Joint Land Use committee puts decision on tall structures to officials

Argen Duncan

The Joint Land Use Study committee stopped short when it came to tall buildings Wednesday, opting instead to ask local officials to consider implementing a series of policy recommendations.

The committee’s decision sends recommendations to the Roosevelt and Curry County commissions. Commissioners can then implement those recommendations if and when they choose.

On tall structures, the committee consensus was to recommend counties establish policy in which landowners wanting to build a structure taller than 200 feet, such as a wind turbine, would contact the county, which would inform Cannon.

Cannon would not be able to approve or deny the structure, but would be able to require marking and lighting on it.

Pilots would be able to work around the structure during training missions as well.

The motion to send the study to county commissions with a recommendation for support, providing changes discussed during the meeting were made, passed by a vote of 10 to 1.

Committee member Hoyt Pattison of Curry County voted against the plan.

Pattison said Cannon Air Force Base officials should work with individuals for what they need, and everyone else shouldn’t be “saddled” with rules. He didn’t think not having a joint land use plan would hurt the base’s mission or the ability to get government money.

Wendell Bostwick, a Curry County commissioner, said without recommendations in place, government money wouldn’t be forthcoming to help with obstacles in working with the base. Not passing the plan would affect the area’s ability to support the base’s mission, he said.

Study project manager Rudy Bauer said the most controversial issues in the plan are economic impact data and the recommendations concerning tall structures.

The committee agreed that Bauer would update economic impact data to include the most recent information available for Cannon, agriculture and the railroads.

The committee identifies potential compatibility issues between communities in Curry and Roosevelt counties and Cannon Air Force Base.

The JLUS draft can be found online at www.cannonafbjlus.org or can be requested at the Curry County administration office.