Library filed under Zoning/Planning from Maryland
A bill that would have authorized Garrett County commissioners to control the development of wind farms in the county has died in the Maryland General Assembly. Commissioners will continue to look for ways to have some control over wind turbines in the county.
Ocean City put a law on their books allowing residential wind turbines specifically because Jim Motsko came to them asking for one. Now, an unforeseen snag has thrown up a new hurdle in his two-year quest.
The bill allows the small devices to be erected on poles up to 100 feet high and remain in place for up to one year. The instruments, which typically consist of three small cups spinning on an axle, can be used to determine wind speed in areas being considered for wind turbine construction.
Wind Force had attempted to submit written comments and a full markup of the plan to the planning commission approximately one month after a public meeting held in June to collect public comment on the document. The planning commission refused to consider the Wind Force comments, stating that the comment period had closed.
A threatened lawsuit and claims that the county has not followed proper procedure in crafting its updated 10-Year Comprehensive Plan sparked a heated exchange this week between Mineral County Commission President Wayne Spiggle and attorney Jack Barr.
A pilot wind power program for Baltimore County was withdrawn Monday before a County Council vote after community groups complained the measure failed to protect residential areas from nearby turbines. ..."There was a lot of opposition that came in. People weren't paying attention" to the emergence of the bill during a work session last month, he said.
Members will consider a pilot wind energy program that could give Baltimore County officials time to evaluate how those alternative systems work, what effect wind towers have on surrounding areas and what they might look like. The bill would create a pilot program to test small wind energy systems for use in manufacturing or rural areas.
After being immersed in the windmill debate via our newspaper for more than a year - and openly looking at the issue from both sides - I personally do not support the project. But it's not my call to make - it is a decision that should be decided by the residents of Tazewell County. At the public hearing on the project, 71 individuals spoke in favor of the ridgeline ordinance, while 18 spoke against it. That's an overwhelming anti-windmill majority.
Members of Team Smart, which stands for the group Support More Alternative Renewable Technology that formed a year ago to study the wind turbine issue in Baltimore County, will join other speakers at the Planning Board's public meeting at 5 p.m. in Towson. Key components of the Board's proposed legislation allow turbines on lots of 1 acre or more.
The Mineral County Commission moved Tuesday to go on record in support of the proposed Pinnacle Wind Farm. The support, however, is not unanimous. After going into executive session to discuss "legal matters," which they later said related to the proposed contract in which WindForce will agree to commit itself to a "floor" for tax revenue to be generated by the project, two of the commissioners said they felt it was time for the county to commit to a position.
Light breezes and low elevations make Baltimore County uninviting territory for big wind farms, but the terrain could be more promising for residents hoping to trim electric bills and their "carbon footprint" with a home turbine. The outlook could hinge on deliberations going on now, as the county revises the zoning code to cover such projects. Meanwhile, one homeowner's plan for the county's first electricity-generating wind turbine remains on hold as neighbors who say they support alternative energy have lined up against it.
Amendments to Frostburg's wind energy systems ordinance will reduce the maximum height of a residential wind turbine from 165 to 75 feet and limit the number of wind energy systems to one per each lot of record. The mayor and council approved the amendments Thursday night. A public hearing on the amended ordinance is scheduled during the regular City Council meeting Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. in the Frostburg Community Center.
Frostburg City Administrator John Kirby said Wednesday he would not be surprised if the mayor and council amend a potential residential wind turbine ordinance, thus pushing any final vote on the matter into October.
The mayor and council members will hold a public hearing today at 6:15 p.m. at City Hall concerning the proposed Zoning Text Amendment of the zoning ordinance to allow for wind energy systems within the city. "In a nutshell, (the amendment) says that only small wind turbines will be allowed as an accessory use in most zones.
A year ago, Barry and Urszula Antonelli received county approval to install a 120-foot wind turbine at their new house in Phoenix and neighbors immediately appealed that decision. Realizing there were no specific zoning regulations for windmills or wind turbines, the county's planning staff has spent the past year working on recommendations to regulate wind turbines for residential use.
A Federal Hill woman seeking to become the first Baltimore resident with a wind turbine on her roof failed to win approval from city officials yesterday. The effort by Marsha Vitow brought opposition from neighbors concerned about safety and aesthetics and confounded city officials ... David Tanner, executive director of the board, said the members had a long debate but decided wind turbines were not a legal exception.
Two planning issues are going to wait for a decision in Mineral County as the county commissioners ask the planning commissioners to review potential wind turbine regulations and prepare to look over a draft of the exotic entertainment ordinance. "We're asking (the planning commission) to look at the public good," Commission President Wayne Spiggle said. "We're trying to figure out what we're going to look at in 10 years."
A battle is brewing between Baltimore County and such community organizations as the Pikesville-Greenspring Community Coalition over windmills in residential neighborhoods. The county is devising regulations allowing windmills with restrictions. But PGCC and other community groups are opposed to windmills in people's backyards.
The mayor and council recently approved a first reading of the ordinance that would allow personal wind turbines as tall as 165 feet in Frostburg's backyards. At the Aug. 20 public meeting, the city officials are scheduled to have subsequent readings and a vote on the matter, though some talk has surfaced about postponing that action until September. "A structure this high is equivalent to a 16-story building," Bambacus told the elected officials in an e-mail.
Frostburg city officials intend to allow residential wind turbines as high as 165 feet, according to an ordinance read for the first time and passed 4-0 at the mayor and council's public meeting Thursday. Vacationing councilwoman Susan Keller was absent. The ordinance will be presented again at the Aug. 20 council meeting, at which time public comment will be heard and a final vote taken.