Articles filed under Zoning/Planning
There won’t be any wind farms generating electricity in Sedgwick County.
Large-scale commercial wind farms won’t be built in Sedgwick County. County commissioners voted Wednesday to update the county’s comprehensive plan and zoning code with specific policies for renewable energy systems. The new regulations prohibit wind facilities and allow solar array systems.
A proposed wind farm on the Mississippi River bluffs near Valmeyer has been the subject of much debate since last summer. The most recent development occurred Aug. 19, when the Monroe County Board approved a moratorium on wind farms.
The Farmersville Town Board voted 4-0 Monday to approve a new wind law allowing 600-foot wind turbines with smaller setbacks than the 2018 local law the Cattaraugus County Planning Board turned down. Board member Richard Westfall, who has a wind lease with Alle-Catt Wind Farm developer Invenergy, recused himself from voting. That meant all four remaining board members had to vote yes to provide the “supermajority” to overcome opposition from the county Planning Board.
The new resolution states that the commissioners are “in support of public safety by requesting longer setbacks than current law allows.” It also continues to stress the importance of protecting the Seneca County Airport and addresses concerns with any wind turbines within one mile of any K-12 county schools, because it could cause risk or distraction.
Proposal spurred by rapid loss of New York open space to solar, wind farms
The amendment was proposed by Town Council member Sylvia Thompson, who asked the Planning Board to provide an advisory opinion on the matter to the council. Thompson said there was insufficient information on the possible effects of large wind turbines. “There’s just too many unknowns for the town to move forward on this, I believe. Let’s not allow any in town until we fully understand all the ramifications.”
Other parts of the proposed rules call for detailed reporting of wind farm “incidents” as soon as 30 minutes after discovery. The rules state that incidents “include, but are not limited to, events such as tower collapse, turbine failure, thrown blade or hub, collector or feeder line failure, damaging ice throw, nacelle fire, or injury to any person.”
The supervisor said later he left the meeting because both the road agreement with Invenergy and the host community agreements are contracts. Karcher said his father-in-law has a lease with Invenergy and he couldn’t participate in the host community and highway use agreements. Karcher’s recusal left two town board members at the table: Deputy Supervisor Richard Zink and George Duncan. Councilman Richard Westfall, who has a wind lease and has been found to be conflicted, did not attend the special meeting, nor did Councilman Pamela Tilton.
In a two-page document hand-delivered to board members at the beginning of the special meeting, Farmersville United President Mark Heberling wrote: “We renew our request for 3,000-foot setbacks of turbines and facility components to property lines, 50dBA of noise at all times at property lines, a property value guarantee, shadow flicker limits of 30 hours or less and turbines of 450 feet or less at top height.” In addition, Herberling asked “all board members who have a lease with Invenergy or whose family member has an Invenergy lease (as defined in the Farmersville Code of Ethics) recuse themselves from any vote on a wind law.”
Last December, seven of the 12 board members indicated they would support a turbine setback of 2,250 feet from property lines to protect nonparticipating residents from the nuisances turbines can create, such as noise or shadow flicker, or the dangers associated with turbines catching fire or breaking. During a meeting of the board’s zoning committee on Monday night, however, two board members said they feel such a setback should only apply to residential land, not nonresidential properties.
Apex Clean Energy has proposed constructing 80 to 120 wind turbines in rural Morgan County for the Lincoln Land Wind project, but was waiting on updates to a Morgan County ordinance that came Monday. The Morgan County commissioners approved an updated ordinance addressing wind farms after more than a year of work on details of the regulation.
FARMERSVILLE — The Farmersville Town Board has scheduled a special meeting for Thursday night to consider a proposed new wind law introduced on July 17.
With the resolution approved by the commission Thursday, any wind project linked to Sandusky County's 2012 alternative energy zone must resubmit an application with the state siting board.
A proposed wind farm in Henry County won’t be built. The Henry County Planning Commission voted Tuesday night on the controversial proposal that would have added a Big Blue Ribbon Wind Farm to the area.
The new ordinance increases setbacks from 1,000 feet from a house’s foundation to 1,650 feet from the foundation of the home of a non-participating landowner and 1,320 feet from the foundation of the house of a participating landowner. ...“It’s disappointing,” said Mike Woodyard, who has been advocating for larger setbacks from the property line. “It’s a sad day when our county board refuses to recognize the rights of a property owner at the property line.”
The county’s repeated failure to adopt zoning regulations for wind energy causes concerned citizens to feel like they don’t have a voice. Ignored people quickly become angry people. They are forced to file lawsuits so they can finally be heard. LB 373 makes wind energy zoning mandatory. Creating new county zoning regulations is a very public process. It provides numerous opportunities for everyone to participate regardless of their position on the subject. No one can say their voice wasn’t heard.
“It is grossly irresponsible and neglectful to be considering planning applications on guidelines that are 13 years old. “Communities have been torn apart and destroyed by some of these applications and it is extremely unfair to allow this continue,” the Kerry councillor concluded.
More than 100 Guilford residents packed the town’s highway garage Wednesday evening for a special meeting of the town board to discuss the proposed development of an industrial wind farm. Developed by the Texas-based Calpine Corporation, the project will consist of a maximum of 25 wind turbines — a reduction from the initially proposed 30 turbines — and generate a collective 100.8 megawatts of energy
Terra-Gen officials are focused on having amendments passed to Schuyler County’s zoning laws. Language added in 1990 does not allow building permits to construct wind farms. ...opponents to the project found the zoning language, which county officials were not aware existed.