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Wind-measuring towers proposed north of Sunnyside

Four proposals to see what's blowin' in the wind will be presented during a public hearing this Thursday, March 6, at 9 a.m. in the Yakima County Courthouse. The hearing will be held in Room B-33, site of the weekly Yakima County Commissioner meetings.

All four conditional use applications to be considered by a county hearing examiner are in the Lower Yakima Valley area. If approved, the measures would allow installation of anemometers at each of the four locations to measure wind frequency and duration for the possible siting of wind farms.

The first proposed wind test site is about six miles north of Sunnyside, just over a mile north of the intersection of Chaffee and Maple Grove roads.

The second property under consideration is one mile north of the SR-24 and SR-241 intersection, about 15 miles north of Sunnyside.

A third site under review is 14 miles southeast of Moxee and one mile south of SR-24.

The fourth potential wind measuring application is for property on the east side of North Outlook Road, situated on a private ranch road nine-and-a-half miles northwest of Sunnyside.

The anemometers would stand 197-feet tall and be supported by four spaced cables, according to a county planning document. They are expected to be on site for one or two years.

All four wind applications were submitted by Northwest Wind Partners on behalf of John Top, whose address in the application is listed as Toppenish.

County planners recommend the projects and deem that all four applications fall under the same review guidelines as communication towers.

If the anemometers produce data favorable to the siting of wind towers, the county's planning department maintains that the towers would be consistent with land use planning guidelines.

Copies of county planning staff reports compiled on each of the four proposals are available by calling 509-574-2300.

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