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Residents Plan To File Suit After San Leandro City Council Approves Windmill

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Windmills (Fred Tanneau/Getty Images)

Windmills (Fred Tanneau/Getty Images)

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SAN LEANDRO (KCBS) – Homeowners in San Leandro’s Heron Bay Homeowners Association walked away disappointed from a City Council meeting Monday night, after the council voted five to one in favor of a proposed windmill project by Halus Power Systems.

Halus, a company that installs refurbished windmills for the purpose of generating electricity, has proposed erecting a 100 ft. tall windmill roughly 500 ft. from the boundary of Heron Bay.

San Leandro’s Board of Zoning Adjustments approved the proposal in February.

“In the total disregard of what it does to the property values, the esthetics of the association…bay marshes – which are protected, I frankly don’t understand why the federal government isn’t interested in this thing that close to the federal marshes. It’s going to effect bird patterns,” attorney Alan Berger argued on behalf of the association, hoping to convince the councilmembers to overrule the Board of Zoning Adjustments’ earlier decision.

“The largest turbines in the world are 500, 600 ft tall. This one is 100 ft. tall. So not all turbines, of course, are the same, and this is actually a pretty small unit,” Halus founder Louis Rigaud countered.

After a two-hour period of discussion and comment, a majority of councilmembers voted in favor of the project. Councilwoman Ursula Reed was the lone no vote; councilman Benny Lee recused himself. He is a former officer of the association, which is made up of 629 households.

At the conclusion of the meeting, the homeowners said they would file suit to block the project.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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