Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from Canada
Although many issues are similar, there are enough differences of concern between Amaranth and Melancthon on wind turbines that the Ontario Municipal Board could sit for nine or 10 weeks to accommodate all parties and participants to the proceedings. The hearing would determine whether the townships should approve Official Plan amendments and site-specific zoning for 88 wind turbines that Canadian Hydro Developers Inc. is proposing for its Melancthon II project - 23 in Amaranth and 65 in Melancthon, with a total nameplate capacity of 132 megawatts. Hearing Officer Susan Schiller presided over prehearing conferences in both townships on Tuesday and Thursday last week, and was asked to set aside three days in April for motions and further procedural discussions. One of those days, April 5, would deal with months principally affecting Melancthon. The other two days, April 23 and 24, would be principally devoted to Amaranth. However, there could be some overlapping.
The Kingsbridge 2 wind energy project, just north of Goderich may be on hold — but the Reeve of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh believes it will go ahead. Ben Van Diepenbeek says he believes Epcor will eventually go ahead with its 300-million-dollar project. He says his council will meet Tuesday night (FEB. 20) to amend its setback zoning bylaws which he says, Epcor has indicated they can live with. Van Diepenbeek believes the new bylaw will pass.
Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh reeve Ben Van Diepenbeek says he doesn’t believe a two-week delay in passing their bylaw on setbacks for wind turbines will affect Epcor’s Kingsbridge 2 project. Van Diepenbeek says the bylaw was deferred at their last council meeting because they wanted to investigate some new information and they wanted to give new councillors a chance to look over the bylaw. Van Diepenbeek says he’s confident that the setbacks of 400 metres to a house and 600 to an urban development are adequate and he says the bylaw will come before council again at its next meeting.
An Ontario Municipal Board pre-hearing conference scheduled for the Melancthon Township council chambers Tuesday had to be moved to the Dundalk arena to accommodate the unexpected 100 residents who showed up for it. But the hearing itself - at least with respect to Melancthon - might become unnecessary between now and August 2007, when three weeks have been scheduled for it. The hearing might be an unusual one, if not unique, as it involves a single wind-generator project comprising 88 turbines in two townships, Amaranth and Melancthon This means there have to be two pre-hearing conferences - Tuesday's for Melancthon and another today for Amaranth. In addition, the Board has scheduled a "procedural" meeting for April 5. However, the main event - the August hearing - would "consolidate" the concerns of both municipalities if, indeed, both Amaranth and Melancthon continue to have concerns by then.
Kincardine continues to struggle for a policy on who’s planning the wind farms. Area resident Andy Robinson was at council asking again why Kincardine is granting zoning approvals on windfarms which have yet to be fully endorsed by higher tier authorities like the Ministry of the Environment. Robinson is also suggesting a local planning advisory committee be set up to come with policy for all future windfarm proposals. But Kincardine mayor Larry Kramer says the municipality has to be careful they don’t come up with local planning rules flying in the face of existing provincial policy - which currently endorses wind farms as an viable alternative power source. Kraemer adds Bruce County is currently tackling turbine setback distances and other windfarm issues in its Official Plan re-write, and says now is the time for the public to get their concerns on record at the County level.
The prospect of a Public Inquiry into North British Windpower Ltd’s plans to build a 48 turbine wind farm at Fallago Rig is looking ever more likely now that Scottish Borders Council has become the latest in an increasing list of organisations and individuals to object to it. Councillors at last Friday’s development and building control committee meeting were applauded by local people opposed to the development when they voted 9-3 to continue to object to the wind farm application, despite the number of 110-125m high turbines being reduced from the original number of 62. The decision on whether or not to allow the wind farm to go ahead lies with the Scottish Executive and they will have to take into account that as well as hundreds of individual objections to the proposal, Scottish Borders Council, East Lothian Council and Scottish Natural Heritage still oppose the amended proposal.
The Winnipeg skyline may soon have a distinct feature that would stand as tall as the Richardson building. The province and The Forks are considering building a wind turbine if community consultations and wind-monitoring tests prove successful.
AMHERSTBURG — About 150 people packed the Malden Community & Cultural Centre Sunday afternoon to hear the views of some of the people opposed to the proposed wind farms in the area. The event was hosted by Bill Anderson and his wife Maureen. Anderson doesn’t believe the time is right for the area to build wind farms until more in known about this way of creating electricity. “We think this isn’t the answer (wind farms). We have found out that wind power may not work,” he said.
Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh Township council is not pleased that EPCOR is not responding to the public’s concerns. “EPCOR is not coming through with the information we have asked for,” said Reeve Ben Van Diepenbeek, following council’s Jan. 16 meeting. Van Diepenbeek said the public continues to address concerns to council of noise and of EPCOR not responding to their concerns. He said township resident Ross Brindley has also expressed concerns of stray voltage in his barn which he says were not there until after the wind turbines were built.
The list of issues for appealing the 110-turbine Enbridge Ontario Wind Power Project will be put forward in the coming weeks, after last week’s Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) pre-hearing. A crowd sat in on the three-hour meeting at the Municipality of Kincardine municipal building Jan. 25, to determine which groups would be representing the appellants, how the issues will be brought forward during the appeal and how information will be shared between appellants and the proponent. The hearing has been scheduled for a maximum of eight weeks starting April 23.
