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Woman seeks protection from industrial turbines; Fears wind farm malfunction a danger to her children

Harwood subdivision resident Darlene Park asked the Allegany County commissioners on Thursday to "take an active and progressive role" in leading the county's effort to update its zoning code to include protection for the environment and the communities from industrial wind turbines. ..."It's become an issue," Ishler said. "It wasn't an issue five years ago" when the less stringent codes now in place were approved. "It's never been brought to the commissioners. (Park) was the first one that came" to a meeting.

Harwood subdivision resident Darlene Park asked the Allegany County commissioners on Thursday to "take an active and progressive role" in leading the county's effort to update its zoning code to include protection for the environment and the communities from industrial wind turbines.

The county planning commission is in the process of reviewing proposed modifications to the regulations. Commission member Bill Davis said last week those changes likely wouldn't impact the proposed 25-wind turbine project near Dan's Rock by Dan's Mountain Wind Force LLC, a limited liability company.

County Administrator Vance Ishler said Thursday the commissioners could act before the planning commission completes its process. It's not likely, however, for fear of "usurping the authority of the board to do their study."

The commissioners would rely largely on the advisory board's recommendation, Ishler said. The process is in effect in order to prevent undue influence on elected officials by special interest groups, Ishler said.

But Ishler said it wasn't an issue the commissioners even discussed until Park and Cresaptown area resident Andrea Baker spoke at Thursday's meeting.

"It's become an issue," Ishler... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Harwood subdivision resident Darlene Park asked the Allegany County commissioners on Thursday to "take an active and progressive role" in leading the county's effort to update its zoning code to include protection for the environment and the communities from industrial wind turbines.

The county planning commission is in the process of reviewing proposed modifications to the regulations. Commission member Bill Davis said last week those changes likely wouldn't impact the proposed 25-wind turbine project near Dan's Rock by Dan's Mountain Wind Force LLC, a limited liability company.

County Administrator Vance Ishler said Thursday the commissioners could act before the planning commission completes its process. It's not likely, however, for fear of "usurping the authority of the board to do their study."

The commissioners would rely largely on the advisory board's recommendation, Ishler said. The process is in effect in order to prevent undue influence on elected officials by special interest groups, Ishler said.

But Ishler said it wasn't an issue the commissioners even discussed until Park and Cresaptown area resident Andrea Baker spoke at Thursday's meeting.

"It's become an issue," Ishler said. "It wasn't an issue five years ago" when the less stringent codes now in place were approved. "It's never been brought to the commissioners. (Park) was the first one that came" to a meeting.

"I feel some planning and zoning members are in a conflict of interest because they own land where turbines could go," Park said.

Baker said she was concerned about her children's safety should a wind turbine malfunction and parts start flying uncontrollably. She also said she's talked with eight Harwood subdivision residents. Of the eight, five expressed opposition to the Dan's Rock project and three "didn't know anything about it," she said.

One person shared her safety concerns. Baker also said studies show wind energy is "unreliable."

The planning commission in June failed to act on Frostburg resident John Bambacus' request for a six-month moratorium on the construction of industrial wind turbines until more information was known. Ishler said the county commissioners could address the issue if asked.

"If somebody came in and said, ‘We would like you to consider (a moratorium),' they could act," Ishler said.

Ishler said it might be wise to follow Davis' lead. Davis said the issue wasn't worth discussing only because no one has applied for a permit to build a wind turbine. So far, only Dan's Mountain Wind Force LLC has applied for a grading permit - it was approved by the county in July - to conduct a soil analysis.

Ishler indicated it's a long way between that analysis and the erection of any wind turbines.

"I think it's a wise decision to put a hold" on it, Ishler said. "Right now, it's all talk."

Ishler said there's time for the planning commission to complete its zoning code review process. Dan's Rock area residents, however, fear wind companies will use that time to hurry through the permit process before the county takes any action.

Ishler said Thursday that, as long as the permit applications have been properly completed, there would be no reason - based on current regulations - to deny them.

The issue is on the agenda for the planning commission's Wednesday meeting at the County Office Complex. The meeting is to begin at 7 p.m.


Source: http://www.times-news.com/l...

SEP 13 2008
https://www.windaction.org/posts/17063-woman-seeks-protection-from-industrial-turbines-fears-wind-farm-malfunction-a-danger-to-her-children
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