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Bluewater turbine bylaw passed

“It’s none of our damn business, it’s a private deal,” said Bluewater Deputy Mayor Dave Johnston Jan. 19 during a discussion on a wind turbine zoning bylaw meeting. The meeting followed a planning meeting held Jan. 21 that had forth a series of recommendations for wind turbines in Bluewater. Johnston was responding to comments during the discussion about how many turbines might be built in Bluewater in the future.

VARNA — “It’s none of our damn business, it’s a private deal,” said Bluewater Deputy Mayor Dave Johnston Jan. 19 during a discussion on a wind turbine zoning bylaw meeting.

The meeting followed a planning meeting held Jan. 21 that had forth a series of recommendations for wind turbines in Bluewater.

Johnston was responding to comments during the discussion about how many turbines might be built in Bluewater in the future.

Much of the discussion on the commercial-scale turbines focused on the minimum setback distance from Highway 21, which was set at 1,000 metres, with the minimum setback from urban areas in the rest of the municipality 600 metres and 1,000 metres around Bayfield, Hensall and Zurich.

Several speakers addressed council, including Rick Martin and Gordon Potts from Northland Power, which is developing a wind farm near Grand Bend.

Martin said while noise is a concern, modern turbines aren’t the same as older technology and at 30 metres, the noise is the same as normal speech and at 40 metres, “it’s a whisper.

“The water is where the wind is,” said Martin, who added no where in the province is there a setback of 600 metres and strongly urged the council not to pass the 1,000 metre bylaw.

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VARNA — “It’s none of our damn business, it’s a private deal,” said Bluewater Deputy Mayor Dave Johnston Jan. 19 during a discussion on a wind turbine zoning bylaw meeting.

The meeting followed a planning meeting held Jan. 21 that had forth a series of recommendations for wind turbines in Bluewater.

Johnston was responding to comments during the discussion  about how many turbines might be built in Bluewater in the future.

Much of the discussion on the commercial-scale turbines focused on the minimum setback distance from Highway 21, which was set at 1,000 metres, with the minimum setback from urban areas in the rest of the municipality 600 metres and 1,000 metres around Bayfield, Hensall and Zurich.

Several speakers addressed council, including Rick Martin and Gordon Potts from Northland Power, which is developing a wind farm near Grand Bend. 

Martin said while noise is a concern, modern turbines aren’t the same as older technology and at 30 metres, the noise is the same as normal speech and at 40 metres, “it’s a whisper.

“The water is where the wind is,” said Martin, who added no where in the province is there a setback of 600 metres and strongly urged the council not to pass the 1,000 metre bylaw.

Martin said a 600 metre setback from Highway 21 would result in a one-third reduction of the project size and a nearly 40 percent reduction in energy output due to the lower wind speeds, making the project uneconomic and unable to win a competitive tender.

Martin said a 400 metre setback would be acceptable to the company.
Also addressing council was John Vander Burgt, a landowner on the east side of Highway 21, who said he was disappointed with the 1,000 metre setback for the highway and said it should be the same as everywhere else in the municipality.

“Just because it’s not visually aesthetic is not a reason,” said Vander Burgt, who added the restriction would prevent him from earning income on the project.

Vander Burgt asked, “Is the next thing a bylaw to restrict my movements on my farm because they don’t like the way I look?”

Following the presentations, Johnston asked Huron County senior planner Craig Metzger what other municipalities in the area were doing for setbacks.
Metzger said the issue hadn’t been addressed in Huron County, but to the north and south of the county, turbines “were fairly close,” to the highway.
Johnston replied that the council hadn’t given an answer to the public about the need for a 1,000 metre setback.

Asked how many turbines might be built in the next 25 years, Metzger said “it’s the purview of developers. The impact on the community is very difficult to know.”

Johnston put forward a motion to have the Highway 21 setback reduced from 1,000 to 400 metres but it was defeated in a recorded vote with councillors Johnston, Peter Walden, John Becker, Marg Deichert and Bluewater Mayor Bill Dowson voting for the motion.

A second recorded vote was held to defer the bylaw but was again defeated.
A third motion to accept the recommendations of the planning department was then passed in a recorded vote with Metzger saying the 1,000 metre setback could be reduced to 300 metres if it was shown why it was appropriate.


Source: http://www.southhuron.com/n...

JAN 28 2009
https://www.windaction.org/posts/18805-bluewater-turbine-bylaw-passed
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