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County wants more wind power; Public can comment on changing Land Use Code

The Land Use Department has scheduled a Thursday afternoon forum to collect ideas for revising current regulations to provide more clarity and possible flexibility for owners of property in unincorporated Boulder County who might want to install turbine facilities. Among the current Land Use Code requirements that might be standing in the way of such projects, Oxenfeld said, are maximum-height limits for structures in rural Boulder County. Those height restrictions vary, depending on the zoning district involved. Structures in residential districts, for example, can now be no taller than 30 feet above ground level, which would rule out a rooftop-mounted wind turbine if the tallest point of the house is already at or near that height.

Boulder County is soliciting suggestions for how its Land Use Code could be changed to accommodate small-scale wind-powered electric generators.

"We recognize that small wind electric systems can make a significant contribution to our nation's energy needs and to the county's sustainability initiatives," county planner Greg Oxenfeld said.

The Land Use Department has scheduled a Thursday afternoon forum to collect ideas for revising current regulations to provide more clarity and possible flexibility for owners of property in unincorporated Boulder County who might want to install turbine facilities.

Among the current Land Use Code requirements that might be standing in the way of such projects, Oxenfeld said, are maximum-height limits for structures in rural Boulder County.

Those height restrictions vary, depending on the zoning district involved. Structures in residential districts, for example, can now be no taller than 30 feet above ground level, which would rule out a rooftop-mounted wind turbine if the tallest point of the house is already at or near that height.

Even if the turbine's propeller blade is on a separate tower, Oxenfeld said, the manufacturers and proponents of such devices say they... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Boulder County is soliciting suggestions for how its Land Use Code could be changed to accommodate small-scale wind-powered electric generators.

"We recognize that small wind electric systems can make a significant contribution to our nation's energy needs and to the county's sustainability initiatives," county planner Greg Oxenfeld said.

The Land Use Department has scheduled a Thursday afternoon forum to collect ideas for revising current regulations to provide more clarity and possible flexibility for owners of property in unincorporated Boulder County who might want to install turbine facilities.

Among the current Land Use Code requirements that might be standing in the way of such projects, Oxenfeld said, are maximum-height limits for structures in rural Boulder County.

Those height restrictions vary, depending on the zoning district involved. Structures in residential districts, for example, can now be no taller than 30 feet above ground level, which would rule out a rooftop-mounted wind turbine if the tallest point of the house is already at or near that height.

Even if the turbine's propeller blade is on a separate tower, Oxenfeld said, the manufacturers and proponents of such devices say they ideally should be "30 feet above the highest object in close proximity" to take full advantage of the wind.

Thus, if the top of a tree line on the property is 50 feet high, proposals for wind generators might ask for a structure that's 80 feet high, Oxenfeld said, something the current county code would prohibit.

However, the technology of wind-powered electric generators "seems to be changing," Oxenfeld said, and future devices might not have to be as significantly tall as their predecessors.

Thursday's forum is the first step in developing possible proposals to amend the Land Use Code's provisions that apply to wind-powered electric generators.

 


Source: http://www.timescall.com/Ne...

MAR 24 2008
http://www.windaction.org/posts/13983-county-wants-more-wind-power-public-can-comment-on-changing-land-use-code
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