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Air comments on wind turbine legislation at Jan. 7 hearing

Members of Team Smart, which stands for the group Support More Alternative Renewable Technology that formed a year ago to study the wind turbine issue in Baltimore County, will join other speakers at the Planning Board's public meeting at 5 p.m. in Towson. Key components of the Board's proposed legislation allow turbines on lots of 1 acre or more.

Lot size, decibel level, height limitations all part of proposed windmill regulations

A citizen group hopes change will be in the air as the county's Planning Board listens to comments on draft legislation to govern wind turbines Jan. 7.

Members of Team Smart, which stands for the group Support More Alternative Renewable Technology that formed a year ago to study the wind turbine issue in Baltimore County, will join other speakers at the Planning Board's public meeting at 5 p.m. in Towson.

Key components of the Board's proposed legislation allow turbines on lots of 1 acre or more. A 60-foot wind turbine is permitted by right; taller structures would be allowed by special exception, with no maximum height. Turbines could be mounted onto buildings and roofs. Sound levels can't exceed 55 decibels, except during wind storms or power outages, according to the draft legislation.

According to the American Speech-Language Hearing Association's Web site, 40 decibels is a quiet room, 50 is a moderate rainfall and 60 is a dishwasher.

Team Smart's eight members will present a counter-proposal to many of the Board's preliminary recommendations.

"It's our belief... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Lot size, decibel level, height limitations all part of proposed windmill regulations

A citizen group hopes change will be in the air as the county's Planning Board listens to comments on draft legislation to govern wind turbines Jan. 7.

Members of Team Smart, which stands for the group Support More Alternative Renewable Technology that formed a year ago to study the wind turbine issue in Baltimore County, will join other speakers at the Planning Board's public meeting at 5 p.m. in Towson.

Key components of the Board's proposed legislation allow turbines on lots of 1 acre or more. A 60-foot wind turbine is permitted by right; taller structures would be allowed by special exception, with no maximum height. Turbines could be mounted onto buildings and roofs. Sound levels can't exceed 55 decibels, except during wind storms or power outages, according to the draft legislation.

According to the American Speech-Language Hearing Association's Web site, 40 decibels is a quiet room, 50 is a moderate rainfall and 60 is a dishwasher.

Team Smart's eight members will present a counter-proposal to many of the Board's preliminary recommendations.

"It's our belief the recent draft is even more permissive than previous ones," said Leslie Reistrup, who co-chairs Team Smart with her husband, John.

Their recommendations include a maximum height of 75 feet and require special exceptions for all wind turbines. They also want minimum lot size of 3 acres.

Team Smart is asking noise level to be 45 decibels, or 5 decibels above ambient background noise.

"We live in a quiet neighborhood in Phoenix, and our noise is at about 30 decibels," said Reistrup, whose neighbor, Barry Antonelli, proposed the first-ever wind turbine in the county. His 120-foot wind turbine was approved in 2008 as an accessory structure, but neighbors appealed the decision. Since then, county planners realized the need for specific regulations for windmills or wind turbines.

In the past year, Team Smart members worked with a sound engineer and visited wind turbines in Carroll County and talked with communities in other states where wind turbines are permitted.

To read the Planning Board's most recent draft legislation, go to www.baltimorecountymd.gov/agencies/planning and click on Wind Turbines icon on the right-hand side.

Once the Board finalizes its recommendations, it will forward them to the County Council, which will also hold public hearings before voting to add them to the county's zoning regulations.

The Planning Board hearing is at 105 West Chesapeake Ave., Towson.


Source: http://www.explorebaltimore...

JAN 5 2010
http://www.windaction.org/posts/23985-air-comments-on-wind-turbine-legislation-at-jan-7-hearing
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