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City makes it easier to put up energy-generating turbines

Wind turbines are now much easier to put up in the city, but officials don't expect them to dot the Holland skyline anytime soon. Before now, the city had no specific ordinances addressing turbines. The new language will allow them to be half as tall as the property up to 60 feet in residential areas. The restriction is designed as a fall zone. "It's all very dependent on the size of the property," planner Mark Vanderploeg said about height restrictions.

Holland, MI - Wind turbines are now much easier to put up in the city, but officials don't expect them to dot the Holland skyline anytime soon.

Before now, the city had no specific ordinances addressing turbines. The new language will allow them to be half as tall as the property up to 60 feet in residential areas. The restriction is designed as a fall zone.

"It's all very dependent on the size of the property," planner Mark Vanderploeg said about height restrictions.

Officials anticipate only a few requests where properties are wide and open.

The expense of residential wind turbines will be the largest hurdle, Vanderploeg said.

"If you do a return on investment, they're 30-40 years out there," he said.

Wind turbines would be allowed by right in residential areas, but with strict requirements.

"Some might call these an attractive nuisance" Mayor Al McGeehan said, concerned about keeping people away from towers; much in the same way is required for cell phone towers.

However, monopoles by design would be extremely hard to access, city staff said.

Industrial wind turbines like the monopole models being explored for Windmill Island and... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Holland, MI - Wind turbines are now much easier to put up in the city, but officials don't expect them to dot the Holland skyline anytime soon.

Before now, the city had no specific ordinances addressing turbines. The new language will allow them to be half as tall as the property up to 60 feet in residential areas. The restriction is designed as a fall zone.

"It's all very dependent on the size of the property," planner Mark Vanderploeg said about height restrictions.

Officials anticipate only a few requests where properties are wide and open.

The expense of residential wind turbines will be the largest hurdle, Vanderploeg said.

"If you do a return on investment, they're 30-40 years out there," he said.

Wind turbines would be allowed by right in residential areas, but with strict requirements.

"Some might call these an attractive nuisance" Mayor Al McGeehan said, concerned about keeping people away from towers; much in the same way is required for cell phone towers.

However, monopoles by design would be extremely hard to access, city staff said.

Industrial wind turbines like the monopole models being explored for Windmill Island and next to the Civic Center would be allowed with a zoning board of appeals for a conditional use permit. The process is modeled on cell phone tower requirements.

"It really boils down to a two-tiered approach to better allowing wind turbines in the city," Vanderploeg said.

Still, 90 percent of the city falls within Federal Aviation Authority height restrictions because of Tulip City Airport.

COST OF GOING GREEN
A 1.5 kilowatt turbine could power about 20 percent of an average home's needs, city planner Mark Vanderploeg said. Two 1.5 kilowatt roof-top models planned for a Civic Center demonstration project cost around $11,000 each.


Source: http://www.hollandsentinel....

JAN 22 2009
https://www.windaction.org/posts/18710-city-makes-it-easier-to-put-up-energy-generating-turbines
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