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By a 3-2 vote, the Zoning Board of Appeals recommended denial of Ireland-based Mainstream Renewable Power's proposed 53 turbines. The County Board, which meets May 21, has the final say.
The decision ended a decade in which the wind energy industry largely drove the county's approval process.
Spruce Mountain Wind representatives last week talked with Woodstock officials about possibly altering the town's new wind ordinance to someday allow them to replace their existing turbines with ones that would be quieter overall.
The ordinance restricts future wind projects by imposing a lower maximum decibel level for sound generated by the turbines and greater setback from property lines, along with other requirements.
John Alexander, chairman of the panel, said that setbacks are really the one area where the county has some authority. Alexander said residents who live as far as 1,600 feet or more from turbines have testified that they are affected by the noise.
But the panel also discussed that if the setbacks are increased more than the existing 1,200 feet, it could eliminate any further development for wind energy.
"With the instability, uncertainty and lack of direction related to the issues pertaining to wind energy throughout the State, the Huron County Board of Commissioners will not schedule any additional wind turbine action on the Board's agenda until there is resolution to these issues," the letter states.
The Local Government Association (LGA) will lobby the State Government to ban wind turbines from suburban backyards.
The move comes after Burnside Council unsuccessfully lobbied the government to close a planning loophole that allowed wind turbines up to 10m tall to be erected without development approval.
The Akron Township Planning Commission and also the Fairgrove Planning Commission each held a hearing this week on NextEra Energy Resources' proposed "Tuscola Wind II" development in those two townships.
The issue of wind turbines remained up in the air on Thursday as the panel assembled to discuss the issue adjourned without a decision.
Selected county board members as well as other community representatives meet at noon Thursday to discuss comments and information provided by residents who attended a public forum on Monday regarding wind turbines.
Senators took a bill that called for a three-year moratorium on large-scale wind developments, pared it down to legislation that would have required large energy generation projects to conform to Act 250 land-use criteria, and then stripped it to $75,000 worth of studies for the House to consider.
The high court case followed accusations by wind farm developer RWE Npower Renewables that two proposed wind farms had been rejected by the council as a result of the "emerging policy" of new "buffer zones", despite the proposals being in line with the established local policy that was "permissive" of wind farms.
The appeal of the Herkimer County Supreme Court's ruling upholding the Town of Litchfield's ban on industrial wind turbines has been withdrawn.
That means the lawsuit against the town is over and the town's law banning industrial wind turbines stands.
"Residents and abutters have little to no opportunity to have their voices heard in objections or their questions answered," Ms. Chase said. "Despite the numerous procedural errors that have occurred, the town continues to blindly allow this ill-sited project to deleteriously impact the public health, safety and welfare of the people who have made their home on Bearsden Road for years."
In January, the company cleared one regulatory hurdle when it received a land-use permit from Clinton County. But in the months prior, each of the three townships passed ordinances that could hinder Forest Hill's efforts to begin construction before the end of the year.
The decision came down Friday in the lawsuit brought about by Wainfleet Wind Energy Inc. and its owners the Loeffen family and Tom Rankin, head of Rankin Construction, after the township passed its setback bylaw last year.
The bylaw was an attempt by to supersede the Green Energy Act, which prescribes a 550-metre setback — the distance between a residential property and a turbine.
The Tipton County Board of Zoning Appeals placement of conditions on the Prairie Breeze permit of a 1,500 foot setback from property lines and development of a property value guarantee ...could make future wind farm development in the county impossible, or difficult at best, he said.
Two state senators have introduced a bill that, if approved, could ensure that wind turbines will not rise above Windham.
The bill requires that the state Public Service Board approve such a project only if it complies with Windham’s town plan. And Windham’s town plan bans commercial turbines.
Windham County Sen. Peter Galbraith says it’s a simple matter of prioritizing local control on a project that could have widespread impacts in Windham.
At the opening night of annual town meeting, voters approved a bylaw that dramatically reduces the size of wind turbines allowed in town.
The planning board presented the revised turbine siting bylaw Monday night, about five months after a similar bylaw was rejected at fall's town meeting.
County officials have been looking at what revisions might be needed to its 2009 wind energy systems ordinance -- capping wind turbine sound at 35 decibels -- to be defendable in court. Turbine developers have called the limit "exclusionary zoning" that essentially eliminates energy systems, compared to the 55-decibel state of Michigan guideline.
The county has concerns about the project, which includes the size of the turbines, the noise they will generate and if a wind farm will be a danger to migratory birds.
APEX Wind's project calls for turbines that could be 520 to 590 feet tall from the tower's base to the tip of a blade at the 12 o'clock position.
Marshall County commissioners may have put the kibosh on a commercial wind farm in the area.
Monday, commissioners decided they will have County Attorney Jim Clevenger draft a resolution to ban commercial wind farms in the county. Once the resolution is prepared, it will go to the Plan Commission for a vote, then several public hearings will be held before the ban can be made official.
Wind turbine towers on lots less than one acre can be no taller than the height of the home, plus 10 percent. The tallest allowed is 125 feet, and those only on lots of five acres or more. None can be located in the front yard.