Windmill company hits hurdle in Auburn move

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AUBURN — A proposed windmill installation and servicing company needs a change in city zoning codes before it can move its base to Auburn.

Economic Development Director Roland Miller said the company, named Techwind, plans to make Auburn its home base. That involves building a power-generating windmill in the middle of the lot.

“It will become a showcase of what they do,” Miller said. “They plan to bring people in to show them how the windmills work and then how to install and service them.”

Auburn’s current General Business zoning regulations allow windmills in the city’s core but limits them to 45 feet in height, or four-stories — too short to be effective. The new language would change that too allow them to be as tall as needed, as long as the buffer around them increases as well.

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“The basic rule is, they can’t fall over and be on anyone else’s property,” Miller said. “So, if they are 100 feet tall, they need to be at least 100 feet away from all of the property lines.”

Councilors voted Monday to approve the zoning change allowing the windmills on first reading. They’ll vote on it a second time on March 22.

“This doesn’t mean that everyone is going to start installing electrical generating wind mills on their properties,” Miller said. “But it means that they can. It’s something that’s an option now.”

staylor@sunjournal.com

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