Article

Board votes to keep windmills in check

South Middleton Township supervisors Thursday adopted an ordinance to regulate the construction of wind energy facilities on both private and commercial sites. ..."We promote alternate sources of energy," said Chairman Bryan Gembusia. "Our goal is not to prohibit (windmills), we just don't want them to be obtrusive to the neighbors."

South Middleton Township supervisors Thursday adopted an ordinance to regulate the construction of wind energy facilities on both private and commercial sites.

South Middleton is one of several Cumberland County municipalities considering such an ordinance as the popularity of these facilities continues to rise across the country.

"We promote alternate sources of energy," said Chairman Bryan Gembusia. "Our goal is not to prohibit (windmills), we just don't want them to be obtrusive to the neighbors."

"We want to allow them, but without the negative impact," added Supervisor Rick Reighard.

The proposed ordinance limits wind energy facilities as a conditional use in the industrial zoning districts. "We'd really like to avoid a big line of them on top of the South Mountain," Reighard said.

One of the main concerns of the board is the noise produced by the large windmills. Some board members said it's not necessarily loud sound, but rather the low frequency vibrations produced by the structures.

The ordinance addresses that concern by setting a noise limit of 55 dBA (decibels adjusted) as measured at the exterior of any occupied building on a neighboring property.

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South Middleton Township supervisors Thursday adopted an ordinance to regulate the construction of wind energy facilities on both private and commercial sites.

South Middleton is one of several Cumberland County municipalities considering such an ordinance as the popularity of these facilities continues to rise across the country.

"We promote alternate sources of energy," said Chairman Bryan Gembusia. "Our goal is not to prohibit (windmills), we just don't want them to be obtrusive to the neighbors."

"We want to allow them, but without the negative impact," added Supervisor Rick Reighard.

The proposed ordinance limits wind energy facilities as a conditional use in the industrial zoning districts. "We'd really like to avoid a big line of them on top of the South Mountain," Reighard said.

One of the main concerns of the board is the noise produced by the large windmills. Some board members said it's not necessarily loud sound, but rather the low frequency vibrations produced by the structures.

The ordinance addresses that concern by setting a noise limit of 55 dBA (decibels adjusted) as measured at the exterior of any occupied building on a neighboring property.

The ordinance also requires that if the wind turbine is no longer in use, it be removed within 12 months of the end of its operation.

The ordinance also mandates that the use of personal standalone wind turbines be limited to properties containing five acres or more.

The board voted in favor of the ordinance, adding that it could be tweaked in the future as technology and more information becomes available. "Right now, we have nothing in place," Gembusia said. "This gives us some protection in place where we had none."


Source: http://cumberlink.com/artic...

JAN 24 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/18746-board-votes-to-keep-windmills-in-check
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