Camas Prairie, Elmore County, Idaho

Category Archives: Conditional Use Permits

EVENT: Cat Creek Energy Public Hearing for Amending the Development Agreement with Elmore County

 

What It’s About?

Can you attend the public hearing at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, December 14, 2018, at the Elmore County Courthouse regarding the Development Agreement between Cat Creek Energy and “the people”?

The Elmore County Commissioners will accept public testimony regarding the possibility of giving Cat Creek Energy full control of a new domestic water source from the South Fork of the Boise River and Anderson Ranch Reservoir.

We don’t believe handing a Gooding County-based corporation the authority, responsibility, and control over Elmore County’s domestic drinking water is a good idea.

Documentation Regarding This Public Hearing

Currently, there are three documents directly related to this December 14, 201,8 public hearing. You can and should download/read the following.

#1. The Public Hearing Notice: “Dec 14, 2018, Public Hearing Notice – Cat Creek Energy Development Agreement” that can be viewed or downloaded HERE Dec 14, 2018 Public Hearing Notice - Cat Creek Energy Development Agreement or at the direct link found at http://catcreek-energy.com/download/731/

#2. Option #1 (blue document) First Amendment to Development Agreement – 14 Dec 2018 Hearing: It can be viewed or downloaded HERE OPTION #1-First Amendment to Development Agreement - For the Dec. 14, 2018 Hearing or at the direct link found at http://catcreek-energy.com/download/755/

#3. Option #2 (orange document) First Amendment to Development Agreement – 14 Dec 2018 Hearing can be viewed or downloaded HERE OPTION #2-First Amendment to Development Agreement - For the Dec. 14, 2018 Hearing or at the direct link found at http://catcreek-energy.com/download/758/

 

When and Where

1:30 p.m. On Friday, December 14, 2018, at the Elmore County Courthouse in Mountain Home, Idaho.

Address: 150 South 4 East, Mountain Home, ID 83647

Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/W1vikDroruw

 

Take Action

We believe it is important the residents of Elmore County and anyone who loves our backcountry for it’s abundant recreational opportunities to tell the county commissioners you are opposed to the entire Cat Creek Energy project and you oppose the idea of allowing this corporation to control our future domestic water delivery system.

If you cannot attend this public hearing please call the two Elmore County Commissioners who will make the decision whether to allow the Cat Creek Energy project to move forward.

Commissioner Wes Wootan (208)599-3131

Commissioner Bud Corbus: (208) 599-1294

FYI: Commissioner Hofer has been recused from any decision making authority on the Cat Creek Energy project.

Anyone who wishes to testify, but is unable to attend the 1:30 p.m., Friday, December 14, 2018, hearing, may submit written testimony prior to the hearing by sending it to the:

Elmore County Land Use and Building Department
520 East 2nd South Street
Mountain Home, Idaho, 83647

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Why Did Cat Creek Energy Decide to Unlink the Project Permits?

All five conditional use permits need to be approved to make the Cat Creek Energy project financially viable.” – Creek Creek Energy Spokesman in 2016

Throughout the permitting process, almost every Cat Creek Energy spokesman testified that all five parts of the project needed to be approved or they couldn’t move forward. The permitting process started in 2015 and ended in 2018.

What We Heard:

They’ll never get federal approval for the power lines in sage grouse territory or water rights for their proposed Cat Creek Reservoir.” – Many people who attended the 2016 and 2017 CUP approval hearings.

 

In 2018, after the Elmore County Commissioners surprisingly approved the five conditional use permits, Cat Creek Energy decided the project really might be financially viable with only a portion (huge wind farm or 590-acre solar plant) getting built out. It’s almost like Cat Creek Energy intended to pull the wool over our eyes while getting the county to approve their mega energy project.

 

Water Rights Problem

Cat Creek Energy has run into significant headwinds in obtaining water rights for their proposed reservoir on Little Camas Prairie. About 20 different private and governmental entities filed separate objections and protests to Cat Creek Energy’s water right permit application they filed with the Idaho Department of Water Resources (IDWR). Elmore County “was” one of those entities that objected to Cat Creek getting their hands on Anderson Ranch Reservoir water.

It’s Unacceptable

We find it suspicious that Cat Creek Energy LLC suddenly found financial viability in a piecemeal approach to their mega-energy complex after the commissioners approved the project and years of saying the CUPs needed to be linked.

We find it wholly unacceptable that Elmore County would allow the project to move forward knowing that the Gooding County-based corporation likely knew they’d never get federal approval for the “pump storage hydro” portion of the project and likely will never get the water rights from Anderson Ranch Reservoir either.

We expect the Elmore County Commissioners to postpone any further approvals of the Cat Creek Energy project until the conditional use permits are once again linked together.

Why? Many residents believed the project would never be able to move forward as a complete project and stopped testifying and paying attention. We’re still paying attention, however.

Reference: Elmore County, Idaho Conditional Use Permits for the Cat Creek Energy Project.

  • CUP-2015-03 / Transmission Lines
  • CUP-2015-04 / Pump Storage Hydro- Electrical Generating Facility
  • CUP-2015-05 / Solar – Electrical Generating Facility)
  • CUP-2015-06 / Wind – Electrical Generating Facility)
  • CUP-2015-07 / Electrical Substation

 

Take Action: Write a letter to the Elmore County Commissioners.

