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Wind turbine didn't have permits

lanning and Development Director Nancy Scott said that is not the case and that the city regulates their placement only in the interest of public safety and to protect neighbors from nuisances such as noise or shadow flicker caused by spinning blades catching the sunlight. In Myers' case, Scott said, the city was responding to a complaint by another citizen and Myers' first problem was that he never submitted plans for the city's approval or sought a required conditional use permit.

The city of Hutchinson has ordered a man who sells wind turbines to take down a wind turbine in his front yard, because zoning regulations didn't allow it and he never applied for the necessary permits.

Doug Myers of 4 W. 21st Avenue complained that the city is unfairly restricting the location of wind turbines to lots at least half an acre in size, which he said eliminated 80 percent of the potential market for the turbines he sells through MidTech Energy Solutions.

However, Planning and Development Director Nancy Scott said that is not the case and that the city regulates their placement only in the interest of public safety and to protect neighbors from nuisances such as noise or shadow flicker caused by spinning blades catching the sunlight. In Myers' case, Scott said, the city was responding to a complaint by another citizen and Myers' first problem was that he never submitted plans for the city's approval or sought a required conditional use permit.

Ironically, the wind turbine producing the storm is a non-working prototype of an 800-watt model Myers sells through MidTech Energy Solutions. Working models of the turbine are mounted atop a telescoping tower that can be... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

The city of Hutchinson has ordered a man who sells wind turbines to take down a wind turbine in his front yard, because zoning regulations didn't allow it and he never applied for the necessary permits.

Doug Myers of 4 W. 21st Avenue complained that the city is unfairly restricting the location of wind turbines to lots at least half an acre in size, which he said eliminated 80 percent of the potential market for the turbines he sells through MidTech Energy Solutions.

However, Planning and Development Director Nancy Scott said that is not the case and that the city regulates their placement only in the interest of public safety and to protect neighbors from nuisances such as noise or shadow flicker caused by spinning blades catching the sunlight. In Myers' case, Scott said, the city was responding to a complaint by another citizen and Myers' first problem was that he never submitted plans for the city's approval or sought a required conditional use permit.

Ironically, the wind turbine producing the storm is a non-working prototype of an 800-watt model Myers sells through MidTech Energy Solutions. Working models of the turbine are mounted atop a telescoping tower that can be extended to raise the turbine from six to 30 feet above the ground, he said. The one at his home on 21st Avenue is the first prototype he built and it sits atop a 6-foot tower and isn't connected via any wiring to his home or electrical system.

"You couldn't make it work if you tried," he said. "The bearings are rusted and you have to turn it by hand. It's just yard art."

Scott said the wind turbine is illegal because it sits on a lot less than half an acre in size. Myers contends there's nothing in the zoning regulations that says he can't have a wind turbine on a lot less than half an acre in size. But Scott said the minimum size is implied by those portions of the regulations that say the height of a wind turbine tower is limited to 80 feet on lots of a half-acre to one-acre and the height is unlimited except by FAA regulations on larger lots.

In addition, Scott said, placement of a wind turbine on any residential lot requires a "conditional use permit," which must be approved by the Planning Commission and City Council.

Myers admits he never sought any permits.

Despite a Wichita television report suggesting that Hutchinson "residents" are being told they must take down their wind turbines, city officials said Myers is the only person who has been sent such a letter.

In fact, they know of only three electricity-generating wind turbines in the city - one at Hutchinson High School and one at the Siemens Wind Power Plant, both of which have been approved by the city, and one on state property at the Fairgrounds. No home owners are known to have installed or sought approval for wind turbines.

Myers said he doesn't know if his wind turbines will ever sell, but the city is making it very difficult by taking away the option homeowners could have to install one of his small, 800-watt, off-grid turbines, which would charge batteries that could be used to power lights, televisions and other small electrical items and reduce their utility bills.

"People just don't like being told no," he said.

However, Scott said the city isn't telling people they can't have wind turbines to generate electricity. Rather she is saying they have to follow the rules and abide by reasonable guidelines intended to protect neighboring property, which is the purpose of the conditional use permit.

The rules include a setback requirement that the base of the tower be at least as far from the property line, utility and road rights-of-way and neighboring houses as the tower is tall. That's so that if it falls, it does so where it won't harm others or their property.

Turbines also have to be of a type approved by the American Wind Energy Association. Your local electric utility also must approve the installation if the turbine is going to be attached to the electrical grid.

Installation must comply with local building and zoning codes. That starts with an application and providing drawings of the turbine, the tower base and footings for approval. An engineering analysis showing compliance with the city building code, certified by a professional engineer licenses by the state of Kansas, also is required.


Source: http://www.hutchnews.com/La...

JUN 8 2013
http://www.windaction.org/posts/37382-wind-turbine-didn-t-have-permits
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