It seems every time you turn on the television, adjust the radio dial or flip through the pages of your favorite newspaper, a new wind farm proposal is being announced. Across Canada there are currently 26 wind farm developments slated to be in place by 2012. This time last year, Ventus Energy Inc, a Toronto-based wind energy developer, and the Métis Energy Corporation combined efforts with plans to develop a $2.5 million dollar wind farm near Churchill Falls.
From Barton, Vermont, to the German border with Denmark and from the shores of Lake Huron, to the Romney Marches of southern England, wind power advocates are fighting crosswinds from local residents. In Barton in mid-January, a referendum overwhelmingly rejected the wind power turbines that were planned near this upper Vermont community. ...In Germany, where one-third of the world's current wind power is generated, doubters have provoked a loud debate. The company that owns the grid that includes nearly half the wind-farms in Germany reported its wind farms generated only 11 percent of their capacity. The company said the winds vary so much the wind farm had to be backed 80 percent by the conventional power grid.
An HRM dump is one of the best places for future wind developments, according to a report written for the city. The Otter Lake landfill was rated as a five-star site (out of five) for wind-turbine development in an April 2006 draft HRM Wind-Energy Generation Master Plan. “The wind regime on the site is very good, according to the (wind-energy suitability model), and the south and western sections of the site are likely to be very suitable for wind-energy development, given high elevations,” reads the report. “There are only minor concerns with respect to construction hazards (three patches of extreme slope) and proximity to a residential area (one small strip at the northern corner of the property),” it also says.
The date to discuss the future of Enbridge wind farms is set. Beginning Monday April 23 for 8 consecutive weeks, both sides will be able argue their case to the Ontario Municipal Board at the Kincardine Municipal Offices. A pre-hearing was held in Kincardine yesterday to allow the appellants to formally announce their intentions. There were 42 by-law appeals from 37 individuals filed against the construction of 110 wind turbines in Kincardine.
A pre-hearing is set for today in Kincardine. At hand is the issue of a proposed 110 wind farm by Enbridge Ontario. It will be held at 11am in Kincardine in Council’s Chambers. Enbridge Kincardine General Manager Bob Simpson says those against the farm will offer reasons, issues and details as to why.
The first community co-op wind farm development in North America is in the works for the Bervie area. The Lakewind Community Power Co-op Project has many hurdles to overcome before the five-turbine, 10-megawatt project gets off the ground, including approval for connection from the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) and the generation of $10-million in shareholder investments. Bird migratory studies have been completed and two years of wind data has been collected at the properties, owned by two farmers along Highway 9 between Bervie and Kinloss, west of the municipal boundary. Doug Fyfe, general manager for Countryside Energy Co-op which is overseeing the project’s development, said an Environmental Assessment (EA) still needs to be completed. Fyfe said public meetings will also be upcoming to hear public concerns and advertise the project as an option for prospective investors. He believes the project will be well-received, as they’re taking a community-minded approach based on common public concerns. “We’re keeping well away from residential areas and we’re not getting the huge number of turbines we’re seeing with commercial (wind) projects,” said Fyfe. “We want to want to be a co-operative in spirit, as well as name.”
Florida Power and Light (FPL), possibly the largest windenergy company in the world, has signed "a handful" of land leases in Amaranth with a view to establishing an unspecified sort of wind plant there. But the company is mum about its plans. "We have no existing projects in Canada, no specific projects announced at this time," said communications officer Steve Stengel in a phone interview from his Miami office. "We're new to Canada. We like to understand (local) concerns, and like to exchange information with community leaders."
Crab fishermen don’t want to get pushed off their fishing ground by a wind energy project in Hecate Strait. Geoff Gould, director for Area A Crab Association says crab fishermen are competing with Nai Kun Wind Development for the same 550 square kilometre piece of real estate in Hecate Strait.
Dufferin County’s western townships are likely to be discussing the same issues throughout 2007, but it’s not certain whether or not they’ll be taking the same tack, especially on wind farms and garbage disposal. In Melancthon, Mayor Ron Dillman wants to resolve issues delaying the Melancthon II wind project as quickly as possible. He says he’s concerned about revenues lost through delays, and about the possibility of an Ontario Municipal Board hearing.
Amaranth Township Council will seek to have the Canadian Hydro Developers existing transformer substation included as an issue at an Ontario Municipal Board hearing into the Melancthon II wind-turbine project. Mayor Don MacIver told township CAO Sue Stone to advise the CHD lawyers accordingly, after the council had heard a recording of noise levels near the substation, said to be as high as 65 decibels, at Wednesday’s meeting, In playing the recording, Paul Thompson, a neighbour of the substation, said there is a constant hum from the transformer — constantly at 40 dB, he said — but rising for about 10-20 seconds to as much as 65 when the CHD transmission goes back on grid after being off for a time, according to his recorded demonstration, although the under-construction sound barriers are intended to reduce it to 31 dB. Mr. Thompson said the sound reflects off a metal shed on his property. “If you listen (long) it gets in your head, and you can’t get it out,” he said.