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Carlton wind moratorium approved; Residents seek to protect property rights

The Carlton Town Board approved a one-year moratorium on commercial wind turbines Monday, after more than 50 residents came to a public hearing to oppose the idea. The board unanimously approved the measure on a 3-0 vote after Town Chairman Dave Hardtke said he received six or seven phone calls from residents who were contacted by the Ohio-based Element Energy to lease their property for wind generation.

The Carlton Town Board approved a one-year moratorium on commercial wind turbines Monday, after more than 50 residents came to a public hearing to oppose the idea.

The board unanimously approved the measure on a 3-0 vote after Town Chairman Dave Hardtke said he received six or seven phone calls from residents who were contacted by the Ohio-based Element Energy to lease their property for wind generation.

Element Energy seeks to lease more than 18,000 acres for 111 commercial turbines as part of a wind farm between Kewaunee and Two Rivers. Wind turbines would be built on properties in the towns of West Kewaunee, Two Creeks, Mishicot and Two Rivers.

Property owners elsewhere have lost rights after signing lease agreements to site wind turbines on their land, according to Jeff Roberts, a town of Mishicot resident. Turbines have had an impact on cell phone and TV reception.

Carlton residents could have concerns if people in neighboring towns agree to the Element Energy proposal, Carlton Town Supervisor Steve Tadisch said. A state wind energy ordinance proposal may supersede state and county setback ordinances, he said.

Residents who sign... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

The Carlton Town Board approved a one-year moratorium on commercial wind turbines Monday, after more than 50 residents came to a public hearing to oppose the idea.

The board unanimously approved the measure on a 3-0 vote after Town Chairman Dave Hardtke said he received six or seven phone calls from residents who were contacted by the Ohio-based Element Energy to lease their property for wind generation.

Element Energy seeks to lease more than 18,000 acres for 111 commercial turbines as part of a wind farm between Kewaunee and Two Rivers. Wind turbines would be built on properties in the towns of West Kewaunee, Two Creeks, Mishicot and Two Rivers.

Property owners elsewhere have lost rights after signing lease agreements to site wind turbines on their land, according to Jeff Roberts, a town of Mishicot resident. Turbines have had an impact on cell phone and TV reception.

Carlton residents could have concerns if people in neighboring towns agree to the Element Energy proposal, Carlton Town Supervisor Steve Tadisch said. A state wind energy ordinance proposal may supersede state and county setback ordinances, he said.

Residents who sign leases may not realize they could lose their rights as property owners, said Jeff Roberts, a town of Mishicot resident. They also could lose their cell phone and TV reception, as well as have to live with the noise of turbines.

Gary Holly, a town of Carlton resident, learned Fond du Lac County residents lost some of their rights after talking to them last week.

He described one property owner who signed a waiver agreement to permit a wind turbine near his home as someone who "looked down. He was a beaten man."

Lynn Holly, a business operator from the Tisch Mills area, said she learned about the issue two weeks ago. Property owners who sign contracts cannot discuss the issue with anyone, she said.

Until now, the state has had to go through local town zoning ordinances to site wind turbines. But the Wisconsin Legislature could give power companies the right to set those standards, according to Jerome Hlinak, a town of Mishicot resident. He is a member of Wisconsin Independent Citizens Opposed to Wind Turbine Sites (WIND COWS).

Town of Carlton residents need time to understand all the concerns associated with wind turbines, said Rick Phillips, a town resident.

While the Wisconsin Legislature has mandated exploration of renewable energy, he referred to the state's efforts as a "knee-jerk reaction" that needs to be thought out.

Green energy grants that power companies are eligible for can be pulled, Hardtke said. Property owners then can lose money, too.

When people sign lease agreements for wind power, Becky Paplham said they should consider the long-term impact on residents with young families.
A state initiative on wind energy could be established to override any town or county ordinances. While Manitowoc County has a 1,000-foot zoning setback, the state could eliminate that.

Hlinak wants people to be concerned about changes in state law that could eliminate county, town and individual property rights.

"I feel we're losing local control in our township with the state Public Service Commission and the Legislature stepping in," Hardtke said. "They don't care how it affects us here."


Source: http://www.greenbaypressgaz...

MAR 31 2010
http://www.windaction.org/posts/25452-carlton-wind-moratorium-approved-residents-seek-to-protect-property-rights
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