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Town mulls height ordinance

Citizens and council members urged town residents Monday to keep seeking more information about a proposed wind turbine project for Tazewell County, Va. The Bluefield, Va., Town Council and Planning Commission conducted a joint public hearing before Monday's regular session to hear citizens' input about a proposed "Mountain Ridge Overlay" regulating the height of structures and buildings, and requiring a conditional use permit for tall buildings and structures inside town limits.

BLUEFIELD, Va. - Citizens and council members urged town residents Monday to keep seeking more information about a proposed wind turbine project for Tazewell County, Va.

The Bluefield, Va., Town Council and Planning Commission conducted a joint public hearing before Monday's regular session to hear citizens' input about a proposed "Mountain Ridge Overlay" regulating the height of structures and buildings, and requiring a conditional use permit for tall buildings and structures inside town limits.

Dominion and BP Wind Energy North America, Inc. have proposed building a large wind turbine project for East River Mountain near Bluefield, Va.

Company representatives will have a public meeting from 3 to 6 p.m. today at the Graham High School cafeteria.

Town residents and visitors speaking at Monday's joint hearing supported the project, opposed it or asked council members and planning commissioners to seek more information about windmills and their possible impact on the area.

Michael Goodrich of Dublin, Va., who owns 88 acres of property adjacent to the town, said he supported the project. Wind farms, which are in almost every state except Virginia, would benefit the region, he said.

Impact... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

BLUEFIELD, Va. - Citizens and council members urged town residents Monday to keep seeking more information about a proposed wind turbine project for Tazewell County, Va.

The Bluefield, Va., Town Council and Planning Commission conducted a joint public hearing before Monday's regular session to hear citizens' input about a proposed "Mountain Ridge Overlay" regulating the height of structures and buildings, and requiring a conditional use permit for tall buildings and structures inside town limits.

Dominion and BP Wind Energy North America, Inc. have proposed building a large wind turbine project for East River Mountain near Bluefield, Va.

Company representatives will have a public meeting from 3 to 6 p.m. today at the Graham High School cafeteria.

Town residents and visitors speaking at Monday's joint hearing supported the project, opposed it or asked council members and planning commissioners to seek more information about windmills and their possible impact on the area.

Michael Goodrich of Dublin, Va., who owns 88 acres of property adjacent to the town, said he supported the project. Wind farms, which are in almost every state except Virginia, would benefit the region, he said.

Impact such as tree clearing would be limited to windmill sites and roads leading to them, and the tops of mountains would not be leveled, Goodrich said. Property values would not decrease, and windmills actually increase tourism in some cases.

"If we stop this project, we can pretty much say that Virginia will be closed for business," he said.

Residents attending the meeting either opposed the windmill plan or encouraged the town council to learn more about the project.

"I'm very much opposed to the project," said Bill Evans of Bluefield, Va. "I don't think they will provide the electrical power they (companies) say they will. The aesthetics of it are damaging to the tourism of Tazewell County."

Council member Donnie Linkous said a change in town ordinances may have to name windmills specifically and not just tall structures, and make it specific on requiring bonds if windmills are erected. Linkous said he hoped that a vote on ordinances would be delayed until the council had more information.

Frank Britton, chairman of the Bluefield, Va. Planning Commission, said the town council was waiting for a recommendation from the commission. The commission's members hoped to make one during their next scheduled meeting on March 12.

Once a recommendation is made, the council will vote on whether to approve it, Britton said.

Mayor Don Harris said he encouraged residents to attend today's public meeting at Graham High School. Dominion and BP representatives will be present to speak with the public.


Source: http://www.bdtonline.com/lo...

FEB 23 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/19239-town-mulls-height-ordinance
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