Articles filed under Zoning/Planning
Sound levels and setbacks continued to be problematic for the Antelope County Board of Commissioners when adopting changes to and approving a resolution for zoning regulations at the commissioners board meeting Tuesday, Nov. 7.
Members of the public on Monday night urged Ford County Board members to consider, among other measures, the need to increase the minimum distance that wind turbines can be located from homes.
BURNSIDE TWP. — Officials at DTE Energy claim proposed amendments to Burnside Township’s wind ordinance “indicate a bias against wind energy development,” and are restrictive enough to exclude the 499- foot industrial machines “entirely from the township.”
Approval or any other action on proposed wind-farm regulations in Pierce County could come as soon as two weeks. Then again, it could be later.
It could be the calm before the storm. News that property owners in Burlington and North Branch townships have signed easement agreements for wind energy development, recent developments have prompted Arcadia Township officials to begin considering a wind turbine ordinance of their own.
County sought balance between wind development and concerns of residents
“We were able to receive good input from both sides of the issue,” he said. “The process was a little slower than we expected, but time is not the issue. We just want to make sure we do it right and that’s what we’re trying to do.
Landowners south of Harrold, South Dakota who are opposed to a planned wind farm slated to be built on neighbors’ properties, spoke for more than 20 minutes Monday urging the Hughes County Commission to increase the distance that wind turbine towers would be required to be sited from homes. The argued that the Commission’s plan to increase the setback distance from the current 1,000 feet in the county’s zoning ordinances, to 1,400 feet wasn’t going far enough and requested a minimum 1 mile between any large windmill and any home. The Commission adopted a the 1,400 setback distance.
For the second time in a month, the Ford County Board voted Monday night to place a moratorium on granting any future wind farm permits until the county’s permitting ordinance is reviewed. Last month’s vote was taken without the specific action listed on the agenda for the meeting, so it was deemed invalid. But this time, the measure is legally binding.
After several weeks of study, commissioners are ready to amend the county Wind Conversion System ordinance regarding the constant noise level that comes from an active windmill. Presently, the ordinance sets a maximum noise allowed at 60 decibels. Commissioners plan to set the maximum decibel level at 30.
Some members of the Huron County Planning Commission are disappointed in a recent wind energy zoning report from Michigan State University Extension. ...Planner Ken Walker called the report "very one-sided." "This is not independent," he said. "To me, it's useless."
The local Ordinance Review Committee reached a tentative agreement last week on a proposal to lessen key restrictions in the town’s new commercial wind power ordinance. Don Bennett suggested a setback of 4,000 feet from the property line, and Smerczynski and Brown agreed. ...Most members agreed to stay with the current level of 35 decibels during the day and 25 at night.
INDIANAPOLIS — Some Hoosiers say the state needs to regulate how and where companies can build wind turbines.
As of this writing, local wind turbine projects seem to have run their course with local decision-makers. A lawsuit is still working its way through the system to clarify whether or not those boards ever had authority to give a green light to the power producers in the first place.
No new wind farm applications have been filed with the Ohio Power Siting Board since. Mr. Hite said some projects already approved before the stricter rules took effect would like to take advantage of new technology developed in recent years, but they fear that changing the projects’ designs now would open them to the tighter restrictions.
Much of the discussion by commission members centered around set-backs, how far away wind towers would be set back from existing buildings and houses. There was also discussion about the costs of decommissioning the towers, how the costs to remove them would be covered and by whom, should the towers be abandoned 15-20 years in the future.
An informational meeting was held Tuesday night about wind turbines and why many townships across the state have rejected wind energy development. The company wanting to build the turbines chose not to attend the meeting.
Apex Clean Energy has shelved plans to build a multi-million dollar wind power project in Perquimans County but will pursue building the Timbermill Wind project in Chowan County where it did win approval. The company made the announcement last Wednesday.
Councilman Wayne Rogers called on his fellow Town Board members to explore modifications to the town law adopted prior to the construction of the Jericho Rise project to address some of the problems that have arisen since the wind farm began operation at the end of last year.
Lincoln first moved to become self-zoned about a year ago. At the same time, the county was considering whether to allow a wind development overlay zone in the township, as proposed by DTE Energy. According to records in the Huron County Register of Deeds office, all but one person on the Lincoln Township Board of Trustees have wind contracts.