Article

One of two towers approved in Jefferson Township

At the conclusion of a somewhat heated 90- minute hearing, the Jefferson Township Board of Zoning Appeals unanimously approved a variance request by Ralph and Rick Amerine to install a 200-foot tower that collects wind data along Township Road 127. The towers are a preliminary step before siting of wind turbines can occur in the township. A similar request by State Route 540 property owner Roger Brown was postponed for two weeks so BZA members can talk with the Logan County Prosecutor's Office to decide if they need to notify property owners whose land does not touch the parcel in question but abuts other parcels owned by Mr. Brown. ...Their decision came after several residents cited concerns, specifically that some residents around the two properties had not received notification; the proponents had not adequately demonstrated a need to install towers; applications were incomplete and existing court rulings state approving such variances is beyond a zoning appeals board's authority.

Proposed meteorological tower preliminary step before siting of wind turbines

One of two meteorological towers proposed in Jefferson Township was given the nod of approval Wednesday while the second was snared by a technical snafu that requires a legal opinion.

At the conclusion of a somewhat heated 90- minute hearing, the Jefferson Township Board of Zoning Appeals unanimously approved a variance request by Ralph and Rick Amerine to install a 200-foot tower that collects wind data along Township Road 127. The towers are a preliminary step before siting of wind turbines can occur in the township.

A similar request by State Route 540 property owner Roger Brown was postponed for two weeks so BZA members can talk with the Logan County Prosecutor's Office to decide if they need to notify property owners whose land does not touch the parcel in question but abuts other parcels owned by Mr. Brown.

Mr. Brown, Mr. Amerine and other landowners near the intersection of state routes 540 and 533 have signed lease agreements with the wind development company Babcock and Brown, which has said it plans to file with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio for an approximately 100 megawatt to 150 megawatt wind farm that would be... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Proposed meteorological tower preliminary step before siting of wind turbines

One of two meteorological towers proposed in Jefferson Township was given the nod of approval Wednesday while the second was snared by a technical snafu that requires a legal opinion.

At the conclusion of a somewhat heated 90- minute hearing, the Jefferson Township Board of Zoning Appeals unanimously approved a variance request by Ralph and Rick Amerine to install a 200-foot tower that collects wind data along Township Road 127. The towers are a preliminary step before siting of wind turbines can occur in the township.

A similar request by State Route 540 property owner Roger Brown was postponed for two weeks so BZA members can talk with the Logan County Prosecutor's Office to decide if they need to notify property owners whose land does not touch the parcel in question but abuts other parcels owned by Mr. Brown.

Mr. Brown, Mr. Amerine and other landowners near the intersection of state routes 540 and 533 have signed lease agreements with the wind development company Babcock and Brown, which has said it plans to file with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio for an approximately 100 megawatt to 150 megawatt wind farm that would be divided between two sites in Jefferson and Monroe townships.

In making its decision, the board did not issue a specific finding as to why the tower should qualify for a variance, but put specific conditions on the tower, specifically that it should be constructed within two years and that it cannot remain for more than 1 1/2 years after being built. They also required an 8-foot fence be built around the tower.

Their decision came after several residents cited concerns, specifically that some residents around the two properties had not received notification; the proponents had not adequately demonstrated a need to install towers; applications were incomplete and existing court rulings state approving such variances is beyond a zoning appeals board's authority.

Opponent Linda Hughes stated what many of those who have spoken out against wind development have argued is their main concern.

"Your denial of these variances does not shut the door to meteorology towers in Jefferson Township," she said. "Proper zoning could prevent a continual need for variance hearings. A legitimate approach to correct inadequate zoning is a zoning amendment."

Although the township does have an ordinance regulating wind turbines, meteorological towers are never mentioned in the township's zoning ordinance.

Mr. Brown, who wrote the wind amendment and argued in favor of both tower requests, said towers above the 35-foot height maximum have been installed without variance hearings for many years and various purposes, including two law enforcement radio towers and another for wind measurement. Other clusters of towers, largely for cellular communication, are regulated by the PUCO.

"We never put it into the language when we were passing the wind turbines because we assumed they were principally permitted or at least conditionally permitted," Mr. Brown said. "It is a hardship for me and Ralph, or his son Rick, that they can be put up for other uses, but not for wind companies."

Several residents who own adjoining property spoke out in favor of the towers.

Mr. Brown also addressed concerns regarding a tower that fell in Monroe Township in early March by noting that the towers to be installed by Babcock and Brown would be a metal lattice as opposed to a single- pole tower that is more susceptible to ice and wind damage.

While Mr. Brown said he was not pleased the board did not act on his request without officially voting to remove it from the agenda, he said he would wait until after the 5 p.m. May 13 hearing to decide if he would challenge the decision on those grounds.

Similarly, those who spoke out against the towers said they were not certain at this point if they intend to file a legal appeal to the board's decision.

 


Source: http://www.examiner.org/new...

MAY 1 2008
https://www.windaction.org/posts/14748-one-of-two-towers-approved-in-jefferson-township
back to top