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Commissioners look at wind farm at Star Ranch

WALSENBURG-County Commissioners approved on a 3-0 vote, a conditional use permit that will move a wind farm project in eastern Huerfano County forward.  75 percent of the project is located on Star Ranch property.

    The Star Ranch wind farm project is located east of Interstate 25 and north of Highway 10 just west of County Road 114.

    Randy Ray, the development director for Torch Renewable Energy out of Houston, Texas, requested approval from the county commissioners of a conditional use permit allowing for the erection of a 198 foot meteorological tower on the site.  The tower will be used to conduct further wind studies for the project.  The county usually likes see two years accumulation of wind data before giving a green light to further development of a wind project.

    Wayhatolla Valley Estates and a decaying water system were also issues that came before the county commission on Wednesday, May 5.  The commissioners heard from Steve Channel, a resident of the subdivision and the county’s land use administrator.

    Channel asked the commissioners to approve a resolution that would split a tract into two parts.  Part A1 of the split tract would encompass most of the 35 acre tract in question but part A2 would include Willis Spring in a 3,000 foot area of a half acre in an agriculturally zoned area.  Tract A2 is where the water system for the subdivision is in need of repair and upgrading.

    “Right now most of that area is flooded out,” Channel told the commissioners. “However it will not affect the density of the subdivision.”

    The county commission voted 3-0 to approve drafting a resolution that would exempt the parcel from an SB 1041 application, rezone the property and grant a conditional use permit on a nonconforming piece of land to be used as a utility easement.