Documents filed under Zoning/Planning
This useful resource lists a host of protective land use ordinances adopted in different jurisdictions in the State of Michigan for siting industrial wind energy turbines. A sample set of ordinances is provided below. The full list can be downloaded from this page.
This email from RPM Access confirms the company's cancellation of the Washburn Wind energy facility. The 35-turbine (70 MW) project to be constructed in Black Hawk County Iowa was first approved in a 3-2 vote of the Board of Adjustment in April 2018. In early 2019, the company secured an extension from the county to delay start of construction until July 1, 2020. A law suit filed by county resident, Harold Youngblut, argued the county ordinance was not followed. The court ruled against Mr. Youngblut which he appealed. RMP Access insisted that the suit hindered its ability to find buyers for the energy.
Hamilton County Commissioners adopted a resolution that increased setback distances to wind turbines to two (2) miles when measured at the property line of non-participating landowners and limited audible sound (dB) to 40 dB (not to exceed) at the nearest non-participating property line from the hours of 8:00am to 8:00pm and 37 dB at the nearest non-participating property line during the hours of 8:00pm to 8:00am. The minutes to the meeting where the amendments were approved and the zoning ordinance can be downloaded from this page.
The attached ordinance for the town of Sanford, New York outlines the requirements that commercial and non-commercial wind projects must satisfy to ensure the health and safety of citizens and the effectiveness of wind energy production. The ordinance calls for project development plans to be submitted alongside environmental impact reports, shadow flicker and visual impact studies, and lighting requirements as dictated by the FAA. It also provides detailed regulations on a project's components, issuing restrictions on location, visual impact, and noise emission. The Town of Sanford reserves the right to dissapprove the special permit applications submitted for a wind project that fails to meet the ordinance's stated requirements and regulations.
The attached appeal upholds the prior judgement to revoke the planning permission for a single community scale 500kw wind turbine at Severndale Farm, Tidenham, Gloucestershire. Resilient Energy's granted planning permission was heavily influenced by their promise to provide an annual donation to a local community fund. The court determined that this donation did not qualify as material consideration, due to its intended purposes unrelated to the developer's land use, and, therefore, was unlawfully taken into account by the Forest of Dean District Council in making their decision.
Labette County, Kansas adopted a 1-year moratorium prohibiting the construction of any wind turbine projects for one-year ending November 7, 2020. The resolution can be accessed by clicking the document link(s) on this page.
The Town of Sanford, NY has enacted a new local law placing a three month moratorium on all activities related to wind energy, including project applications, permits, and construction. The law provides an opportunity for the town to study the potential impacts of wind energy projects and determine if amendments are needed to any established laws.
San Bernadino County in California adopted this resolution banning large-scale renewable energy projects. The full resolution and presentation slides explaining the change in policy can be downloaded from this page. Minutes from a May 28, 2018 special meetiing of the supervisors is also available from this page. Below is an excerpt of the resolution. Other supporting documentation leading up to adoption of the resolution can be accessed at the link on this page.
During the summer of 2018, Campbell County Commission discussed a possible need of a wind farm ordinance, Since that time, the county held no hearings or workshops that would provide the public an opportunity to comment on the new law. The only scheduled public hearing is set for February 7th, 2019 where the County will present the ordinance. Attorney David L Ganje has expressed concern that the County is rushing the process and, in doing so, failing to allow for a free exchange ideas about the wind farm ordinance. In August, 2018, Attorney Ganje recommended the commission convene several formal and informal public meetings and hire experts in order to deliver a well-crafted ordinance.
Dallas County, Iowa adopted this land-use regulation that includes rules governing the siting of industrial wind turbines. Section 45.39 details the requirements. The full ordinance can be accessed at the links on this page. The portion of the ordinance pertaining to setback distances and noise limits is provided below.
Beaver Township in Michigan adopted this protective wind ordinance by a 4-0 vote. A portion of the ordinance is provided below. The full document can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
This important decision by US District Court Judge Thomas L. Ludington addresses two arguments proffered by the wind industry. The first relates to the industry's argument that noise standards for limiting turbine noise emissions that are based on Lmax are not reasonable. The second discusses the argument that restricitve ordinances, in this case an Lmax noise limit, are de facto exclusionay zoning. Judge Ludington takes both claims on and finds the wind company's arguments are without merit. A portion of the decision is provided below. The full decision can be downloaded from this page.
At the September 6, 2017 meeting of the Somerset County Maine Commissioners, the Board adopted Resolution 17 – 164 that publicly opposes any additional industrial Wind Development in Somerset County. The agenda for the meeting can be found here. The full resolution, as adopted, is provided below and can be accessed at the links on this page.
In a 3-2 vote, the Perquimans County Board denied an application by Apex Clean Energy to erect the Timbermill wind energy facility. Timbermill, if approved, would have sited 57 turbines, each standing 599-feet tall. The order detailing the decision can be accessed by selecting the document icon on this page. The Conclusion of the order provided below.
The town of Buckfield Maine adopted a wind ordinance that established a setback distance of 1 mile between a wind turbine and the property line of an adjacent property. Noise was limited to no more than 3 dba above the preconstruction sound levels. To access the ordinance, select the link on this page.
In regards to the request for a judicial review filed by Apex, Judge Bailey of Greensburg entered his judgment on June 1, 2016 affirming the Rush County Board of Zoning Appeals July 1, 2015 decision, with the Setback Condition. If no appeal is filed, the judicial review will conclude. A brief summary of the ruling can be found below. The order issued by the judge can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page.
In this detailed ruling issued by the Falmouth Zoning Board of Adjustment in reference to Wind 1, one of two Vestas 1,65 MW turbines sited at the town's water treatment center, the board listed 38 separate finding on whether a permit should be issued that would allow the turbine to continue operating. The turbine was shut down following a court ruling that found the turbine was erected the town without first securing a permit. Some of the 38 findings are provided below. The full document can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
On the morning of March 5, 2016, the Falmouth Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) deliberated over whether the Town's application for a special permit to retain Wind 1 should be approved. Wind 1 is the first of two Vestas V82 1.65 MW turbines erected at the community's wastewater treatment facility. The turbines created significant controversy following noise complaints by nearby residents beginning in 2010 when the turbines were first turned on. In a February 2015 ruling, the Massachusetts appeals court found that the Town of Falmouth failed to meet the requirements under the local bylaws when it erected Wind 1 without first obtaining a permit. The ZBA hearing was to determine whether a newly filed application met the requirements for a permit to be issued retroactively. Wind I has been idle since September 2015. The attached documents represent the arguments by the town's attorney (in favor of issuing a permit), the residents (on why a permit should not be issued), and a spreadsheet itemizing the decisions that need to be made the the ZBA. The below summary by Mark Cool explains how the Board ruled on each of the decisions.