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Commission approves energy, resort projects

Maybe it wasn't a world record, but it was fast enough: four public hearings and four approvals of Planning and Zoning Commission recommendations in about ten minutes. The Carbon County Commission convened each hearing separately, called for public comment, got none, and moved on to the voting.

Each approval was unanimous.

Conoco/Phillips Co. got an adjustment on its conditional use permit, which will allow the company to upgrade pumps on its wells in Drunkard's Wash off Highway 10. Preliminary monitoring of noise indicates that the pumps will not exceed standards.

The company also got the go-ahead to drill two new gas wells near Wattis on property owned by Plateau Mining.

Element Power got a conditional use permit to erect a wind monitoring tower near Scofield to assess the potential for wind turbine electric generation. As reported earlier in the Sun Advocate, the 198-foot, steel lattice tower will record wind speeds at three elevations for three years. The proposed site is near the junction of Castle Valley Ridge Rd. and Beaver Rd. in the high country about three miles south of the town.

Element Power has utility-scale solar and wind turbine projects operating and in development in Europe and is pursuing other projects in North and South America. Its principal offices are in Madrid, London and Portland. The company is owned by Hudson Clean Energy Partners, an investment group that focuses on renewable energy projects.

The company would have to return to the planning commission and county commission to obtain permission to build wind turbine generators if the meteorological and other factors show such a project would be feasible.

It will take only a day or so to erect the tower.

Finally, Scofield Mountain Estates got the zoning change it needs to allow expansion of its resort cabin development at the northwest end of Scofield Lake.

The resort community already has 60 lots approved and developed, and has sold 21 so far. Plans call for 109 lots total on the company's acreage. This would be Phase IV of the overall development and would entail ground and utility preparation for eventual cabin building on about a dozen lots. On average, the plans call for one lot on four acres.

The soils and other environmental conditions in the new phase are comparable to those on previously developed lots, the company reported earlier. TIt has developed a spring that will serve as a source of water for household use, and will install a storage tank to accommodate fire protection demands.

The developers intend to continue using septic tanks for sewage. The development is following building code rules for setbacks from the lake shore and streams. In addition, each purchaser of a lot must agree to a covenant stipulating that homes must be built to size, design and construction material provisions to preserve the beauty of the community and the environment. Compliance with county building codes and permits is also mandatory.

The additional development is not expect to pose any traffic problems on the west Scofield Rd.

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