Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from Canada
UPPER GULF SHORE - Lisa Betts considers herself an environmentalist, but she's preparing to do battle with wind turbine companies and local governments because of plans to build towering windmills too close to residential areas. "I've been a green person since I was a kid more than 40 years ago. I recycle and compost. I'm pro being green, so it's kind of hard taking on a sacred cow of the move toward green energy," Ms. Betts said in an interview Saturday. "But I feel I have to. What is being proposed as setbacks (the distance the closest turbine can be to a home) for wind turbines by Cumberland County Council just isn't sufficient. "I moved here because of the peace and quiet. What they are proposing will alter that because they will be allowing companies to build way too close to residential areas."
A standing-room-only crowd, largely of Mono Mulmur Citizens Coalition members, left little doubt that they were solidly opposed to rumoured gravel/ quarry development at Redickville plus conversion of Arbour Farms on Airport Road to a gravel pit, as well as to the development of wind farms on the hills of Mulmur, when they met in the basement hall of the Mulmur Township building at Terra Nova Saturday.
Amaranth council has effectively appealed a Ministry of Environment decision not to order a full environmental assessment of the Canadian Hydro Developers (CHD) 88-turbine Melancthon II wind-farm project. Director James O'Mara of the ministry's Approvals Branch, in a letter dated March 9 to the 15 persons who had requested elevation of the ESR to "an individual environmental assessment," noted the rationale for acceptance of each aspect of the report to which the requesters had objected. "The issues and concerns raised by (the requesters) were extensively reviewed. I am satisfied that the issues and concerns have been addressed by the work done to date by (CHD), or will be addressed in future work that is required to be carried out, and to which commitments have been made by (CHD) in its ESR and other Project documentation," Mr. O'Mara said in his letter. Although the decision was taken March 9, it was not technically released until March 19. This gave the requesters until April 2 to seek a ministerial review. At its meeting on March 21, Amaranth council instructed Thomson Rogers lawyer Jeff Wilker to request a review. As of last Friday, Melancthon Township had not made a similar request, had not called a special meeting, and does not meet until April 5 - three days after the deadline for appeals. Although the director's decision indicates that the project may now proceed, "subject to any other permits or approvals required," the matter is before the Ontario Municipal Board, at least with respect to Amaranth. (At the OMB pre-hearing recently, Melancthon indicated it could proceed with zoning upon approval of the ESR.)
It will likely be this summer before the county introduces new regulations governing the installation of wind turbines. A series of public meetings over the past few months, along with written submissions, will be used to fine-tune the county's proposed bylaw, said Warden Allister MacDonald. "Within the next couple of weeks we'll be meeting with the consultants and come up with our basic plan," MacDonald said. "We'll present it to council later this spring. We're trying to get a happy balance for the concerned residents and the developers. Wind turbine energy is very important to all of us, but we have to make sure it doesn't adversely affect residents living nearby." After that, it will have to go through first and second reading, as well as a public hearing process where citizens will have one last opportunity to give input on the plan. MacDonald expects that council will make a decision on the matter in July or August.
Grand River Conservation Authority is keeping a close eye on FPLE Canadian Wind's proposal to build wind turbines generally along County Road 109, eastward from Arthur and extending into East Luther Grand Valley. FPLE is the Canadian branch of Florida Power and Light, arguably the largest electrical wind energy company in the world. It has also made overtures to Amaranth Township council, and has secured leases with several landowners there. In a letter to FPLE project manager Michael DeBock in Burlington, resource planner Liz Yerex of the Grand River Conservation Authority said earlier this month that the study area includes wetlands and "many" tributaries of the Conestogo and Grand rivers. As such, "these areas are subject to the Development, Interference with Wetlands and Alterations to Shorelines and Watercourses Regulation," she said.
Wind turbines shouldn't be allowed near Point Pelee National Park, Holiday Beach or the south shore of Essex County, Ron Elliott, co-ordinator of the Windsor Essex County Environment Committee, says. "They do have the potential if they're in the wrong places to be an environmental disaster for birds. There's no denying that. And they're going to be around for 20 years, so they have to be located right," Elliott said, adding the "whole south shore is essentially one big migration route."
