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Proposed wind ordinance sent back for review in Grand Ledge

The proposed wind turbine regulations are being sent back for a "do-over." After listening to citizens' input, the city council decided not to vote on a proposed new ordinance which would have regulated the construction and operation of wind energy conversion devices to capture the energy of moving air and turn it into electricity.

GRAND LEDGE - The proposed wind turbine regulations are being sent back for a "do-over."

After listening to citizens' input, the city council decided not to vote on a proposed new ordinance which would have regulated the construction and operation of wind energy conversion devices to capture the energy of moving air and turn it into electricity.

The council had scheduled a vote on adoption of a proposed ordinance at their Oct. 12 meeting, after a public hearing on Sept. 28 brought only one comment.

"The planning commission wanted to prepare for the future, and they wanted to make a statement that they wanted the city to be ready for these things," said Mayor Kalmin Smith.

He said the intent was to have at least some rules in place, even if they had to be amended later, because without any rules, "It opens the door to all kinds of contraptions that could be unsightly or noisy or provide a flickering effect."

But before a vote could be taken, three more citizens spoke out on the issue during public comment time at Monday's meeting, and the council voted to send the issue back to the planning commission for further study, taking into account the comments they received.

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GRAND LEDGE - The proposed wind turbine regulations are being sent back for a "do-over."

After listening to citizens' input, the city council decided not to vote on a proposed new ordinance which would have regulated the construction and operation of wind energy conversion devices to capture the energy of moving air and turn it into electricity.

The council had scheduled a vote on adoption of a proposed ordinance at their Oct. 12 meeting, after a public hearing on Sept. 28 brought only one comment.

"The planning commission wanted to prepare for the future, and they wanted to make a statement that they wanted the city to be ready for these things," said Mayor Kalmin Smith.

He said the intent was to have at least some rules in place, even if they had to be amended later, because without any rules, "It opens the door to all kinds of contraptions that could be unsightly or noisy or provide a flickering effect."

But before a vote could be taken, three more citizens spoke out on the issue during public comment time at Monday's meeting, and the council voted to send the issue back to the planning commission for further study, taking into account the comments they received.

No one who spoke to the council was against having wind turbines in Grand Ledge, or an ordinance to set standards for their design and installation, but the unanimous view of the speakers was for a less restrictive ordinance.

Rachel Kuntzsch, who spoke at the original public hearing on the issue, expressed her support of the ordinance, but suggested the ordinance should not prohibit wind energy conversion systems in residential districts, and suggested the height limitations in industrial and commercial districts are too low.

She also suggested the ordinance should not limit wind energy conversion systems to creating energy for a single parcel but should allow the sale of energy back to the energy grid.

City Administrator Jon Bayless said Kuntzsch is expected to make a presentation to the planning commission when they take up the issue on referral back from the council.

Terrance Augustine, Farmers Market and Downtown Development Authority member, came to the public comment podium and expressed his opposition to the proposed wind energy conversion system ordinance as too restrictive. Jeff Wilmore, who said he did not wait for an ordinance to build a wind energy system at his home on W. Main St., commented to the council on the need for clean energy options and a balanced ordinance regulating wind energy conversion systems.

"Those are good questions," Smith said.

"I think the council pretty much felt they didn't have the information or the knowledge to make changes to the proposal as it came from the planning commission, so we referred it back to them."

The planning commission is scheduled to meet next on Nov. 5 at 7:30 p.m.
No timetable has been set for completing their reconsideration of the wind turbine issue.


Source: http://www.lansingstatejour...

OCT 18 2009
https://www.windaction.org/posts/22712-proposed-wind-ordinance-sent-back-for-review-in-grand-ledge
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