Library filed under Zoning/Planning from Maryland

Wind Power: Md. bill would end fast track for projects

Two years after Maryland legislators passed a law designed to breeze wind power projects through regulatory reviews, the state still has no active wind farms and the opponents of the 2007 bill are still fighting the change. ...Former state senator and former Frostburg mayor John Bambacus told a panel of legislators that the new law "totally gutted the regulatory process." Bambacus says public input is exceptionally important because wind turbines "are not benign structures," noting some are as "tall as the Washington monument."
26 Feb 2009

Local lawmakers want full review of wind turbine projects

Sen. George Edwards and Delegate Wendell Beitzel are trying both approaches by filing a handful of bills to repeal all or parts of a 2007 law that streamlined the regulatory and review process for industrial wind turbine facilities. Edwards' Senate Bill 583, cross-filed with House Bill 605 by Beitzel, would mandate that any industrial wind energy facility go through the full review process ..."There's a lot of controversy back home over whether there's enough opportunity now for input from the public," Edwards told the Times-News this week while in Annapolis. "We felt that one way to try to resolve that is to try to repeal (SB) 566 and go back to what was in place prior to passage of SB 566, which sort of short-cuts the process."
11 Feb 2009

City considers regulating turbines

The Hagerstown Planning Commission decided Wednesday to look into adopting state-recommended regulations for appearance, lot size, setbacks, sound levels and ground clearance for wind turbines. Research presented at Wednesday's meeting showed wind turbines probably would not be cost-efficient in the city, where wind is limited and electric rates are already low.
28 Jan 2009

Demand full hearings on wind turbine safety

After listening to all the comments presented and after reading articles and editorials on the internet, I have come to the conclusion that this process is moving way too fast. ...Please deny this request and force Dan's Mountain Windforce LLC to full, open hearings on the merits of its proposal. If their proposal is viable and safe, then it will withstand "... the interests of the people" and their full inspection of it.
27 Jan 2009

Questions remain on Dan's Mountain wind project

And it was with a heavy heart, perhaps, that the Frostburg State University professor went against her gut feeling and asked that the Maryland Public Service Commission deny a request by Dan's Mountain Wind Force LLC for an exemption from obtaining a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. Granting the request would make the 60-megawatt project able to streamline the permit and construction process. Denial of the request would cause the project to undergo scrutiny by several state agencies.
23 Jan 2009

Md. wind turbine rules ignoring many issues

It took legislators decades to establish agencies and laws to protect the environment, and Gov. O'Malley one legislative session to strip Allegany and Garrett counties of these protections. The 2008 Fast-Track legislation denies review and restrictions for wind turbine development by the Department of Environment, Maryland Department of Planning, the Maryland Energy Administration and the Department of Natural Resources, and of obtaining a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity from the Public Service Commission (PSC). All other counties in Maryland have these agencies protecting them.
18 Jan 2009

Public hearing on Dan's Mountain wind turbine proposal

A public hearing will be conducted Jan. 22 in Frostburg on a company's proposal to construct up to 29 wind energy conversion systems near Vale Summit along the ridge of Dan's Mountain. The hearing is prompted by Dan's Mountain Windforce LLC's application to the Maryland Public Service Commission for an exemption from the requirement to obtain a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity and for approval to construct up to 29 wind turbines.
7 Jan 2009

Time to act on setback question

What do you plan to do with the commissioners' request for [wind turbine] setback authority? ...Today's land-use challenges cannot be met by silence, ignorance, and obfuscation. Accountability and leadership are needed at the state level. With the passage of SB566, this is no longer a matter of local concern, and you know it. You have a historic responsibility to provide leadership where none now exists.
27 Nov 2008

Marylanders negotiate government rules to install windmills

Despite living in a state that hopes to become a leader in energy efficiency, people like the Flesches are discovering that obtaining approval to install turbines is difficult. The struggle is not with the state or even the power companies. The struggle is with county and local governments - many of which do not have laws in effect to deal with wind turbines.
23 Nov 2008

Planners resume wind energy policy talks

The Allegany County Planning and Zoning Commission on Wednesday resumed discussion of the bonding and interference policies related to potential commercial or industrial wind energy installations. ...At issue is the bond amount the county could require wind energy companies to post. Hager presented a draft proposal to the county's zoning text that would require a $150,000 bond until an abandoned wind turbine has been taken down and the land restored similar to its original condition.
13 Nov 2008

State fast-tracks western Md. wind-power project

Maryland regulators have, for the first time, granted fast-track status to a wind-power project in the state's mountainous western panhandle. The 5-0 vote Wednesday by the Public Service Commission exempts California-based Clipper Windpower Inc. and its Criterion Power Partners subsidiary from having to obtain a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for its 40-turbine project in Garrett County, as power plant developers must do.
30 Oct 2008

Wind turbine creates uproar; Resident still waits for council decision

Exasperated by rising energy costs, this summer Money Lewis decided it was time to take advantage of the strong breeze that blows across his Selsey Road property. In July, he signed a $15,000 contract with a Delaware company to set up a 33-foot wind turbine on his .7-acre waterfront property. ...However, he's heard he will have to wait until the county creates an ordinance to dictate the placement of the turbine.
7 Oct 2008

Conflicts on rezoning

County resident Sam White alerted the county to another possible conflict of interest Davis might have in regard to the ongoing discussions of wind turbines and the proposed zoning text amendments. White also raised the allegation against Bill Duvall, commission chairman. ...The Frostburg resident [David] has owned about a half-acre of land with a trailer for nearly 30 years. The property is adjacent to the current planned wind turbine project atop Dan's Mountain. In addition, Davis' employer has listings in the nearby Harwood subdivision.
7 Oct 2008

Garrett plan omits protection of ridge tops as sensitive areas

Garrett County finally has a new comprehensive plan that will serve as a policy for decisions made by the county's government. ...While the county commissioners did approve a final plan, it was without the protection of ridge tops as sensitive areas. This had been an issue of contention for the commissioners when they discussed their opinions on the draft plan at the September planning commission meeting. Their concerns were the lack of specification as to the definition of a ridge top or what kind of development would be prevented.
7 Oct 2008
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