Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from Canada
Some might suggest council erred on the side of caution Monday night, by deferring wind turbine projects until provincial legislation is updated. But when council takes action to potentially protect the health of Chatham-Kent citizens, while also waiting to ensure future wind projects are up to provincial snuff, it is a wise move indeed.
The debate got heated Monday as opponents of wind turbine projects urged the Town of Essex council to delay any more zoning approvals until the regulations from Ontario's new Green Energy Act kick in. Coun. Paul Innes got into a shouting match with one resident -- farmer Colette McLean -- and asked that she be thrown out. However, tempers calmed and McLean finished her pitch for a municipal delay.
Town council has given administration the go-ahead to proceed with the Official Plan Amendment (OPA) and Zoning Bylaw Amendment (ZBA) in relation to the wind farm proposed by genGrowth. However, they noted it is merely a starting point for discussion with more input and details to come. ...Councillor Bob Pillon, who has been vocal at previous meetings about health risks, was at least willing to explore the matter further. "Now they are in a position where council needs answers," said Pillon. "I have many questions, trust me."
Action on two wind farm proposals was deferred Monday by Chatham-Kent council because of new provincial legislation. The deferral action was recommended by consultant Tom Storey as a result of changes being considered by the province under the Green Energy and Green Economy Act. The council chambers was packed for the council planning session by supporters and opponents of wind farms.
By 2015, new wind-power developments will double the amount of wind energy produced in Canada. But as government investment in wind power has increased, opposition has risen in tandem. Local and provincial legislators are finally acknowledging opponents' growing concerns, but they certainly aren't putting the brakes on development.
Opposition to wind turbines in Pigeon Bay has even reached the Ontario legislature. Last week MPP Bruce Crozier presented a petition signed by "thousands" of area residents opposed to any wind generating projects in the bay. And despite the mounting pressure on the government, the company behind the proposal says it will be answering all the questions its detractors have raised.
Prowind's plans for Gunn's Hill Road have drawn plenty of public outcry and opposition from those saying the large wind turbines with their low-frequency vibrations and stray voltage cause health problems for nearby residents. The movement there grew into the Oxford Wind Action Group, a member of Wind Concerns Ontario -- both are lobby groups opposed to the development of industrial wind farms near residences.
Zoning violations - big or small - tend to get people upset. And the fact remains that, at 10 metres tall, Findlay's turbine would be twice the height permitted for city backyards, not to mention the feeling among some neighbours that the structure is too close to their homes. Hence the city's committee of adjustment rejected Findlay's proposal to harness wind power right on his own property.
Miniature wind turbines will eventually become part of the urban landscape and should be allowed in a residential Ottawa area under strict conditions, an Ontario Municipal Board hearing was told Thursday.
Although they gave the conditional go-ahead to a six-turbine wind project, Chatham-Kent council still wants answers. The Harwich Wind Farm, from Wind Prospect Inc. and another partner, received zoning approval Monday night. However, a letter from the neighbour of a different project was brought up at the table.
Local municipalities need to retain some control over where solar and wind energy projects are located, the County of Simcoe insists. ..."The speed at which this new legislation is being introduced, and the relatively short period of time provided for public consultation, leaves us with concerns at the potential implications"
Taking a last-minute vacation to Cuba and looking to ease your conscience? Don't buy carbon offsets, says Mark Jaccard. Those wind turbines you are helping to fund in India could be improving people's lives. But they aren't likely to save the warming atmosphere from the extra load of carbon dioxide your flight is set to release.
Most residents don't have a problem with the naturalizing and creation of green initiatives, but some are protesting the installation of the wind turbine, which will stand 33 feet tall with six-foot blades, while other issues in the neighbourhood remain unaddressed. "We have been told by the town we can't have things like traffic lights and crossing guards because they are not in the budget, but, now, they are going to put in a wind turbine," resident Hailey Stevenson said, pointing out the community is built around a four-lane highway. "I feel like I'm choking. I can't even get my kids across the street."
Local wind energy developer Allan Kettles failed to get any further with his application for a small windfarm north of Pincher Creek earlier this week. ...MD Councillor Rod Zielinski pointed to a series of typographical errors in Kettles application for a six-turbine windfarm last month. Planning commission members also expressed concern that some information was missing from the application, which would help them to make a decision on the merit of the project. As a result they requested Kettles fill in the blanks and make the necessary corrections before they reviewed it again.
We do need to invest in technologies that reduce our reliance on fossil fuels that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. But I believe we must do so with intelligence and not be seduced by vague or reckless promises that clearly do not stand up to scrutiny. Nor should we proceed with enormous public expenditures without appropriate due diligence and reasonable care, especially when it comes to the health and welfare of our fellow citizens and the future of our children.
The Ontario government's pledge to remove barriers to renewable energy projects is being viewed warily by Municipality of Bluewater Mayor Bill Dowson. The province's proposed Green Energy Act, announced in late February, aims to promote green energy projects like solar and wind farms, and may include province-wide standards for where such facilities can be located, overruling municipal bylaws.
The Township of Madawaska Valley Council has slapped a moratorium on the approval of any wind turbine projects until next year's municipal elections, at which time voters will have a chance to vote on the wind farm issue in a referendum question attached to their ballots. The move came after an at-times heated debate on the issue at Monday night's regular council meeting.
With council chambers overflowing with an equal mix of supporters and opponents of wind turbines, an attempt Monday to temporarily halt all projects in the Town of Essex failed in a 5-2 vote. The vote means the town could be receiving requests to approve official plan amendments and zoning bylaw changes for a $100-million, 24-turbine wind project southwest of Harrow within the next few weeks.
Their responsibility is that they will listen to the discord and harmony of public discourse and determine the right direction for our public good. To emphasize, we expect them to listen. However, it appears they are failing to meet that expectation. When Mr. Smitherman hosts a town hall meeting and fails to reflect a basic level of empathy with his constituents, telling them the plant will be built regardless of what they have to say, he fails our expectations to listen.
"I think that if they want to get something going, they could do a partial lifting of the orange zone and allow the capacity that is available today to be produced by wind energy," Estill said in a recent interview. "If there's a problem with any of the nuclear units, as there often is, or if the refurbishment is started on another nuclear unit, to me, it's pretty darn good odds that not everything is going to be producing at the same time and they would be able to use the existing [transmission] capacity," Estill said.