 6 when you get a chance, 6.15, shadow flicker; 7 6.16, noise; 6.17, aesthetics. And see what 8 that mitigation does. 9 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: I need you to 10 conclude your remarks. 11 MR. JAMES CARMODY: It doesn't address 12 anything; it speaks in terms of unforceable 13 conditions. Desert Claim shall to the extent 14 feasible. What in the world does that mean? 15 I would urge you to go through this 16 carefully; but more importantly, I'd urge you 17 just simply to reject the project at this 18 location. These mitigation measures don't 19 mitigate, they don't address the ordinance 20 provisions. 21 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Thank you. 22 Who else would speak at this public 23 hearing? 24 MR. JAMES CARMODY: I have something I'm 25 supposed to give to you. 26 154 1 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Oh. 2 MR. JAMES CARMODY: I'm sorry. 3 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Please. 4 Thank you. 5 Are there others who would speak at this 6 public hearing? 7 Mr. Knudson. 8 MR. DESMOND KNUDSON: I just submitted 9 for the record to -- a letter from Dennis 10 Crane -- or David Crane, who could not be 11 here tonight, and the clerk has it. 12 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Could we have your 13 name and address for the record. 14 MR. DESMOND KNUDSON: My name is Desmond 15 Knudson. My address is 1661 Vantage Highway, 16 Ellensburg, Washington. 17 I'm going to talk about -- what I 18 thought we were talking about here tonight 19 was the development agreement. Having read 20 through page by page and highlighting some 21 items, I came across a few that concerned me, 22 but all are negotiable. 23 On Page 2 Subsection H: Agreement with 24 owners of the real property, that's 25 important. The people that own the property. 26 155 1 Page 4, Subsection M: The County did 2 issue a draft EIS. 3 Subsection N: The County reviewed and 4 the developer reviewed and met with staff to 5 figure out the mitigation. That was done. 6 Subsection O: The County did issue a 7 final EIS. In that EIS it talks about dBs. 8 That's decibel levels. Which we're hearing a 9 lot about. And thus science doesn't seem to 10 jive with the EIS. 11 Mr. Carmody and Mr. Slothower, who are 12 legal representatives of some individuals 13 here, they don't support any wind farm no 14 matter how far away. Remember that. And 15 remember their dB readings. I'm looking for 16 mine. 17 So at the safety setback level we're at 18 53. At 1000 feet with the towers they're 19 talking about using, none measured over, in 20 the report, 8 to 10 dBs. 21 Now, if I had a tape recorder of a 22 motorcycle going up and down the road, I 23 would be closer to the 50 mark. 24 We're not going to make anybody happy 25 that's against these things. Never will, no 26 156 1 matter how much you pay them, train them, 2 show them facts. So we got to count on what 3 the engineers and what the property owners 4 have come up with to submit to you. 5 Look at the final EIS and it jives with 6 the development agreement. This is a good 7 agreement. Your prosecutor, sitting right 8 there at the end of this bench, worked with 9 the applicant to come up with this stuff. So 10 did Mr. Piercy. And you also gave them 11 advice on this. It is a good thing for this 12 community. 13 Thank you. 14 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Thank you. Who 15 else would speak at this public hearing? 16 Let the record show there's no one 17 indicating a wish to speak. 18 Commissioners, we need to discuss a 19 course of action as our hour grows late. In 20 explaining process of break time, as is often 21 the case, I know a number of folks have left 22 as time moved on. 23 What I am going to ask the commissioners 24 to consider, we've identified, and then this 25 week -- the rest of the week is filled with 26 157 1 evening hearings. So we're looking at the 2 9th, Wednesday, or the 10th, Thursday. 3 I would ask the board to consider 4 continuing our hearing to either of those 5 days. That would leave the record open to 6 written comment, and we allow one round of 7 testimony for those who have not spoken -- 8 underscore those who have not spoken -- at 9 the start of our next hearing. 10 Written comment by any parties. It 11 doesn't matter. You can submit written 12 comments until you're tired of writing on 13 either side of the coin. 14 But we allow one last opportunity for 15 oral testimony, and then I would ask that the 16 board consider, at least, being prepared to 17 enter deliberations at the conclusion of our 18 public testimony. 19 Now, that's my thoughts. Board, what is 20 your druthers? 21 COMMISSIONER CRANKOVICH: I can support 22 that. I want to time to digest everything. 23 COMMISSIONER BOWEN: I concur. Ready 24 for deliberations next week. 25 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: And of course at 26 158 1 the conclusion of the testimony, we would be 2 looking for staff -- or excuse me -- well, 3 staff, for that matter as well, but the 4 applicant to make the final observations they 5 would make. Again, speaking to the matters 6 that were covered in public testimony. 7 Staff, any observations before we leave 8 this evening? 9 MR. PIERCY: Mr. Chair, I have none to 10 add to your comments this evening. 11 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Thank you. 12 Commissioners, I would move to continue 13 this public hearing to Wednesday, March 9th, 14 6:00 p.m. at the Kittitas County fairgrounds. 15 The record to remain open to written and oral 16 comment. 17 COMMISSIONER BOWEN: Second. 18 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: We have a motion 19 and second to continue this public hearing. 20 Madam clerk, do we have any indication 21 this facility is available? 22 MS. KJORSVIK: No. I'll check first 23 thing in the morning. 24 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: Very good. Then 25 we'll -- on the bad possibility that it may 26 159 1 not be available, we'll try to get word out 2 to where we will have the meeting. But we'll 3 make every effort to have it at this 4 facility, be it in whatever one of these 5 rooms. 6 Mr. Hurson. 7 MR. HURSON: We're setting the location 8 for the fairgrounds. 9 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: We're setting the 10 location for the fairgrounds. It may be in a 11 tent outside. We'll figure out something to 12 make it work. But we're going to shoot for 13 the fairgrounds. 14 We have a motion and second to continue 15 this public hearing. 16 Discussion to the motion? 17 COMMISSIONER BOWEN: I'd thank everybody 18 for their time. 19 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: No other 20 discussion. 21 Those in favor of the motion with aye. 22 COMMISSIONER BOWEN: Aye. 23 COMMISSIONER CRANKOVICH: Aye. 24 COMMISSIONER HUSTON: I too will vote 25 aye, and that motion will carry. 26 160 1 This hearing is continued to Wednesday, 2 March 9th, 6:00 p.m. at the Kittitas County 3 fairgrounds. The record to remain open to 4 written and oral comment. 5 Thank you. 6 (The proceeding was adjourned at 7 9:51 p.m.) 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 161 1 C E R T I F I C A T E 2 STATE OF WASHINGTON ) ) ss. 3 COUNTY OF YAKIMA ) 4 5 This is to certify that I, Louise Raelene 6 Bell, 7 Certified Court Reporter and Notary Public in and 8 for the State of Washington, residing at Yakima, 9 reported the within and foregoing hearing; said 10 hearing being taken before me as a Notary Public 11 on the date herein set forth; that said hearing 12 was taken by me in shorthand and thereafter under 13 my supervision transcribed, and that same is a 14 full, true and correct record of the hearing. 15 I further certify that I am not a relative or 16 employee or attorney or counsel of any of the 17 parties, nor am I financially interested in the 18 outcome of the cause. 19 IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have set my hand and 20 affixed my seal this _____ day of ___________, 21 2005. 22 __________________________________ 23 LOUISE RAELENE BELL, CCR CCR No. 2676 24 Notary Public in and for the State of Washington, residing at 25 Yakima. My commission expires July 19, 2007.
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