Wind Zero was a good project. It was endorsed by almost all of the law enforcement community and it seemed to get the support of many locals.
Blackwater it was not, and despite the attempts to brand it that way, it was simply going to be a law enforcement training facility. That would have been ideal for the Imperial Valley considering how local officers, prospective officers and some fire officials have to be shipped to San Diego and Riverside counties at taxpayers’ expense to be trained to bring those skills back home for the protection and service of Valley residents.
Some will say that is the problem of the developer, and whether his project had the legs to stand up to a suit. But who has those types of financial resources these days?
The fact is that many projects planned for the Imperial Valley either don’t happen or are delayed through contention. If you asked the Brandon Webbs of the world — the mastermind behind Wind Zero — or any of those working on the particularly unpopular renewable energy projects, Imperial County is not very accommodating to high-dollar, high-impact business generation.
Is it a mentality? We’re not certain. But in a general sense, a city council will subsidize one restaurant, which amounts to bending over backward for part-time work, but projects like Wind Zero and other larger projects will be slowed to a crawl through unfriendly permitting and an absence of will to move forward quickly.
Imperial Valley loses projects because of this. Compound that idea with the NIMBYism that exists, the rush to litigation and rallies to keep certain industry out, and we seem to be cutting off our own noses to spite our face.
We want diversification, just not too diverse. We want development, if it’s the right kind. We like renewable energy, if it’s conveniently unobtrusive.
It’s a mentality that has to be overcome if we will rise above the things that inhibit growth. We must have growth here if we want better schools, greener parks, more amenities, all of the luxuries afforded communities with a strong economic base.
Are we going about it the right way when we drive away legitimate projects, or don’t get them a fair shake? And it often seems to be the critical, vocal few who lead the destruction of projects, while those in favor sit idly by and don’t mount the proper support.
This has to change, if we want to see change that is beneficial for the community.
THE ISSUE: The county rescinded permits tied to failed Wind Zero project.
WE SAY: Project was another done in by unfriendly environment and litigation.
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