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County intends to revise wind turbine rules

So the department and County Attorney Eric Nelson proposed amending the zoning rules to allow Boname and the Theriaults to proceed, and then place a moratorium on other wind power applications until the county made comprehensive changes to regarding wind power. Campbell and commissioner Barb Peryam didn't like the idea of a moratorium, even though they and the other commissioners praised the advent of residential wind power. With Campbell dissenting, the commissioners voted to change the wording in the regulations after the applicants and others spoke during a public hearing. ...However, some neighbors complained to the county that the 4-inch-diameter tower with 20 guy wires interfered with their views and posed a hazard to wildlife.

Natrona County doesn't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

But begging Bob Dylan's pardon, the county commissioners know they need to rework zoning regulations as more residents want their own wind power generators.

"We need to more into the 21st century," commissioner Jon Campbell said Tuesday.

The county has been negligent in not updating planning and zoning codes to match the technological developments that have shrunk wind turbines to the point they can be used for individual homes, Campbell said.

Mark Boname and Gene and Deb Theriault, through the Planning and Zoning Department, had begun the process of notifying neighbors about their intent to place turbines on their properties, but ran into the prohibition of wind generators on properties zoned urban residential and commercial.

So the department and County Attorney Eric Nelson proposed amending the zoning rules to allow Boname and the Theriaults to proceed, and then place a moratorium on other wind power applications until the county made comprehensive changes to regarding wind power.

Campbell and commissioner Barb Peryam didn't like the idea of a moratorium, even though they and the... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Natrona County doesn't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

But begging Bob Dylan's pardon, the county commissioners know they need to rework zoning regulations as more residents want their own wind power generators.

"We need to more into the 21st century," commissioner Jon Campbell said Tuesday.

The county has been negligent in not updating planning and zoning codes to match the technological developments that have shrunk wind turbines to the point they can be used for individual homes, Campbell said.

Mark Boname and Gene and Deb Theriault, through the Planning and Zoning Department, had begun the process of notifying neighbors about their intent to place turbines on their properties, but ran into the prohibition of wind generators on properties zoned urban residential and commercial.

So the department and County Attorney Eric Nelson proposed amending the zoning rules to allow Boname and the Theriaults to proceed, and then place a moratorium on other wind power applications until the county made comprehensive changes to regarding wind power.

Campbell and commissioner Barb Peryam didn't like the idea of a moratorium, even though they and the other commissioners praised the advent of residential wind power.

With Campbell dissenting, the commissioners voted to change the wording in the regulations after the applicants and others spoke during a public hearing.

Those who want residential wind power still will need to apply for conditional use permits, Nelson said.

Residential wind turbines are relatively new, and would blend into the suburban landscape better than telephone poles and power lines, Deb Theriault said.

Gene Theriault pointed to a chart showing the 200-year "age of oil," saying this era is drawing to a close, especially in light of geopolitics, he said. "Most oil comes from countries that don't like us."

Others at the commission meeting favored changing the regulations.

"It's time that we do this," said Scotia Sutherland. "It's time we fight for our environment and our children."

Earlier in the meeting, she and her husband Shaun asked the commission to allow them to keep a 99-foot-tall tower with an anemometer on their property on Garden Creek Road until early October.

More than two years ago, they responded to an ad from the state requesting volunteers to place anemometers on their properties for a year to measure wind speeds for submission to a database, Shaun said.

A state-hired contractor erected the tower on their property in September, and the Sutherlands were under the impression the state would obtain the necessary permits, he said.

They wanted to use the tower as an education aid for their homeschooled children, and wanted the wind speed information with an eye to possibly installing a wind turbine.

However, some neighbors complained to the county that the 4-inch-diameter tower with 20 guy wires interfered with their views and posed a hazard to wildlife.

The commissioners allowed the Sutherlands to keep the tower until early October, but they wanted some answers from the state about breakdown in communications.

Reach Tom Morton at (307) 266-0592, or at Tom.Morton@trib.com.

 


Source: http://www.trib.com/article...

FEB 6 2008
https://www.windaction.org/posts/13165-county-intends-to-revise-wind-turbine-rules
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