  • Tell them the Cat Creek Energy Project is bad for Elmore County’s big game herds.
  • Tell them Elmore County needs to control our own destiny when it comes to “domestic water issues.”
  • Tell them to relink all five Conditional Use Permits like was originally agreed upon.
  • Tell them our tourism industry will never get established with an industrialized energy complex in our wild and scenic backcountry.

 

Address your letter to:

Elmore County Land Use and Building Department
ATTN: Cat Creek Energy Project
520 East 2nd South Street
Mountain Home, Idaho, 83647

 

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“Transmission Lines Would Run From the Southern Shore” …

What the Anderson Ranch Reservoir view might look like when the Cat Creek Energy project is finished.

Elmore County’s own engineering study said this of the Cat Creek Energy project:

“Very limited information on the electrical line from the powerhouse to the
substation is presented. Voltage and construction information are absent. We surmise this line (34kV?) would run from the southern shoreline of Anderson Ranch Reservoir, ascend to the canyon rim through open forest habitat and then cross mixed grass land and shrub steppe to the substation. The line has the potential to cause a number of impacts to wildlife which would need to be addressed.”

In 2016, the Elmore County Planning and Zoning Board said the the vast majority of the project was “Not Compatible” with the surrounding environment when they denied Cat Creek Energy the permits to build a large-scale energy project in our backcountry.

Who hasn’t fished, boated, camped or driven along Anderson Ranch Reservoir? I can’t imaging anyone in Elmore County that hasn’t been along the shores of our finest body of water. This is what Cat Creek Energy considers “compatible” with the surroundings?

Take Action

Call, write to and/or email your government representatives and tell them you are opposed to the entire Cat Creek Energy project.

or, be bold and write a letter to:

Cat Creek Energy LLC
398 S. 9th St., Ste 240
Boise, ID 853701

List of addresses: http://catcreek-energy.com/mailing-addresses-for-cat-creek-energy-issues/

Reference: Attachment 2 found at Attachment 2 - Independent Review of the Cat Creek Energy Wildlife Management Plan

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The 5 Conditional Use Permits (CUP) of the Cat Creek Energy Project

In 2017, the Elmore County Commissioners approved five different conditional use permits as part of a mega-energy project slated to be built in Elmore County. Cat Creek Energy has always told the residents that all five parts of the project needed to be approved to make it financially feasible. The commissioners approved those five CUPs with that verbal stipulation.

However, that is not the case anymore. Cat Creek Energy and Elmore County have separated the CUP and the project might be able to move ahead in a piecemeal progression. That was not the way it was sold to the residents and taxpayers of Elmore County.

A Conditional Use Permit: Elmore County has specific uses which are allowed only after review by the Planning & Zoning Commission. These uses require a Conditional Use Permit (CUP). The allowable uses for each zone are listed in the County Zoning Ordinance.
Note … The Elmore County Planning and Zoning Commission denied all 5 Cat Creek Energy CUPs in 2015. The County Commissioners overruled P & Z in 2017.

Here is a brief explanation of these very complex and seemingly ever-changing permits.

Meeting/Hearing Date: 6/15/2016 — Date Report Compiled: 6/8/2016

CUP-2015-03: Conditional Use Permit for transmission lines in the Agriculture and Area of Critical Concern Overlay Zones. Case Number: CUP-2015-03. The site is located in portions of Sections 26 and 35, Township 1N, Range 9E, B.M., Sections 2, 3, 10, and 11, Township 1S, Range 9E, B.M.

CUP-2015-04: Conditional Use Permit for pump storage hydro electrical generating facility in the Agriculture and Area of Critical Concern Overlay Zones. Case Number: CUP-2015-04. The site is located in portions of Sections 26, 27, 35, and 36, Township 1N, Range 9E, B.M and portions of sections of 1 and 2, Township 1S, Range 9E, B.M.

CUP-2015-05: Conditional Use Permit for a PV solar electrical generating facility in the Agriculture Zone. Case Number: CUP-2015-05. The site is located in portions of Sections 2, 3, 10, and 11, Township 1S, Range 10E, B.M.

CUP-2015-06: Conditional Use Permit for a wind turbine electrical generating facility in the Agriculture and Area of Critical Concern Overlay Zones. Case Number: CUP-2015-06. The site is located in portions of Sections 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, 22, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, and 33, Township 1S, Range 10E, B.M., Sections 19, 20, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, and 33, Township 1N, Range 10E, B.M., Sections 25, 26, 27, 35, and 36, Township 1N, Range 9E, B.M., Sections 1 2, 3, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 22, 23, and 24, Township 1S, Range 9E, B.M.

CUP-2015-07: Conditional Use Permit for a substation in the Agriculture Zone. Case Number: CUP-2015-07. The site is located in portions of Sections 2 and 11, Township 1S, Range 9E, B.M.

Applicant:
Cat Creek Energy, LLC
1989 South 1875 East
Gooding, ID 83330

Case Number(s):

  • CUP-2015-03 (Transmission Lines)
  • CUP-2015-04 (Pump Storage Hydro- Electrical Generating Facility)
  • CUP-2015-05 (Solar- Electrical Generating Facility)
  • CUP-2015-06 (Wind- Electrical Generating Facility)
  • CUP-2015-07 (Substation)

Location: A common way of locating the property for all the CUP’s is from Mountain Home travel US 20 north for 25.4 miles to Wood Creek Road. Center of projects is approximately 3.2 miles north on Wood Creek Road.

Reference: The 5 Condition Use Permits of the Cat Creek Energy Project – http://catcreek-energy.com/download/670/

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