Documents filed under Zoning/Planning
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.
Officials in Tuscola County’s Elmwood Township have enacted a one-year moratorium on construction of wind turbines, citing a need to “better protect the public health, safety and welfare” of residents. The moratorium wording is below and can be downloaded from the links on this page.
The Town of Freedom in Maine adopted this Wind Energy Ordinance requiring setbacks of 13 times the turbine height for three larger classes of windmills, which can represent a distance up to 1-mile. The ordinance limits nighttime noise emissions to 35 dB(A) and shadow flicker to no more than 10-hours per year on properties that are not participating with the the wind project. Portions of the ordinance are provided below. The full ordinance can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
Following 9 months of testimony and cross examination as well as supportive votes cast by the Boone County zoning board of adjustment, the full county board met and passed this wind energy ordinance with a 9 to 3 margin. The ordinance provides for several protective provisions including establishing setback distances of 2,640 feet or 5.5 times the height of the wind turbine including the blades at the highest point, whichever is greater. A protion of the ordinance is provided below. The full document can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
The Mason County, Michigan Planning Commission adopted thie wind energy ordinance effective July, 2015. This ordinance was developed following noise and shadow flicker complaints tied to Consumers Energy Lake Winds wind project. Portions of the ordinance are posted below. The full ordinance can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
The Town of Groton in New Hampshire adopted this ordinance to govern the siting of wind energy facilities up to 30 mwgawatts in size. The State of New Hampshire is responsible for siting projects that are 30 MWs and larger. The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee reviews larger energy projects.
These minutes of the El Paso County Planning Commission January 6, 2015 hearing end with the Planning Commission voting to deny recommending approval of the amended Golden West wind energy facility that would site a 250 MW project in the county. Seventy-five people were present in the hearing room to speak either in favor of or in opposition to the project. The final vote was 6-3 to deny the project with the primary reasons for denial being impacts on the health, safety and welfare of the residents, The full minutes for the hearing can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
In this case, the claimant, Andrew Joicey, argued six grounds for overturning the planning approval of a 100kilowatt wind turbine. Primary among the complaints was that the planning council did not provide public access to the turbine noise assessment report until a day before the hearing where approval was granted. Complaints were also issued over whether the council properly considered the cumulative impact of noise from a neighboring wind project. The count agreed with Mr. Joicey and overturned the approval. This is the third time the court overturned a planning decision approving this turbine. The decision can be accessed by clicking the links on this page. The introduction of the decision is provided below.
The Granville Township Supervisors adopted the attached ordinance to the construction and maintenance of Wind Turbine Generators in the town. An excerpt of the ordinance is provided below. The full ordinance can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page.
This ordinance, adopted by Newport, North Carolina, addresses key concerns with siting large scale wind energy facilities. A portion of the ordinance is excerpted below covering setback distances, noise, decommissioning and property value guarantees. The full ordinance can be accessed from the links on this page.
SWEETWATER COUNTY ZONING RESOLUTION SECTION 18 - WIND ENERGY CONVERSION SYSTEMS
This zoning ordinance was adopted by the town of Temple, New Hampshire. The purpose section of the ordiance is provided below. The full ordinance can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page.
Newport Rhode Island adopted this wind energy ordinance to protect the residents from potential impacts of the towers. The full ordinance is provided below and can be accessed at the link on this page.