A big step forward for the Melancthon wind farm project. Canadian Hydro, Executive Vice-President, Ann Hughes says they've been excused from doing an Individual Environmental Assessment on Phase 2 of the wind farm. Hughes says an "individual" assessement would have looked at the wind farm on a per-parcel-of-land basis, not a general overview.
Move over satellite dish -- make room for a little wind. Wind power, that is, as in rooftop turbines. City council will be asked to pass a bylaw Monday to regulate the new green power, small versions of the turbines popping up along the shores of lakes Erie and Huron. As satellite dishes became common, so, too, will renewable energy products such as solar panels and even rooftop turbines, some experts say.
Council granted a zoning bylaw amendment that could see new wind turbines along Lakeshore Road in Norfolk, but not everyone is happy about it. Council heard from several concerned citizens living in and around the former Township of Houghton, where the lands in question are located. They cited everything from concern for native bird species to noise pollution as reasons to oppose the zoning bylaw amendment. The application, from AIM PowerGen Corporation, affects six parcels of land currently zoned agricultural. AIM obtained a special provision to the land's zoning, which adds wind turbines as a permitted use. If AIM goes ahead and adds turbines on the lands in question, they would be part of Phase 2 of the Erie Shores Wind Farm. Ross Bateman was the first to speak out against the zoning amendment. He said adding turbines would contravene the county Official Plan, which he said speaks to protecting the delicate area along the Erie lakeshore. Moreover, said Bateman, wind farms aren't as "green" as their proponents would have people believe. Bateman asked council to suspend a decision on the application.
Ontario Municipal Board hearing officer Susan de Avellar Schiller has delivered a procedural order for the hearings into the Melancthon II wind farm project. In her decision, released Wednesday, she notes that the Canadian Hydro Developers proposals for Melancthon and Amaranth townships "share a number of issues, and have some overlap in the parties and participants who are interested" but the cases with respect to each township are to be kept separate. However, she also says that the Board "may occasionally direct that certain matters relating to the cases" should be heard within the same hearing, "serially on the same day or days." The CHD, with respect to Melancthon, is appealing under three separate sections of the Planning Act: 22 (7) over the township's delay in amending the Official Plan to permit construction of turbines on specific sites; 34 (11) for the same reason respecting zoning; and 41 (2) for the same reasons of "refusal or neglect" to act. Ms. Schiller's decision is that those matters be consolidated.
The preferred alternative in a draft environmental impact statement on a proposed transmission line between Great Falls and Lethbridge, Alberta, recommends changes to soften its impact on landowners. When constructed, the Montana Alberta Tie Ltd. line would provide the state with 300 megawatts of electricity-transmission capacity. It is expected to spur construction of up to four wind farms in northcentral Montana, which would use the line to ship power to homes and businesses in Montana and Canada. The State Department of Environmental Quality released the study late Friday afternoon.
The Union of Owners of the lands and tourism projects at Punta Cana's Polygon 5 reiterated that the Punta Cana-Macao Energy Consortium (CEPM) seeks to install a wind energy park in the coastal strip at Cabo Engaño, Altagracia (Higuey) province (east), in private lands and without the required permits. But the CEPM affirms that it has the project's necessary permits. The president of the owners' organization Braulio Garrido warned that they are wiling to go to court and file charges for abuse authority against any official who violates the tourism legislation, the Law of Coasts and Seas, and decree 595-06 authorizing the construction of the wind mills, which he affirms would be the highest constructions built in that zone of the country. They stated that decree 595-06 issued by president Leonel Fernandez does not authorize CEPM to install a wind energy park in the coastal strip. "The first paragraph establishes that it authorizes that partnership to build project on their land of their property and we challenge the promoters of the wind energy park to present their deeds and permits authorizing them to occupy that place," he said. Garrido feels that it would be detrimental for the country if it decides to sell part of its lands to install a wind park in a tourism zone, affirming that the Union of Owners has 40 million square meters of land along the Cabo Engaño shoreline. He insists that the project affects tourism and pollutes the environment.
