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Frostburg unveils turbine ordinance

Frostburg city officials intend to allow residential wind turbines as high as 165 feet, according to an ordinance read for the first time and passed 4-0 at the mayor and council's public meeting Thursday. Vacationing councilwoman Susan Keller was absent. The ordinance will be presented again at the Aug. 20 council meeting, at which time public comment will be heard and a final vote taken.

Council schedules final vote on guidelines Aug. 20

FROSTBURG - Frostburg city officials intend to allow residential wind turbines as high as 165 feet, according to an ordinance read for the first time and passed 4-0 at the mayor and council's public meeting Thursday. Vacationing councilwoman Susan Keller was absent.

The ordinance will be presented again at the Aug. 20 council meeting, at which time public comment will be heard and a final vote taken.

Richard Harris, the city's community development director, read from the four-page ordinance, highlighting certain requirements.

"The height will be measured from the ground to the top of the structure plus the length of one rotor blade," Harris said. Wind energy structures must be set back from property lines a distance arrived at by multiplying the height by 1.1.

"Only wind energy systems that create power to be used on that property by the owner will be allowed," Harris said. Such systems may generate power directly to the home or into the power grid to offset power used in that home.

The ordinance would allow for such systems throughout the city, no matter the type of zoning in place.

The ordinance points out that if a wind turbine is... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Council schedules final vote on guidelines Aug. 20

FROSTBURG - Frostburg city officials intend to allow residential wind turbines as high as 165 feet, according to an ordinance read for the first time and passed 4-0 at the mayor and council's public meeting Thursday. Vacationing councilwoman Susan Keller was absent.

The ordinance will be presented again at the Aug. 20 council meeting, at which time public comment will be heard and a final vote taken.

Richard Harris, the city's community development director, read from the four-page ordinance, highlighting certain requirements.

"The height will be measured from the ground to the top of the structure plus the length of one rotor blade," Harris said. Wind energy structures must be set back from property lines a distance arrived at by multiplying the height by 1.1.

"Only wind energy systems that create power to be used on that property by the owner will be allowed," Harris said. Such systems may generate power directly to the home or into the power grid to offset power used in that home.

The ordinance would allow for such systems throughout the city, no matter the type of zoning in place.

The ordinance points out that if a wind turbine is placed atop a structure, the height is measured from the ground level to the top of the turbine.

Turbines will be considered special exceptions to zoning ordinances, meaning each case will go before the planning and zoning commission for approval.

Other requirements in the ordinance include:

• A clearance of not less than 15 feet between the ground and the lowest sweep of a blade.

• Supporting towers must be such as to eliminate the possibility that they can be climbed for the first 12 feet.

• Setbacks may be modified upon agreement by adjacent property owners.

• Guy wires that support a wind energy system must be at least 5 feet from property lines. They may not be attached to trees or structures.

• Systems must have braking, governing or feathering capabilities to prevent uncontrolled rotation.

• Exterior wiring must be underground.

• Systems shall not be lighted or lettered or contain advertising.

• Noise will not be louder than 55 decibels.

• Surfaces must be of nonreflective paint and may not alter the manufacturer's default color.

• Systems must be removed within 30 days after being inoperable for a minimum of six months.

There was no comment from the public or elected officials at the first reading of the ordinance.


Source: http://www.times-news.com/l...

JUL 19 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/21280-frostburg-unveils-turbine-ordinance
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