Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from USA
The Albany County Planning and Zoning Commission will not recommend sweeping changes to wind energy regulations in the near-term, voting instead last week to support minimal amendments proposed by the county’s planning department.
A moratorium on wind-related projects in Mercer County has blocked the construction of a wind farm, making Mercer the second county in central North Dakota to enact anti-wind ordinances. BISMARCK — Ongoing tensions over the construction of a new wind farm in North Dakota coal country have come to a head with Mercer County, N.D., imposing a moratorium on all wind-related projects.
Rather than reprint the lyrics to Bob Dylan’s immortal “Blowing in the Wind” to lead the reader into this story about Chowan County’s wind energy facility ordinance, let’s cut to the chase.
Iowa, a national leader in wind energy, is weighing new rules for siting renewable energy projects — regulations that could shake up a system that's enabled billions of dollars of investment in the state over the past two decades.
Albany County’s planning and zoning board moved forward with recommending changes to regulations on wind energy on Wednesday designed to bring the county in line with state statute, but they haven’t ruled out even more stringent measures.
Like all counties in Wyoming, Albany County has a comprehensive plan which guides policymakers where growth and various land uses should take place, consistent with the vision and values defined with extensive input from the public and stakeholders. The overarching theme that emerged from this process is that county residents want to keep the county rural, conserving its traditions and character, supporting agriculture, wildlife, habitat, and scenic vistas.
The Reno County Planning Commission agreed after about a 90-minute public hearing on Thursday to amend county zoning regulations on commercial wind developments. A majority of the evening’s two dozen speakers asked the commission to adopt a 21-page draft document submitted by Reno County Citizens for Qualify of Life that included significant additions and modifications to current regulations.
LARAMIE — Albany County government could be moving toward stopping all wind energy development in the county if it adopts regulations being proposed by a Laramie law firm, a wind energy company representative said this week.
The Laramie City Council is slated to decide whether to back a wind energy development planned for a large swath of land in Albany County next month, but it heard an earful of opposition to the project during a work session Tuesday.
Wisconsin regulators voted Thursday to deny a request from some Green County residents to stop construction of a controversial wind farm near Monroe. The 65-megawatt Sugar River Wind project proposed by EDF Renewables would consist of 24 turbines in the town of Jefferson near the Illinois border.
In Cattaraugus County, the Legislature is on record as asking the IDA not to grant tax breaks to large wind farms. The county Planning Board said the wind turbines were not in keeping with the rural character of the county and would affect tourism which thousands of county residents rely on. ...However, Wiktor said the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) may be ready under Article 10 to force the IDA to grant tax breaks to help underwrite the wind farm.
Edwards reminded the commission of the wind energy facility permitting authority the Wyoming Legislature gave counties in 2010. He said that is the most authority the Legislature has given the counties in terms of regulating anything. “Part of that reasoning is because it is such a local issue and affects local people much greater than everything else,” Edwards said. He added that the county cannot regulate things like mining and water quality, “but it does have the authority to fully permit and regulate wind energy facilities.”
The most vocal critic of Rocky Forge, however, proved to be Amsterdam District Supervisor Steve Clinton, who described the proposed wind farm as having “overstated benefits and understated costs,” and suggested, “maybe this isn’t worth it.” Martin, who represents the Blue Ridge District, stated that he supported wind energy but opposed the height increase. He also expressed exasperation that Apex still hasn’t secured passage to transport the massive turbine parts up the mountain, telling company representatives, “You’ve had four and a half years to get a right of way.”
If wind turbines are allowed to tower up to 680 feet into the sky from a Botetourt County mountaintop, they would be higher than the tallest ones currently in the United States. But should the county’s board of supervisors approve a request from Apex Clean Energy to build up to 22 modern windmills as tall as a 50-story building, it wouldn’t necessarily set a new record.
The commissioners are set to consider an ordinance and permit amendment that would allow Charlottesville-based Apex Clean Energy to move ahead with a wind farm powered by turbines of up to 680 feet tall.
Orion Renewable Energy Group plans to start construction on the $150 million to $170 million wind farm, the first in Knox County, this year and hopes to have it operational by the end of 2021.
Broyhill referred to a number of books, studies and documentaries she said show the wind energy industry isn't as promising as supporters say. Broyhill talked about deceptive negotiating tactics when companies seek access to landowners' property. She also doesn't consider wind farms too environmentally friendly, given the tons of concrete and steel required for their construction and the fossil fuels burned by trucks to transport and build the turbines.
On the agenda for the board's meeting is a moratorium that would prohibit "... all applications, installations and projects involving wind energy systems until such time that the Board has amended regulations in place to ensure the protection of the public health, safety and welfare ..." of Dakota County citizens. ...The subject of a moratorium arose earlier this year as the county amended its zoning ordinances pertaining to wind energy systems, board chairman Martin Hohenstein said.
Visual resource scientist and town of Ocean City consultant Robert Sullivan also submitted written testimony to the PSC last Friday. Sullivan’s testimony, based largely on years of experience and the direct findings of offshore wind energy projects in the U.S. and abroad, suggested the increased height in the turbines would almost certainly make the Skipjack project visible from the Ocean City coast. “I am certain that on many day, the project will be easily visible from many oceanside locations in Ocean City, particularly from the northern sections of Ocean City and especially so from the upper floors of buildings in Ocean City,” he wrote.
Auwahi Wind is seeking to build another wind farm with up to seven turbines and a generating capacity of 35 megawatts adjacent to its existing facility on Ulupalakua Ranch land on the leeward slopes of Haleakala. ...Auwahi’s current wind farm, which went online in December 2012, has eight turbines and a generating capacity of 21 MW.