Planning and Zoning Commission turns attention to windmills

BLACKFOOT — Planning and Zoning (P&Z) commissioners started their discussion on wind turbines in the Proposed Code Revisions Final Draft.
The conversation split into two camps—one supporting the business aspect of wind, the other questioning the proximity to townships.
"This is a business," said commissioner Lee Hammett. "Let the free enterprise system take care of it. If the cost of electricity goes up because of [wind turbines], profitability would be eliminated.
"We cannot legislate view," Hammett said. "We can legislate safety but we cannot pick a side on view."
Commissioner Gay Sorensen remarks were read into the record. She stated she wanted an one-half mile minimum setback from any home.
"We need to take into consideration people who own the land," said commissioner Brutch Merrill.
Commissioner Randy Turpin said, "We need to take into consideration the harmful effects on people and health issues."
Citing the town site of Goshen, Turpin said, the turbines will be placed where we, as a commission, would normally encourage residential growth. Turbines could deter growth.
The saga continues. P&Z commissioners will continue work on the draft copy next Wednesday.
The commissioners approved making the article on definitions (Article 15) will now be Article 2 in the Proposed Code Revisions.
The commissioners approved the nine-foot variance to the required 50-foot easement requested by Brian and Linda Carrigan at 185 S. 800 W. in Blackfoot.
"We have had two 100-year floods 14 years apart," Carrigan said. "In 1997, we had three feet of water in our basement. We had flood insurance and the basement was restored to pre-flood condition.
"This year, we had only six inches of water in the basement," he said. "We did not have flood insurance. The basement has been torn out to the studs.
"We would like to add an addition of 800 square feet as a second story on our 1,600- square-foot home," Carrigan said.
Commissioners unanimously approved this request.
They also recommended approval of the two-lot short plat requested by Daniel and Lori Jarmin at 68 S. 600 W. in Blackfoot.
"It's a good fit in the Thomas area," Turpin said. "I don't see the issue in subdividing in this area."