Articles filed under Zoning/Planning
A Vermont-based wind energy company is one step closer to building more than 30 electricity-generating wind turbines on a seven-mile section of the Laurel Hill ridge in northern Lycoming County. On Thursday, the county Planning Commission approved preliminary land development plans submitted by Laurel Hill Wind Energy LLC, whose parent company, Catamount Energy Corp., proposed the project about six years ago. ...
That hearing will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 21, in the town office. The proposal would create a mountain zone district, which would include all areas of the mountain ridge comprising portions of Record Hill, Flathead Mountain, Mine Notch, Partridge Peak and North and South Twin mountains at or above an elevation of 1,500 feet. The district would be restricted to wind energy facilities.
Farmers from the prime agricultural land in the town want the zoning law amended so any new electric transmission lines, such as the proposed line from the Galloo Island Wind Farm, must be below ground. ...They presented a zoning law amendment to the Town Council at its meeting Thursday night. Mr. Davis consulted with attorney Mark G. Gebo on the law. Mr. Gebo helped the town of Lyme draft its zoning law on wind power development. The Lyme law includes a similar provision. The Ellisburg proposal would require transmission lines above 125 kilovolts to be placed underground.
What has taken Virginia Beach officials by surprise is the number of other business owners and residents who are inquiring about propping up their own windmills. "I am averaging one or two calls a week," said Will Miller, a Beach zoning inspector. It has forced Virginia Beach officials to explore ways to regulate the windmills and determine where they can be installed and what federal and state certifications are necessary. "It is large, like a cell tower, and we think there needs to be some guidance," said Kay Wilson, an associate city attorney.
More than three dozen Hamlin residents are suing the town over a new law regulating the development of wind farms. The Hamlin Preservation Group and 39 town residents filed a lawsuit Tuesday in state Supreme Court against the law, claiming it will allow electricity-generating wind turbines that will ruin Hamlin's rural nature and environment. The Hamlin Town Board unanimously approved the law at a contentious meeting April 24. One board member abstained because he had signed a lease agreement with a wind energy firm.
Worried villagers living in the shadow of a proposed five-turbine wind farm near Dunton Bassett say they are determined to fight the plans. Broadview Energy was this week granted permission to build a 60m temporary data-gathering mast on land at Low Spinney Farm - and plans for the scheme are likely to be submitted in the winter. The scheme is the latest in a rash of such plans. Already in the pipeline is an 11-turbine scheme at Swinford, a single turbine at North Kilworth, and plans for several large wind farms in the Harborough area.
Will Hartsville town officials be able to negotiate a good compensation package from wind developers? That's the question Hartsville town Supervisor Steve Dombert has, and he wants a second opinion. Dombert said at Wednesday night's board meeting the town needs to find out what its bargaining position with German wind developer E.On is. To do so, he proposed sending the town's 2006 wind law to Gary Abraham, an Olean area-based environmental attorney, who has experience with environmental groups and wind companies.
The fifth try, in the form of a special town meeting, was not the charm. A bare quorum of Aquinnah voters last week rejected a revised slate of regulations designed to implement an energy district of critical planning concern (DCPC). This morning at 9 am, Aquinnah selectmen are scheduled to meet and discuss what to do next. The choices include scheduling another special town meeting or dropping the quest, at least for now, for a DCPC designation.
Hamlin residents who oppose a new town law regulating the development of wind farms have sued the town. The Hamlin Preservation Group and 39 town residents filed a lawsuit Tuesday in state Supreme Court against the law, claiming it will ruin Hamlin's rural nature and environment. The Hamlin Town Board unanimously approved the law at a contentious meeting April 24.
Spafford Supervisor Webb Stevens said the town's new windmill law is about getting control of the size of windmills built in the town. The town board voted 5-0 Thursday to pass a local law that will allow residents to construct windmills that are no more than 60 feet tall. The vote came after a public hearing on the law attended by more than 60 people at Spafford Town Hall. Some residents are concerned the law will eventually lead to wind farms with windmills 260 feet or taller. They asked for a moratorium to further study noise and other effects of windmills, but Stevens said a moratorium "only delays the inevitable."
