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Carson planning commission approves windmill ordinance

Owning a private windmill will be easier and cheaper under an ordinance approved by the Carson City Planning Commission on Wednesday. Under the plan, the city will no longer require a $2,200 permit application fee and planning commission approval for a windmill. The ordinance will go to the city board of supervisors next for final approval.

Owning a private windmill will be easier and cheaper under an ordinance approved by the Carson City Planning Commission on Wednesday.

Under the plan, the city will no longer require a $2,200 permit application fee and planning commission approval for a windmill.

The ordinance will go to the city board of supervisors next for final approval.

Windmills can be up to 90 feet tall or the length of a property. Noise can be up to 50 decibels at homes and 55 decibels on other private land. The ordinance puts no limit on the number of windmills on a property.

Both planning staff and commissioners said the city had to make changes because of state law. Local governments can't "unreasonably" restrict private wind, solar or water energy systems under the law.

Windmill owners will have to get a building permit under the city ordinance. This will cost between $50 and $200, based on the price of the windmill.

Several people told planning commissioners how important the changes were for alternative energy.

Leslie Medeiros, owner of the Solar Store in Carson City, said anyone who thinks a windmill is... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Owning a private windmill will be easier and cheaper under an ordinance approved by the Carson City Planning Commission on Wednesday.

Under the plan, the city will no longer require a $2,200 permit application fee and planning commission approval for a windmill.

The ordinance will go to the city board of supervisors next for final approval.

Windmills can be up to 90 feet tall or the length of a property. Noise can be up to 50 decibels at homes and 55 decibels on other private land. The ordinance puts no limit on the number of windmills on a property.

Both planning staff and commissioners said the city had to make changes because of state law. Local governments can't "unreasonably" restrict private wind, solar or water energy systems under the law.

Windmill owners will have to get a building permit under the city ordinance. This will cost between $50 and $200, based on the price of the windmill.

Several people told planning commissioners how important the changes were for alternative energy.

Leslie Medeiros, owner of the Solar Store in Carson City, said anyone who thinks a windmill is ugly isn't looking at the issue correctly.

"It gets more beautiful the less I pay for energy," she said.

Windmill owners can get more than $8,000 in state and federal rebates, said Scott Gerz of NV Energy.

Wind is sporadic in Carson City, he said, but the ordinance was something the city had to look at.

"Solar, wind, hydro are here," he said. "They are going to be here to stay."

Several commissioners said the city had to put a height limit on windmills. A windmill over 90 feet tall could ruin views, they said.

People would be angry if the issue was cell phone towers instead of windmills, Commissioner Steve Reynolds said.

"Has the public really thought about what can sit there across town?" he said.

Dave Campbell of Carson City told commissioners the sound and sight of windmills will interfere with his enjoyment of his home.

The neighbors of windmill owners should have to approve those windmills before they go up, he said.

"They're the ones who have to live with this," he said.


Source: http://www.nevadaappeal.com...

JAN 29 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/18826-carson-planning-commission-approves-windmill-ordinance
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