Land use committee approves conflict reduction list

Argen Duncan

The Joint Land Use Study Policy Committee on Monday approved presentation of a proposed study-area map and a list of possible actions to reduce conflicts in land and airspace use between Cannon Air Force Base and other communities.

The map and suggested actions will be presented to the public in a 6 p.m. Aug. 31 meeting at the Melrose Senior Citizens Center.

The committee wasn’t endorsing the proposed actions, but allowing further exploration and public comment on them, said Rudy Bauer of consulting company HDR Engineering Inc.

The proposed study area includes the base, the Melrose Bombing Range, associated protected air space and other areas.

The committee voted to have the public consider all but three of the 42 possible actions. They removed options to establish deed restrictions, identify and reduce dust impacts creating alternative energy source regulations.

Remaining options included such things as coordinating military vehicle routes, considering water issues, developing an ordinance dealing with tall structures where military planes might fly and developing wind and solar energy guidelines

“Wind power’s here to stay,” Bauer said. “You’ve got to co-exist.”

Larger wind turbines can scramble radar, said Deputy Base Civil Engineer Mike Poston.

Meeting attendees discussed whether to require people wanting to build structures taller than 75 feet in a mission-critical area to get approval or to only notify the base.

Col. Steve Kimball said sometimes the base needs to be able to require approval to have the ability to prevent construction of a problematic structure. Committee member and Curry County Commissioner Wendell Bostwick said requiring approval might retard property development because people wouldn’t want to go through the process.

The committee didn’t make a decision on the issue.

“You know, the height (of structures) and noise are two of the issues that are going to be critical,” Bostwick said.

He said he believed those issues could be handled as long as no one took away private property rights or gave the perception of doing so.

Public meeting information: Curry County Manager Lance Pyle at 763-6016.