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Wind energy ordinance breezes through village planning process

A wind energy ordinance breezed through the village's Planning Commission process Tuesday night with no objections. Commissioners unanimously approved the ordinance, modeled after suggested Ottawa County language. Village Council will make a final decision on it, possibly as early next month. The Planning Commission made a few changes to the county model - including reducing height restrictions from 120 feet to 50 feet.

SPRING LAKE - A wind energy ordinance breezed through the village's Planning Commission process Tuesday night with no objections.

Commissioners unanimously approved the ordinance, modeled after suggested Ottawa County language.

Village Council will make a final decision on it, possibly as early next month.

The Planning Commission made a few changes to the county model - including reducing height restrictions from 120 feet to 50 feet.

Village Planning and Zoning Administrator Kathy Staton said it's important for the village to be "proactive" with new eco-friendly energy options.

"The county is recommending that communities adopt this because of the increased interest in sustainability," she said. "Grand Haven (Township) has wind turbines on their Meijer store."

Several West Michigan residents spoke at Tuesday's public hearing. All said they were in favor of allowing alternative energy options in the village.

As approved by the Planning Commission, the new ordinance would include setback requirements, fall-down spacing and decibel limitations.

"We are in a very high wind area, but there may be property owners interested in doing this," Staton said, adding that the new ordinance would... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

SPRING LAKE - A wind energy ordinance breezed through the village's Planning Commission process Tuesday night with no objections.

Commissioners unanimously approved the ordinance, modeled after suggested Ottawa County language.

Village Council will make a final decision on it, possibly as early next month.

The Planning Commission made a few changes to the county model - including reducing height restrictions from 120 feet to 50 feet.

Village Planning and Zoning Administrator Kathy Staton said it's important for the village to be "proactive" with new eco-friendly energy options.

"The county is recommending that communities adopt this because of the increased interest in sustainability," she said. "Grand Haven (Township) has wind turbines on their Meijer store."

Several West Michigan residents spoke at Tuesday's public hearing. All said they were in favor of allowing alternative energy options in the village.

As approved by the Planning Commission, the new ordinance would include setback requirements, fall-down spacing and decibel limitations.

"We are in a very high wind area, but there may be property owners interested in doing this," Staton said, adding that the new ordinance would allow for small structure-mounted or tower-mounted turbines within approved setbacks. "There are some things out there of a smaller scale that could work in our small community.

"It's always better to have something in place rather than to play catch-up," she added.

Large commercial turbines are not part of the ordinance, Staton noted, since village lot sizes would not warrant commercial wind ventures.

Holland-area business owner Ron Schaddelee Jr., who recently launched ECO-Wind/Solar Solutions, attended Tuesday's meeting. He said wind energy is more economical than many think. A typical residential setup costs about $1,850, Schaddelee said.

"Our units are very efficient," he said. "What's really taking off is LED lighting. We have (a turbine) at our home and it's powering our lights, our fridge, and providing backup power in case of an outage."

The recommended village ordinance would allow up to 10 kilowatts of turbine-powered electricity for residential homes, according to Staton.

Schaddelee said 1 kilowatt is more than adequate - with 5- to 6-mph winds providing the bulk of the power, and 17- to 18-mph gusts providing full load.

"I like what they did with this ordinance tonight," Schaddelee said after the meeting Tuesday night. "But if I lived in this town, I would think 500 watts would be plenty for residential use."

Staton said from the wind charts she's studied, not all village residents would benefit from a wind turbine.

"Every property owner won't be capable of supporting one of these," she said. "From the wind charts I've seen, not every property would be able to have one of these and have it be viable."


Source: http://www.grandhaventribun...

AUG 26 2009
https://www.windaction.org/posts/21920-wind-energy-ordinance-breezes-through-village-planning-process
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