City council tables proposed wind turbine ordinance

Published 7:25 am Tuesday, February 2, 2010

City council on Monday decided they still needed more time to weigh the pros and cons of possibly allowing wind turbines to be built throughout Austin.

The proposed ordinance, which has been discussed and debated publicly for several months, was tabled until at least the next council meeting on Feb. 16.

Councilman Jeff Austin, who made the motion to table, said there’s simply too much confusion among citizens he’s spoken with for him to support going forward with the law now. He said the council will need to do a better job of educating the public before taking action.

If approved, the ordinance would conditionally allow wind turbines to be built in almost any city zoning district, including residential areas, assuming the structures didn’t exceed certain size limits. Previous drafts would have only allowed the towers in business and commercial districts.

Some protest has come from citizens concerned with having turbines in “their backyards.” Most notable in their opposition has been an elderly group from the Oak Park Village development, citing concerns that Jim Stiles, owner of neighboring Super Fresh Produce, would put up a tower near their property.