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Grand Haven Township residents oppose Grand Rapids plan to build wind turbines near their homes

Lake Michigan cottage owner Rob Schantz favors smaller carbon footprints, buying locally and other green initiatives. But plans by city of Grand Rapids officials to build two 300-foot-tall wind turbines within view of his family's cottage is not environmentally friendly in his book. ...Schantz and many of his lakefront neighbors plan to attend an informational meeting Monday night to voice concerns to Grand Haven Township officials considering an ordinance change to allow large electricity-generating wind turbines.

GRAND HAVEN TOWNSHIP - Lake Michigan cottage owner Rob Schantz favors smaller carbon footprints, buying locally and other green initiatives.

But plans by city of Grand Rapids officials to build two 300-foot-tall wind turbines within view of his family's cottage is not environmentally friendly in his book.

"I don't have air conditioning and I sleep with the window open during the summer," said Schantz, whose family has owned their cottage since his grandmother had it built in 1929.

"At night, when there's a prevailing wind from the east, I'm going to hear ‘wuh, wuh, wuh' all night long," he said.

Schantz and many of his lakefront neighbors plan to attend an informational meeting Monday night to voice concerns to Grand Haven Township officials considering an ordinance change to allow large electricity-generating wind turbines.

Grand Rapids officials have a $15 million proposal to build the turbines on 79 acres it owns next to the city's Lake Michigan Water Filtration Plant, 11177 Lakeshore Drive.

The turbines would generate electricity to power 15 pumps that deliver an average of 40 million gallons of Lake Michigan water a day to 300,000 customers in Grand... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

GRAND HAVEN TOWNSHIP - Lake Michigan cottage owner Rob Schantz favors smaller carbon footprints, buying locally and other green initiatives.

But plans by city of Grand Rapids officials to build two 300-foot-tall wind turbines within view of his family's cottage is not environmentally friendly in his book.

"I don't have air conditioning and I sleep with the window open during the summer," said Schantz, whose family has owned their cottage since his grandmother had it built in 1929.

"At night, when there's a prevailing wind from the east, I'm going to hear ‘wuh, wuh, wuh' all night long," he said.

Schantz and many of his lakefront neighbors plan to attend an informational meeting Monday night to voice concerns to Grand Haven Township officials considering an ordinance change to allow large electricity-generating wind turbines.

Grand Rapids officials have a $15 million proposal to build the turbines on 79 acres it owns next to the city's Lake Michigan Water Filtration Plant, 11177 Lakeshore Drive.

The turbines would generate electricity to power 15 pumps that deliver an average of 40 million gallons of Lake Michigan water a day to 300,000 customers in Grand Rapids and some of its suburbs.

The city also would mount solar collectors at the plant in hopes of saving its water utility as much as $565,000 a year.

The city is seeking a $9.95 million U.S. Department of Energy grant to make the project feasible.

For neighbors such as Tammy VanDyke, the meeting will be more about letting township officials know local residents are opposed.

"I was all for wind energy until I started looking online," said VanDyke, who lives in a home along Lakeshore Drive.

There are nearly 250 homes within a half-mile of the proposed turbines, she said.

"This is a community here, and it's a huge concern," VanDyke said.

She believes Grand Rapids should build the turbines three miles down the road next to to the Consumers Energy plant on 900 acres.

"They already have the large stack and the noise," she said.

Living next to a nature conservancy that abuts the city's property, VanDyke said the wind turbines are sure to disturb the two bald eagles that nest there and other wildlife.

The turbines will create a low frequency noise that will reduce property values in the area, Schantz said. He also is concerned about the danger the blades will pose to migratory birds.

Schantz and others hope to convince township officials the negatives to local residents outweigh any positives for Grand Rapids.

"Point blank, what it comes down to is that Grand Rapids has everything to gain, and we have everything to lose," he said.

While the township allows small and medium-size wind turbines for residential and business uses, it does not currently allow large-scale wind turbines, said Township Community Development Director Patrick Waterman.


Source: http://www.mlive.com/news/g...

NOV 28 2009
https://www.windaction.org/posts/23330-grand-haven-township-residents-oppose-grand-rapids-plan-to-build-wind-turbines-near-their-homes
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