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The Union Township Board of Zoning Appeals voted 4-1 to allow a variance for a wind measuring tower on 2049 Talbott Road during the meeting Tuesday night. Board members Fred Myers, Jami Hackworth, Frank Vawter and Mike Schafer voted to permit the variance. Board member Charles Sanders voted against.
Union Township resident Bob McConnell and attorney Lauren Ross asked the Champaign County Commissioners to consider forming a committee to focus on issues related to the proposed wind turbine installations in Union and Wayne townships during the commissioners' regular meeting Tuesday. "This has come up as a concern for many of us," said McConnell, a member of Union Neighbors United, a group which has opposed the location of proposed turbines and claims they will hurt property values and negatively impact the landscape.
URBANA - A Union Township resident addressed the Champaign County commissioners Tuesday with his concerns about the possibility of wind turbines coming to the area. Bob McConnell, of the 4000 block of East U.S. Route 36, urged the commissioners to create a committee to gather information about the wind towers and plan properly for the proposed construction in the county.
This wind turbine, near a house off Rt. 6 outside Bowling Green, is one of four at the American Municipal Power-Ohio Green Mountain Energy Wind Farm. The turbine is similar in size to what several energy companies want to erect in groups of 20 to 25 on private property in Logan and Champaign counties.
Apparently, adult bookstores and wind farms have something in common. Judges have ruled repeatedly that a community can put restrictions on where sexually oriented adult businesses can locate. But the same judges have said that officials cannot make those restrictions so tight as to eliminate the possibility of the stores' existence. Now, prosecutors in two counties where residents are railing against large-scale wind turbines for green energy say the same concept applies to wind farms.
EverPower Renewables Project Manager Mike Speerschneider answered questions of Wayne Township citizens at a meeting Wednesday night, addressing wind turbines and the possibility of turbines in Wayne Township. Speerschneider touched on issues concerning electricity, road damage, local labor and the health of citizens living near the turbines. He said the turbines will not generate a decrease in the cost of electricity for Wayne Township because there is "no way to definitively say what it's (turbines) going to do to the electric."
The Union Township Zoning Commission voted unanimously Tuesday night to reject the wind turbine zoning recommendations made by the Union Neighbors United group, which was submitted at the last zoning commission meeting. However, the buck doesn't necessarily stop there. The zoning commission now must forward the resolution to the Union Township Trustees with a recommendation to reject it. It's up to the trustees from there.
URBANA - The Union Township zoning board unanimously voted Tuesday to make a recommendation to the trustees rejecting a proposed wind turbine zoning resolution. Executive Director Jenny Snapp of the Logan-Union-Champaign Regional Planning Commission - LUC - called the proposal "too restrictive" in height and setback requirements. Champaign County Prosecutor Nick Selvaggio said it gave unauthorized power to governing bodies not listed in state law. The proposal, submitted to the township zoning board by Union Township residents, regulates wind towers to a minimum of 2,600 feet from a building and property line. Plus, it restricts the turbine height up to 360 feet.
Nearly 30 more wind turbines could be in store for Wood County. American Municipal Power-Ohio recently announced a joint partnership with JW Great Lakes Wind LLC for the development of up to 49.9 megawatts of wind-powered electricity on a proposed site northwest of the existing four turbines at the Wood County landfill.
MUTUAL - The Union Township Board of Zoning Appeals voted in favor, 3-1, of allowing a wind test tower belonging to Everpower Renewables to be placed on Ault Road, during its meeting Monday night. According to board member Fred Meyers, one board member removed himself from the discussion and vote for personal reasons. Meyers said the structure will be 190 feet tall and have three wind measurement devices that will send information to Everpower Renewables.
A regional planning commission denied Union Twp.'s wind turbine zoning resolution Thursday, calling the proposal "too restrictive." The Logan-Union-Champaign (LUC) Regional Planning Commission's zoning and subdivision committee said the setback and tower height regulations are too strict.
How comforting to learn that your County Board considers you an enemy. To learn it feels that it must protect itself from you. To learn that when it extends its arms it is to embrace outsiders whose only interest is to make a profit from your misery. To learn that "home seller" protection and "non-participating landowners" protection really means "County Board" protection.
A national study of wind energy points out what advocates of a Lake Erie wind farm have emphasized - the lack of policies and guidelines at all levels of government adds complexity and time to wind projects.
A new federal proposal to help electricity flow more freely could help the energy-choked East Coast. But it could also infuriate landowners, who have traditionally gotten their way in fights against utilities in Delaware. U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman last week named Delaware as part of his proposed eastern National Interest Electric Transmission Corridor. It would run from New York to Virginia, and west to Ohio. A second corridor would run through California, Arizona and Nevada.
he United States Department of Energy issued a proposal yesterday that could reopen the way for a 190-mile high-voltage transmission line through central New York that state and local officials tried to block last year. The department declared a multistate area from West Virginia to upstate New York a "National Interest Electric Transmission Corridor," where congestion of existing power lines makes the electricity grid unreliable and subject to blackouts.
CABLE - It was standing room only as residents of Wayne Township, as well as a few from other areas, attended the Wayne Township Zoning Commission meeting Wednesday to get information regarding wind turbines. Kevin Sheen, vice president of Everpower Renewables, was present to answer the many questions the residents raised. Everpower Renewables is a New York-based company that also is courting land owners in Union Township for wind turbine development. Those present expressed concerns regarding the height of the turbines, where they will be placed, how the machines operate and the benefits and hardships the community would reap by having wind farms.
As controversy continues to swirl around proposals to erect wind turbines in the county, a committee was formed recently to review and draft zoning proposals to regulate them. Officials from the Logan County Prosecutor's Office and the Logan-Union-Champaign Regional Planning Commission named a 10-member committee to determine what information should be included in any zoning regulations enacted by the townships in Logan County, Prosecutor Gerald Heaton said Thursday. By state law, the prosecutor is the legal counsel for the townships, and currently, he said, there are no regulations in place concerning wind turbines. "The whole purpose of this group is to get information," the prosecutor said, "sufficient information so the townships can make an educated determination as to what they want to include in their zoning."
Ohio has greater-than-expected potential for wind power, according to a new federal study. The latest modeling shows that a number of areas in Ohio have sufficient wind at heights of 100 meters to support commercial turbines that would produce clean electricity, said Dennis Elliot of the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
In a 4-1 vote Wednesday, the Union Township zoning board abandoned its initial proposal for wind turbine regulations. Instead, they adopted zoning guidelines suggested by 10 township residents, as opposed to submitting a zoning proposal modeled after one in Logan County to the regional planning commission. The board has worked since January to draft preliminary regulations for the placement and construction of wind turbines. The document states that a turbine can be placed 1,000 feet from a residence and 500 feet from a roadway. The new proposal suggests a wind turbine should set 2,100 to 2,600 feet from any property line and not exceed 300 feet in height from its base to the tip of the blade.
Wind energy opponents would like to see strict regulations while land owners hoping to earn up to $6,000 annually for housing a turbine say they prefer more liberal ordinances. As a result, Logan-Union-Champaign Regional Planning Commission has taken steps to bring the two sides together to discuss zoning issues and reach a consensus, said Jenny Snapp, commission's executive director. In addition, Champaign and Logan counties recently adopted ordinances - and are working on others - that will regulate where turbines can be placed. The ordinances are the first of their kind in Ohio.