Turbine amendment breezes through

KINGMAN - Three text amendments to the city zoning ordinance were unanimously approved with little fanfare by the city Planning & Zoning Commission Tuesday evening. The amendments will come before the City Council for final approval on Sept. 2.

The first amendment would add general development standards for wind turbines to the zoning ordinance. These standards would allow for a single wind turbine on any size parcel, or two turbines for parcels larger than one acre.

The amendment calls for turbines to stand no higher than the maximum building height of the zoning district in which they are built, or up to 60 feet with a conditional use permit. The turbines would also have to be rated at 10 kilowatts capacity or less, and colored a non-reflective, neutral desert color.

The second amendment would reword the section of the ordinance concerning when a rezoning or conditional use request can be reheard if it is generally the same as one that has already been denied.

The ordinance currently states that the requesting party must wait a full year from the day of the P&Z Commission's decision. The amendment would change this to one full year from the City Council's decision, as the P&Z commission is not a decision-making body, and can only offer recommendations.

Commissioners voted to recommend approval of the amendment, though they were bemused when they realized they would essentially have to vote on the same amendment again next month, when a revised version comes before them with the added stipulation that, in the event a voter-approved referendum were to overturn Council's decision, the one year waiting period would begin on the day of the referendum instead.

Commissioner Mike Schoeff wondered aloud at the purpose of approving an amendment when the commission knew an updated copy was already in the works, but he shrugged and made the motion for approval regardless.

The third text amendment would institute a one time, one-year review policy for all new conditional use permits (CUPs) issued within the city. The amendment would require city staff to review the operations of each CUP and submit a written report to the P&Z Commission.

From there, the commission would make a recommendation to Council whether or not the permittee was adhering to the conditions stated in the CUP. Council would make the final judgement, either finding the permittee in compliance or instructing staff to begin the revocation process.

On Aug. 18, however, the City Council will consider yet another amendment to change the wording of the CUP revocation process, which will include a third option for Council to give the permittee more time to address complaints.