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Wind opinions sought

It's the latest in the NIMBY syndrome. The Halifax Regional Municipality wants to get the public's feedback on how far wind turbines must be located from homes, roadways and property lines. The first of nine public meetings was held Monday night at Brookside Junior High School in Prospect. ...Most people want a conservative approach to setting guidelines for allowing turbines near a residence.

HRM holds first of nine meetings asking for input on location of turbines

It's the latest in the NIMBY syndrome.

The Halifax Regional Municipality wants to get the public's feedback on how far wind turbines must be located from homes, roadways and property lines.

The first of nine public meetings was held Monday night at Brookside Junior High School in Prospect.

About 15 vocal residents turned out to give their opinion on the proposed regulations for locating large- and small-scale wind turbines around the area.

Shayne Vipond, HRM senior planner, said the opinions were varied, with most people wanting the benefits of green energy but not in their backyard.

Most people want a conservative approach to setting guidelines for allowing turbines near a residence but fully endorsed the use of green power, he said.

He said this is "pretty typical" of the response by communities.

"What we're going to be doing is talking about the direction that we're looking at now for the actual siting regulations. These are regulations that are open for debate. That's the purpose of bringing it forward to the community," said Mr. Vipond.

The proposed bylaws, which will go before municipal council next spring, have... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

HRM holds first of nine meetings asking for input on location of turbines

It's the latest in the NIMBY syndrome.

The Halifax Regional Municipality wants to get the public's feedback on how far wind turbines must be located from homes, roadways and property lines.

The first of nine public meetings was held Monday night at Brookside Junior High School in Prospect.

About 15 vocal residents turned out to give their opinion on the proposed regulations for locating large- and small-scale wind turbines around the area.

Shayne Vipond, HRM senior planner, said the opinions were varied, with most people wanting the benefits of green energy but not in their backyard.

Most people want a conservative approach to setting guidelines for allowing turbines near a residence but fully endorsed the use of green power, he said.

He said this is "pretty typical" of the response by communities.

"What we're going to be doing is talking about the direction that we're looking at now for the actual siting regulations. These are regulations that are open for debate. That's the purpose of bringing it forward to the community," said Mr. Vipond.

The proposed bylaws, which will go before municipal council next spring, have been several years in the making.

Council initiated a planning process for wind power almost three years ago and held public consultations in 2007.

"The difference between this community consultation effort and the one we did in 2007, we're actually coming forward with specific direction. Last time, we were looking to get general impressions from the public. At that time, the public certainly weren't as informed and it wasn't as front and centre as it is now and it's gaining momentum," said Mr. Vipond.

He said erecting wind turbines in HRM is being driven by the need to reduce fossil fuel consumption, which accounts for almost 80 per cent of power generation in Nova Scotia.

HRM is proposing bylaws for large-scale turbines with a minimum distance of 500 metres from the base of the turbine to the nearest building. Small-scale turbines must be set back 180 metres from a residence, hospital, hotel, motel or convention centre.

Another classification for a small-scale turbine located in a business park or commercial campus has a setback distance of 30 metres.

Regional council has approved test sites for wind turbines near the Otter Lake garbage dump, in Upper Sackville near the old landfill site, at watersheds near Lake Major and Tomahawk and Pockwock lakes, and in an area near St. Margarets Bay.

"We hope to present to the public and get some feedback," he said.

There has been some opposition to large-scale wind projects in areas like Yarmouth County, where residents living near wind farms have complained about noise. To address that and other concerns, the province partnered with the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities to do a $45,000 study to develop wind turbine bylaws and policies last year.

Mr. Vipond said staff used "best practices" guidelines as recommended by this study but did not include sound level guidelines.

"We're not looking to regulate noise. We feel that by providing adequate distance separation, noise is dealt with by default," he said.

"There is another layer of regulation through the provincial environmental assessment that deals with sound. What we're trying not to do is duplicate the environmental assessment process because we feel that is an undue burden to potential wind energy developers at the small and large scales."

Debbie Neilson, sustainability co-ordinator at the UNSM, said the public consultation process HRM is currently undertaking allows a community to be involved and also provides clarity for wind turbine developers.

One of the biggest challenges facing developers is getting the public onside, said Ms. Neilson.

The public meetings will be held across HRM in November, December and January, and the locations can be found on the HRM website, halifax.ca.


Source: http://thechronicleherald.c...

NOV 12 2009
https://www.windaction.org/posts/23095-wind-opinions-sought
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