CanWEA, as a lobbyist organization for the multi-national wind industry will make every attempt possible to discount or minimize any potential problems in order to keep government subsidies rolling in to the corporations they represent and get their towers erected. CanWEA is not an environmental advocacy group.
AMHERSTBURG — Some requested more information, others opposed it while the mayor states there is a long way to go relating to the issue of a proposed wind farm near Malden Centre. The council chambers were packed at the February 26 meeting with most in attendance being there for the two delegations on the wind farm issue. Gengrowth is proposing a wind farm in the area which they say would be five turbines or less. Mayor Wayne Hurst indicated the matter is far from over.
An Ottawa company says it will start work on the first phase of Eastern Ontario’s largest wind energy project near the South Dundas community of Williamsburg this fall. Robert van Eyk, CEO and president of Windfield Energy Inc., told The AgriNews last month that plans are on track for the first few turbines, representing 10 megawatts of electricity production, to go up on property to be leased from local landowners. Although van Eyk couldn’t offer a firm time line, he suggested this initial “chunk” of the 75-megawatt project would take about two years to complete after a fall construction start. The company hopes to follow up with six similar phases and eventually dot a large swath of countryside — south of County Rd. 18 between Williamsburg and Boucks Hill — with over thirty 300-foot turbine towers, each producing between 1.8 and 2.2 megawatts.
SCOTSBURN – Residents living near a wind turbine on Fitzpatrick Mountain want stricter regulations put in place to prevent the turbines from being put too close to homes. In the right weather conditions, says nearby resident Wayne Pierce, the turbines can make a “noise like a jet aircraft in place overhead.” County council is in the process of creating a new bylaw to put regulations in place on the distance wind turbines must be from other properties. The proposed bylaw would require turbines to be placed three times the height of the turbine from the property line. That’s not enough for Pierce, however, who believes the distance should be taken from adjacent homes.
Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh Twp. council is now taking their concerns with wind turbines directly to the Ministry of Environment. That was the decision after council again deferred the township’s proposed wind turbine setback bylaw, at their Feb. 20 meeting, which is now going into six months of discussion. Council is attending the OGRA/ROMA Conference in Toronto this week and have arranged to meet with representatives of the MOE. They have also requested that Huron-Bruce MPP Carol Mitchell sit in on the meeting.
The Barbados Light and Power Company is meeting growing resistance to its plan to construct a windfarm at Lamberts in St. Lucy. The residents have raised concerns about environmental risks including noise pollution at a town hall meeting over the weekend. The residents of Josey Hill and areas where the proposed farm is to be developed have unpleasant memories of Barbados’ lone experiment with wind power. This turbine at Berry Hill erected in 1986. Some of the residents say it was extremely noisy and charge that eleven, which the company is planning to build will be deafening. A number of other Barbadians also commented on the proposed development the main point of focus the location of the turbines to homes.
AMHERSTBURG - Residents opposed to a proposed wind energy farm in the former Malden Township are going before Amherstburg town council tonight to ask the town to impose setback requirements for the giant wind turbines. Bill Anderson and with his wife Maureen have been leading a charge against a plan by Toronto-based GenGrowth wind energy company to build five wind turbines on Concession 6 and Middle Sideroad, will speak to council for five minutes tonight. Anderson said this is just the first of 18 projects proposed for Essex County. He said in California wind turbines can’t be built within three kilometres of residential areas. In Europe, he added, they are now banned from land areas and are only allowed in the ocean. Anderson said people who have lived near wind turbines are kept awake by the noise and suffer health problems.
The industry association that represents the nation’s wind power generators has partnered with Alberta’s electric system operator for a ground-breaking study into wind forecasting that could open the door to billions of dollars in wind power investment. The study of Alberta’s wind resource is seen as a key step in allowing this province’s wind generation industry — already Canada’s largest — to expand beyond a 900-megawatt limit the Alberta Electric System Operator imposed in May 2006. With help from the Alberta government, the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) and the AESO announced Wednesday the one-year, $1-million study will get underway in March paving the way for more wind power in Alberta.