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(dailynews.com) After hearing pleas from more than a dozen Antelope Valley residents, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors took preliminary steps Tuesday to ban utility-scale wind turbines in unincorporated areas of the county.

The supervisors unanimously approved a draft Renewable Energy Ordinance that updated permitting and regulations on small-scale wind and solar projects and utility-scale solar projects.

Supervisor Michael Antonovich, whose district includes the Antelope Valley, proposed the ban on the large wind turbine projects, which would have been permitted to be up to 500 feet high under the proposed ordinance.

Antonovich said he was sympathetic to the residents’ concerns.

“Generating renewable energy is important and Antelope Valley residents have dealt with the negative effects of solar field development including dust generation, noise and thousands of acres of visual blight,” Antonovich said. “However, wind turbines are inappropriate and should be banned.”

The county’s Department of Regional Planning staff had recommended that the large wind farms, be allowed, but regulated. Utility-scale wind turbine projects generate electricity for off-site use and are usually contracted through a power-purchase agreement with a utility.

The county’s Supervising Regional Planner Susan Tae said the prohibition against utility-scale wind turbines would not diminish the region’s ability to produce renewable energy. She said the county has been receiving proposals for large-scale solar projects, not wind turbines.

“The board’s direction in terms of what they see are the types of renewable energy sources Los Angeles County should be producing and that’s solar,” Tae said

More than a dozen Antelope Valley residents said the wind turbines would destroy their vistas, impede aerial fire fighting efforts, create fugitive dust and noise and contribute to health concerns like valley fever.

At Antonovich’s request the board also directed the Department of Public Health to provide a report on procedures for requiring soil testing for valley fever before utility-scale renewable energy projects are built.

Frank Serafine, who owns Honey Hills Farms, told the board he supported renewable energy and uses solar and wind energy to power his property, but said he was opposed to the utility-scale wind turbines.

“Our entire valley is zoned agricultural,” Serafine said. “Why are we converting this beautiful land that was zoned this way from our forefathers into industrial power plants?”

Read more here: L.A. County supervisors to ban large wind turbines in unincorporated areas