Goals discussed at joint land use study meeting

Sharna Johnson

During a Monday policy committee meeting for the Joint Land Use study, Kit Roupe, project manager, gave members samples of goals and objectives the study could produce.

Roupe gave the two-hour presentation at a meeting held at the Curry County Courthouse.

The Joint Land Use Study is a cooperative land-use planning effort between Cannon Air Force Base and surrounding communities.

The presentation stemmed from a May 17 committee meeting where Roupe suggested going over the goals of the project with members.

Giving samples of possible goals, Roupe said some of the issues could be lighting and its impact on Cannon aircraft, noise from the planes, and encroachments or items located off of base property that can interfere with flights (i.e. wind turbines, solar panels)..

One suggestion she made was for Cannon’s neighbors to create a regional advisory board that, “brings together all the stakeholders,” and would have membership from Cannon and Curry and Roosevelt counties.

The board could address issues that arise and make recommendations to the board of commissioners in the relevant community, who would then vote.

One example of a potential issue committee members brought up that could cause conflict would be a private property owner wanting to build a wind turbine.

Vice-Chairman Hoyt Pattison pointed out a situation at Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene, Texas, where numerous wind turbines had to be removed because they fell inside a flight pattern that was changed after the turbines were built.

“The effect on an individual’s finances has an extreme effect on the whole picture,” Pattison said, stressing that any study needs to account for economic impact.

Members also expressed concern for upcoming energy projects in the community, namely the Tres Amigas power superstation planned for north Curry County and other renewable energy projects that are expected to follow.

“Tres Amigas is just as important (as Cannon) or more vital to the community,” Wendell Bostwick said. “We have to coexist.”

Roupe said she is making efforts to talk with Tres Amigas and discuss plans for the superstation as they may relate to Cannon.

“I think we can (coexist),” she said, explaining the superstation will be far from the base, but it’s the transistor lines entering the station that planners are concerned about.

Roupe said the study deadline has been pushed from expected completion in early fall to an expected date of October.

The next public meeting is planned for 3 p.m. July 19 in the Melrose School Board Room.