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Wind turbine vote delayed six months; Poolesville will reconsider plan after drafting policy

Poolesville's Planning Commission has delayed a decision on permitting an energy-generating wind turbine while it develops a policy on alternative energy sources. If approved, the turbine, which John Speelman proposes building at his Poolesville Hardware store at 19961 Fisher Ave., would be the first wind generator in town.

Poolesville's Planning Commission has delayed a decision on permitting an energy-generating wind turbine while it develops a policy on alternative energy sources.

If approved, the turbine, which John Speelman proposes building at his Poolesville Hardware store at 19961 Fisher Ave., would be the first wind generator in town. Speelman has said he wants to lower his energy costs.

Speelman submitted his application in January and the commission spent the following months reviewing potential safety issues and whether the turbine would be at odds with the town's code, which doesn't specifically allow or forbid wind turbines.

"I think they're making a mountain out of a molehill," said Speelman, who added that he is trying to figure out his next move. "I'm just baffled. Windmills are getting more attention than they ever have before."

The commission deadlocked during a straw vote at its Wednesday meeting on a compromise to issue a permit that would expire after one year for the 50- to 60-foot monopole turbine. The five-member commission could not take a formal vote because the compromise included a setback stipulation that would have required Speelman to move the proposed location of the... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Poolesville's Planning Commission has delayed a decision on permitting an energy-generating wind turbine while it develops a policy on alternative energy sources.

If approved, the turbine, which John Speelman proposes building at his Poolesville Hardware store at 19961 Fisher Ave., would be the first wind generator in town. Speelman has said he wants to lower his energy costs.

Speelman submitted his application in January and the commission spent the following months reviewing potential safety issues and whether the turbine would be at odds with the town's code, which doesn't specifically allow or forbid wind turbines.

"I think they're making a mountain out of a molehill," said Speelman, who added that he is trying to figure out his next move. "I'm just baffled. Windmills are getting more attention than they ever have before."

The commission deadlocked during a straw vote at its Wednesday meeting on a compromise to issue a permit that would expire after one year for the 50- to 60-foot monopole turbine. The five-member commission could not take a formal vote because the compromise included a setback stipulation that would have required Speelman to move the proposed location of the turbine from the back of the property to the middle of the existing parking lot and submit a revised site plan.

Chairman George Coakley and Commissioner Chuck Stump voted in favor of the compromise. Commissioner Bob Bachman and Commissioner Liaison Link Hoewing were opposed.

Coakley cautioned Speelman to consider the likelihood of a rejection before he revised his plan.

Bachman and Hoewing proposed tabling Speelman's proposal for six months while the town develops policies on wind turbines and other alternative energy sources. The motion passed unanimously.

Town Attorney Alan Wright said the commission could approve the turbine as an accessory structure if it found the windmill was compatible with the Central Business District, where the store is located.

Commissioner Jerry Klobukowski testified against the wind turbine because he said it would not fit in with the look of the district. Residents Bob Pierce, an ecologist running for Poolesville commissioner, and Bill Kraegel, a teacher in Poolesville High School's Global Ecology Studies program, testified in favor.

"The viewscape I see is how we all live as humans, and I think a windmill is compatible with that," Kraegel said. "If it can be done safely, it's just another opportunity to put Poolesville on the map for another one of the wonderful things we do."


Source: http://www.gazette.net/stor...

APR 22 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/19959-wind-turbine-vote-delayed-six-months-poolesville-will-reconsider-plan-after-drafting-policy
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