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Lewes places moratorium on wind turbines

The University of Delaware's new 253-foot-high wind turbine already has the City of Lewes looking toward the future. How should the city handle requests from property owners seeking to install a residential version of a wind turbine? ...Vaughan said the city has to consider the impact residential wind turbines would have on Lewes' streetscape.

City to develop ordinance for residences

The University of Delaware's new 253-foot-high wind turbine already has the City of Lewes looking toward the future. How should the city handle requests from property owners seeking to install a residential version of a wind turbine?

Lewes Mayor Jim Ford said the city doesn't have an ordinance dealing specifically with windmills or wind turbines. Until it does, he said, the mayor and council are placing a moratorium on construction of the electricity-generating devices.

"It's not a negative thing. I'm very much in favor of new technology. But windmills today aren't the kind my grandfather had on his farm," said City Councilwoman Barbara Vaughan.

Vaughan said the city has to consider the impact residential wind turbines would have on Lewes' streetscape.

"I'm not seeking to prohibit them, but I think it would be prudent if we talked with residents, meet with the Board of Public Works and developed an ordinance," Vaughan said.

She said the moratorium shouldn't be lengthy and she estimated the mayor and council could have a draft ordinance by early July.

Ford said a special ordinance is needed because the city's has height restrictions of... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

City to develop ordinance for residences

The University of Delaware's new 253-foot-high wind turbine already has the City of Lewes looking toward the future. How should the city handle requests from property owners seeking to install a residential version of a wind turbine?

Lewes Mayor Jim Ford said the city doesn't have an ordinance dealing specifically with windmills or wind turbines. Until it does, he said, the mayor and council are placing a moratorium on construction of the electricity-generating devices.

"It's not a negative thing. I'm very much in favor of new technology. But windmills today aren't the kind my grandfather had on his farm," said City Councilwoman Barbara Vaughan.

Vaughan said the city has to consider the impact residential wind turbines would have on Lewes' streetscape.

"I'm not seeking to prohibit them, but I think it would be prudent if we talked with residents, meet with the Board of Public Works and developed an ordinance," Vaughan said.

She said the moratorium shouldn't be lengthy and she estimated the mayor and council could have a draft ordinance by early July.

Ford said a special ordinance is needed because the city's has height restrictions of 30.5 feet west of the Lewes Rehoboth Canal and 34 feet on the beach side of the canal. He said seeking a height variance to install a wind turbine wouldn't work because to qualify for a variance, property owners must show a hardship.

Ford said the wind turbine ordinance should address how the devices might be installed so they are as compatible as possible with neighboring properties and minimize negative effects.

Ford said the university's wind turbine went through an application process required to construct it as a research facility.

The university's wind turbine is being tied into the College of Earth, Ocean and Environment campus to provide electricity to all of its buildings.

Vaughan said Nancy Targett, dean of the college, in a presentation said four wind turbines similar in size to the university's could supply enough electricity for the entire City of Lewes.

But the more than $20 million cost to do so is prohibitive, Vaughan said. "It was an important moment when that went up," said Vaughan about the university's wind turbine.

"To be able to have it as a lab at our doorstep to test the hypothesis is outstanding," she said.

The university expects its wind turbine to begin operating next month.


Source: http://www.capegazette.com/...

MAY 24 2010
http://www.windaction.org/posts/26443-lewes-places-moratorium-on-wind-turbines
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