Published May 10, 2012
City Hall officials in a Washington state town are reportedly tilting at one’s man windmill.
Ken Spring, of Longview, installed a 30-foot-tall refurbished farm windmill to a power a pump that draws well water into a 500-gallon storage tank for his young fruit trees three months ago, The Daily News Online reports.
But Spring, 71, erected the mill in a fenced back lot without a permit after inquiring more than a year ago about obtaining one. At the time, city officials told him the issue needed to go before its Planning Commission because Longview did not have any windmill regulations.
Spring was given two options: pay the city $2,200 to request a zoning change that would allow windmills under to-be-determined conditions, or he could argue windmills are a community issue and request a City Council member consider the matter for discussion.
“I’m not going to pay $3,000 to take it before the Planning Commission,” Spring told the website. “It’s the principle of the thing, not the money.”
Community Development Director John Brickley said he plans to ensure the city is on firm legal ground and will then take “corrective action,” The Daily News Online reports.
"We talked about that it would be gone over his dead body and that he does keep weapons at his property," Brickley said.
Spring, meanwhile, has readied a $25,000 “windmill legal defense fund” and vowed not to pay any fines.