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Debate over turbine noise and other wind-energy issues is expected to continue in Farmington and New Vineyard, where town officials have prepared ordinances to regulate wind energy within their respective borders.
Voters will consider the proposals at annual town meetings in March and April, according to town officials. Selectmen and town officials plan to review public comments and possibly make revisions before final versions are presented to voters.
A final review could come Monday for Tippecanoe County's rules governing wind energy systems that are expected to sprout here in the next few years.
Proposed changes to the county ordinance have sat on the back burner since early December, when some residents raised concern about raising noise limits for the systems.
Just days after the Fairfield Township Board approved a one-year moratorium on siting of wind turbines in the township, the Zoning Board of Appeals ordered Orisol Energy US Inc. to take down a 262-foot tall meteorological tower the company had erected. Both votes were unanimous.
A public hearing will be held late next month regarding a new wind district to facilitate Pheasant Run, a possible wind farm on the southwest side of the county, following action by the Huron County Planning Commission Wednesday.
Pheasant Run is one of two projects that RES Americas submitted requests for new wind districts in September 2010.
The ordinance includes rules for commercial wind energy facilities on permits, approvals, oversight and operations. It is designed for municipalities in New York, but could be modified for use in other states. The center will issue a revised version after receiving comments on this draft.
But locals who have worked for protective wind power ordinances here don't think the law will stand up to scrutiny.
Debates such as this one about turbine noise and other wind-energy issues are expected to continue in Farmington and New Vineyard, where town officials have prepared ordinances to regulate wind energy within their respective borders.
Voters will consider the proposals at annual town meetings in March and April.
On Tuesday the board was divided, with Mr. Murphy and Mr. Foreman arguing that Mr. Gore had erred in not requiring the town to apply for a special permit to erect the wind turbine. On the other side were Mr. Erickson and Ms. Johnson who defended Mr. Gore's ruling.
Who is right? Based on what the board's attorney, Mark Bobrowski of Concord, said, it is a gray area based upon inconsistencies in the town's zoning bylaws.
But building the turbine on the second site — on land adjacent to the Lake Express car ferry at 2330 S. Lincoln Memorial Drive — could violate the state Public Trust Doctrine, according to an opinion by Stuart Mukamal, an assistant city attorney. The doctrine maintains the lakes and rivers belong to all Wisconsin citizens. The public’s right to access the waterways is legally well-established.
The challenge the board faces at Town Meeting is to convince the public that there is a need for the bylaw. Planning Board Chairman Stephen Themelis was quick to point out that without a bylaw, almost anything could be constructed anywhere in town without consideration of the permitting restrictions defined in the proposed bylaw.
"With no bylaw, anything goes," he said.
The opponents of a controversial proposal for two tall wind turbines, poking from the tree line near Route 295, were prepared to criticize the project Thursday night.
But the Zoning Board of Review voted to wait at least 90 days to resume the public hearing on the proposal, citing the need to gather more information.
Windsor said that she suggested a moratorium earlier in the month to allow the Planning Commission time to adequately address the issue. Ultimately, the Council agreed that the commission needs to move as quickly as possible to address the issue as part of the Jamestown Comprehensive Community Plan.
Monday's arctic air didn't quell heated rhetoric as the Saugatuck Township Planning Commission again mulled and tabled establishing windmill standards.
"Our question is, ‘Will the township establish procedures regarding sites, setbacks, noise, vibrations, quantity and more or have standards set for us?'"
Citizen Vicki Lepior didn't buy it. "They want to put one of these turbines in my back yard," she said. "They are noisy, dangerous and an eyesore."
A packed room gave the Ellis County Joint Planning Commission a resounding round of applause Tuesday night after the commission voted 5-2 to recommend changes to the wind energy zoning regulations to the Ellis County Commission. ...The zoning commission recommended changing the current 10 times the tip height of the wind turbine setback to 1,000 feet and a noise decibel regulation of 50 decibels.
One of Ellis County's most talked about topics during the past few years will be in the spotlight once again on Tuesday night.
During the monthly Ellis County Joint Planning Commission meeting at 7 p.m., committee members will host a public hearing on changes to the county's wind energy zoning regulations that were proposed by Mark Bannister of Butterfield Wind during the committee's December meeting.
Wind farms remain a hot button issue in Woodford County.
On Tuesday night, the County Board voted 10-5 to pass a resolution to temporarily halt issuing new wind farm permits until Sept. 21, pending the state's attorney's decision on the legality of the resolution.
Regional planning agencies on both the Cape and Vineyard released draft plans last month to deal with wind-energy projects in state waters under their jurisdiction. The Martha's Vineyard Commission's model regulations for island towns also cover land-based turbines, while the Cape Cod Commission is handling terrestrial projects with a separate set of rules.
Buried in a regulatory reform bill proposed by Gov. Scott Walker earlier this week lies a provision that wind energy insiders say could shut down 12 wind farm projects, cost investors billions and essentially kill the industry in the state.
The committee voted 9-1, with leaseholder Michele W. McQueer casting the opposing vote, to recommend noise limits proposed by sound expert Paul D. Schomer.
He proposed three separate limits for different times of the day and night, including 45 decibels between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., 40 decibels between 7 and 10 p.m. and 35 decibels between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.
Block said the proposed definition of renewable energy facilities is too vague and leaves the door open to excessive development.
"What they want to do is open up the town to anything that can be construed as renewable without any controls or limitations on it," he said.
He also warned if the amendment passes, the Tuttle Hill project would be all but assured.