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Columbiana council eyes wind turbine rules

The regulations would apply to anyone within the city interested in installing a wind energy conversion system (WECS) under the five-megawatt size on their property. ...The regulations state that "shadow flicker" from the turning of the blades cannot be allowed to affect the neighbor's home, the WECS must have brakes and cannot be more than 100 feet tall.

COLUMBIANA - City Council began looking Tuesday at wind turbine regulations proposed by the city's planning commission.

The regulations would apply to anyone within the city interested in installing a wind energy conversion system (WECS) under the five-megawatt size on their property. Those over five megawatts are regulated by state law. Only those receiving a conditional use permit from the city would be allowed to install a WECS. Applying for the permit will cost $100.

The WECS cannot be placed in the front yard and must have a fall zone, equal to the height of the tower plus an additional 25 feet, from any structure or roadway. The ordinance goes on to regulate what type of pole must be used, that the blades must be 30 feet from the ground, that the WECS can make only 60 decibels of noise at the edge of the property line, that WECS cannot interfere with television signals and all electrical wires must be underground. The regulations also state that the "shadow flicker" from the turning of the blades cannot be allowed to affect the neighbor's home, even if trees must be planted to block the flicker. Finally, the WECS must have brakes and cannot be more than 100 feet tall.

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COLUMBIANA - City Council began looking Tuesday at wind turbine regulations proposed by the city's planning commission.

The regulations would apply to anyone within the city interested in installing a wind energy conversion system (WECS) under the five-megawatt size on their property. Those over five megawatts are regulated by state law. Only those receiving a conditional use permit from the city would be allowed to install a WECS. Applying for the permit will cost $100.

The WECS cannot be placed in the front yard and must have a fall zone, equal to the height of the tower plus an additional 25 feet, from any structure or roadway. The ordinance goes on to regulate what type of pole must be used, that the blades must be 30 feet from the ground, that the WECS can make only 60 decibels of noise at the edge of the property line, that WECS cannot interfere with television signals and all electrical wires must be underground. The regulations also state that the "shadow flicker" from the turning of the blades cannot be allowed to affect the neighbor's home, even if trees must be planted to block the flicker. Finally, the WECS must have brakes and cannot be more than 100 feet tall.

The regulations also have a complete section dedicated to commercial WECS, including that they cannot be located closer than 1,000 feet from housing subdivisions, parks, schools, churches or playgrounds.

Abandoned WECS must be torn down. The ordinance spells out how long the owner has to handle the demolition after it no longer is in use.

While some council members spoke favorably, others wanted time to think the ordinance through. Council eventually voted to table the ordinance until next month's meeting, set for Aug. 17. Municipal Attorney Dan Blasdel explained to council that if council plans to reject the ordinance, it needs to act on that night and have two readings at once, because there is a time constraint on how long council can wait to act on a planning commission-prepared ordinance.

In other matters before council:

- Councilman Bryan Blakeman proposed that during the winter months council could allow residents to pay the industrial rate for electricity instead of the higher residential rate. The matter has been tabled for further discussion.

- Council had a first reading on an ordinance to pay $1,439,492 for a sewer lift station at Arrowhead Bay, which is about to be operational. Director of Finance Kevin Smith explained the grant money for the project came in last year and council approved it last year; however, it needed to approve it again this year when the bill actually is going to be paid.

- Council passed on second reading an ordinance accepting a contract with Howell Rescue Systems to provide a new hydraulic Jaws of Life tool system and airbags to lift cars. Most of the items are being paid for with a grant obtained by the city EMS.

- Council approved allowing high school representatives of the Columbiana Athletic Booster Club to begin door-to-door membership solicitations on Aug. 11 and middle school athletes to be posted outside of area businesses from 9 a.m. to noon Aug. 14 also to solicit donations. Those participating will be wearing Clipper attire or identification.

- A Boy Scout, Dean Pahanish approached council with an Eagle Scout project to repair and take care of a bench in Firestone Park near the Funland. There is also another Eagle Scout project planned to circle the three flags in the front of the park with stonework.

- After the meeting, Councilman Lowell Schloneger said he wanted to recognize that both Hilltop Lawn and Garden and Phil's Sales and Service loaned the city mowers after the city's lawn care building burned recently. The assistance allowed the city to continue carrying for its property while the insurance company determines who is responsible and what the city will receive.


Source: http://www.salemnews.net/pa...

JUL 23 2010
http://www.windaction.org/posts/27378-columbiana-council-eyes-wind-turbine-rules
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