In a 3-2 vote Aug. 7, Elbridge Township officials approved a zoning amendment to allow for wind turbine generators. ...The move wraps up a whirlwind of activity in the township over the last six weeks. Michigan Wind LLC in conjunction with John Deere Wind Energy proposes a $150 million, 30 turbine generator wind farm for the western side of the township on a north-south line approximately one-half mile east of 116th Avenue. The units would be owned and operated by John Deere Wind Energy.
Baker City Manager Steve Brocato doesn't want Baker City to "start looking like Boardman." He's afraid a proposed Idaho Power transmission line that will pass through Baker County - and perhaps skirt the east side of Baker City - might do just that. Brocato told city councilors Tuesday the proposed power line "will detract from the beauty of this area" and believes its presence will spawn more wind farms, which he said are "detrimental to the beauty of the community and don't contribute to economic development." ..."If the county grants a wind farm, it should be somewhere where we can't see them and I would like the caveat that it has to be built by a local industry."
At Tuesday's meeting in the Bureau County Courthouse in Princeton, the county board voted unanimously to delay action on the requested conditional use permits for Walnut Ridge until a formal roads agreement is finalized. Bureau County Engineer John Gross said a roads agreement between Walnut Ridge developers Midwest Wind Energy, the county and the townships is close to being finalized. However, until that agreement is formally reached and written, he could not recommend going ahead and approving the conditional use permits.
The Fulton County Board helped pave the way for possible wind energy production in the county by approving ordinances regulating small and large wind energy conversion systems. During public remarks, Dean Wright of Meister Electric of Peoria, addressed the board asking them to work on encouraging rather than restricting wind energy system building. He asked the board to slow down and offered to help board members study the issue further. Wright had already submitted a letter to Fulton County Board Chairman Ed Ketcham about problems concerning the proposed ordinances concerning small wind energy systems.
County officials in 2006 enacted two ordinances - one for turbines 170 feet or shorter and another for turbines taller than 170 feet - after residents voiced concerns about potential public health and safety issues with turbines located near their backyards, Demske said. Navitas Energy Inc. had proposed to build a 49-turbine wind farm in Two Rivers, Mishicot and Two Creeks, dubbed the Twin Creeks Wind Park. ...Bauhs said the county "overreacted" in drafting regulations for the small turbines because of public criticism of the Twin Creeks wind farm project.
An application for the mast, which is designed to monitor the potential for a wind farm at the foot of Bickerton Hill, was thrown out by Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council in February but the Planning Inspectorate has overturned the decision. Campaign group Stop Bickerton Wind Turbines (SBWT) has vowed to fight applicant Banks Developments to the end and has enlisted the support of Eddisbury MP Stephen O'Brien. The group - which raised a 171-name petition, and mustered 400 letters of objection - believes an application for a five-turbine wind farm is now inevitable.
The ordinance allows wind towers of up to 30 feet in residential and open space zones. Anything taller, up to 60 feet, in those zones would require a special-use permit from the Planning Commission. In commercial and office zones, towers of up to 45 feet are allowed. Anything taller, again with a maximum of 60 feet, requires a permit.
Up to 35 electricity-generating wind turbines are to be built along seven miles of the Laurel Hill ridge in Jackson and McIntyre townships in northern Lycoming County, under the plans of Vermont-based Laurel Hill Wind Energy. On Tuesday, the commission reviewed the plan in detail. "The work session was held to delve into the plan and make sure all our questions are answered," said Kurt Hausammann Jr., commission executive director. "A plan of this scale warranted a separate meeting."
The Tioga Preservation Group's land use appeal of the Tioga County Planning Commission's decision to grant conditional approval for a wind farm project has been denied, opening the door for the construction of 124 wind turbines in Tioga and Bradford counties. On Aug. 8, Tioga County Court of Common Pleas President Judge Robert E. Dalton Jr. issued an order denying the appeal of the group, and upheld the planning commission's preliminary conditional approval of the land-use application made by AES Armenia Mountain Wind LLC, according to court documents.
A wind-power project to erect six turbines in Lakeshore met little opposition at a public meeting in St. Joachim Tuesday. Wind Prospect Inc., a U.K.-based company which has an office in Windsor, plans to erect the 80-metre turbines between Belle River and St. Joachim. The turbines will be in farm fields near Concession 3 north of County Road 42 and south of the CP railway line.