The City of Corpus Christi may have effectively killed a proposed wind farm project in the Chapman Ranch area, just outside the city limits, in a single vote at Tuesday's council meeting.
Council members discussed negotiations with the project developers during a lengthy executive session at Tuesday's council meeting. When they emerged, they were clearly dissatisfied with their meeting with Apex Clean Energy, the developers who wanted to build the southside wind farm.
The Chapman Ranch wind farm would encompass 17,000 acres where wind turbines would be erected. The land is located between Chapman Ranch Road and the City landfill.
In the past, City officials and residents have expressed concern that such a project would kill property values and stop the growth of the city on the southside, which is the only avenue left for city expansion. Following the executive session with no discussion, Councilman David Loeb made a motion.
"I move to direct the city manager to begin the process of annexing the area of the extraterritorial jurisdiction where the proposed Chapman Ranch wind farm is located," Loeb said.
When asked if the motion would effectively stop the wind farm from being built, Loeb said, "It doesn't, but it will make them subject to about $3 million a year in city taxes at the very least, and our hope is that we can come to a negotiated settlement. But if not, this is a necessary step for us to move forward with protecting the citizens."
Besides protecting growth on the southside, Loeb said the council also wants to protect the city's military, and the presence of wind turbines next to the Naval Air Station's training facility could negatively impact NAS operations.
Loeb said the annexation process will take several months and will allow negotiations to continue with Apex. 3News reached out to Apex Clean Energy for reaction to Tuesday's vote, but the company has yet to respond.