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Board leaning in favor of Shenandoah wind energy

Getting approval of a wind-energy policy by the Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday evening was a breeze. The panel voted 5-0 in favor of a zoning amendment that would require fewer hurdles than recommended by the Planning Commission earlier this month. Supervisors Chairman David Ferguson was absent.

Planners had sought greater restrictions

WOODSTOCK -- Getting approval of a wind-energy policy by the Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday evening was a breeze.

The panel voted 5-0 in favor of a zoning amendment that would require fewer hurdles than recommended by the Planning Commission earlier this month. Supervisors Chairman David Ferguson was absent.

Zoning subdivision administrator Joyce Fadeley had proposed a wind-energy ordinance that would allow building-mounted, micro-wind systems by right in all zoning districts; small wind systems up to 120 feet tall by right in all districts; large wind systems, which could be up to 250 feet tall, by special-use permit in all districts; and up to 500-foot-tall utility wind systems by special-use permit in the conservation, agricultural, business and industrial districts.

Taller towers harnessed more wind, Fadeley explained. However, many members of the Planning Commission were concerned about allowing 120-foot towers by-right, and the panel voted to recommend that all systems larger than micro ones require special-use permits.

"I believe each individual should have the right to install a tower... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Planners had sought greater restrictions

WOODSTOCK -- Getting approval of a wind-energy policy by the Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday evening was a breeze.

The panel voted 5-0 in favor of a zoning amendment that would require fewer hurdles than recommended by the Planning Commission earlier this month. Supervisors Chairman David Ferguson was absent.

Zoning subdivision administrator Joyce Fadeley had proposed a wind-energy ordinance that would allow building-mounted, micro-wind systems by right in all zoning districts; small wind systems up to 120 feet tall by right in all districts; large wind systems, which could be up to 250 feet tall, by special-use permit in all districts; and up to 500-foot-tall utility wind systems by special-use permit in the conservation, agricultural, business and industrial districts.

Taller towers harnessed more wind, Fadeley explained. However, many members of the Planning Commission were concerned about allowing 120-foot towers by-right, and the panel voted to recommend that all systems larger than micro ones require special-use permits.

"I believe each individual should have the right to install a tower to generate electricity and to be green and to save money ... but the 120-feet height concerns me," commission Chairman Gary Lantz said at his panel's meeting. "But the 250 and 500 [feet], those to me are dimensions that I don't think we could live with. I just don't believe we need towers that high to generate electricity for a farm. But, I do believe in saving the environment and being environmentally conscious."

District 2 Supervisor Steve Baker, who is on the commission, dissented at that meeting, and on Tuesday moved that the amendment be approved, with the condition that small-wind energy facilities be allowed by-right on agriculturally zoned properties 15 acres or larger.

"I think that wind energy has some possibilities, and each landowner is going to have to decide if it's feasible for them," he said. "Another good part about this is there's grants available, along with tax credits that could help reduce the cost to people. Agriculture is a big user of energy."

Also on Tuesday:

* The supervisors approved a special-use permit to allow Thomas Drinkwater to operate a gun sales and gunsmithing business from his garage at 2908 St. David's Church Road, Fort Valley. The 51⁄4-acre property is zoned agricultural.

* Mike Ashley Jr. was appointed to the Water Resources Advisory Committee.


Source: http://www.nvdaily.com/news...

MAY 26 2010
http://www.windaction.org/posts/26510-board-leaning-in-favor-of-shenandoah-wind-energy
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