Library filed under Zoning/Planning from Maryland
Despite Maryland’s ambitious commitment to renewable energy, solar power continues to generate friction across the state. Large utility-scale projects have been bogged down in regulatory reviews and lawsuits, as farming interests, local governments and conservation groups push back against placing photovoltaic panels on cropland and pasture.
Visual resource scientist and town of Ocean City consultant Robert Sullivan also submitted written testimony to the PSC last Friday. Sullivan’s testimony, based largely on years of experience and the direct findings of offshore wind energy projects in the U.S. and abroad, suggested the increased height in the turbines would almost certainly make the Skipjack project visible from the Ocean City coast. “I am certain that on many day, the project will be easily visible from many oceanside locations in Ocean City, particularly from the northern sections of Ocean City and especially so from the upper floors of buildings in Ocean City,” he wrote.
Before taking public comment, council members questioned the applicant about the array, and expressed concern that it didn’t meet benchmarks under the county’s current solar ordinance. Some of those included that the property is composed of 100 percent prime farmland soils, and the project footprint exceeds the 10 percent threshold of tillable acreage, according to a staff report from the county’s Planning Department.
In a draft order, a Public Utility Law Judge has recommended that the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) deny a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) permit for the construction of the Dan's Mountain Wind Farm.
CUMBERLAND — Allegany County Circuit Court Judge Timothy Finan has upheld the county's denial of a 17-turbine wind farm project on Dan’s Mountain, according to The Associated Press.
Allegany County commissioners have filed a motion with the Maryland Public Service Commission to dismiss a Dan’s Mountain Wind Force request for a required certificate for a 17-turbine wind farm project on Dan’s Mountain.
Allegany County is a code, home-rule government, and can address zoning and land use codes for the county through a strict and organized process, which can't be trumped by state law. “We do not want to live underneath wind turbines,” Park said. ...[wind turbines are] very noisy, turbines are not friendly, they do not make good neighbors.”
The Allegany County Board of Zoning Appeals on Friday voted unanimously to deny an application for variances and a special exception for a proposed 17-turbine wind farm project on Dan's Mountain, killing the $110 million project.
Kent County commissioners voted to oppose the wind farm and support a state Senate Bill that would restore local authority to the approval process. However, the Bill failed to make it out of committee before the legislative term ended 13 April.
Somerset County Commissioners have not reached a decision on whether to approve a contentious wind energy project proposal. Commissioners convened for an open session to discuss a letter, from the Department of Defense, that objected to the Great Bay Wind project.
The Planning Commission does not have the final word. The county commission will make the final decision. He pointed out that, regardless of what the planners recommend, the county commission “can change the ordinance however they see fit.” That decision could clear the way for the development or stop it in its tracks.
The Somerset County Planning and Zoning Commission completed changes to a proposed industrial wind ordinance but said there could be more changes before an Oct. 28 vote on the document.
The Somerset Planning and Zoning Commission voted to set noise levels for industrial wind turbines at 40 decibels in the nighttime and 65 decibels during the day. Maryland code sets decibel levels at 55 and 65 night and day, respectively.
Harvey A. Kagan, who describes himself as a licensed professional engineer living in Somerset County, believes the wind farm poses a enormous threat to the future of the county. “There are serious environmental and health issues and the long-term impact to the quality of life and character of Somerset County, as opposed to short-term financial gains by a few,” he said in a statement posted on the web.
The Somerset County Planning and Zoning Commission continues work session discussions on a proposed industrial wind turbine ordinance Sept. 23 in Princess Anne. Pioneer Green energy company wants to develop a wind farm in the Westover region of Somerset County.
A draft ordinance to regulate large-scale wind turbines will be sent back to the Somerset County Planning Commission for review and possible revisions before County Commissioners will consider its adoption. The commissioners last week asked Planning Commission members to review the document, make revisions, hold a public hearing and send their recommendation back to the commissioners by Oct. 3.
City officials said they could not comment on why they resorted to using eminent domain — the right of government to take private property for public use ...The property is an unoccupied concrete block apartment building and is one of four needed for the turbine which will power the sewer plant.
But most conservationists oppose the change. They warn that allowing any non-agricultural activity on land set aside for farming could undermine long-running efforts to preserve Maryland's best remaining farmland. Though the state has one of the most successful preservation programs in the country, only a fourth of all farmland is shielded from development pressures, they say.
Garrett County residents urged the county commissioners to forward the draft of the land-use management ordinance, which establishes wind turbine setbacks, back to the Planning Commission during the public comment portion of Tuesday's county meeting. "I think solving this issue locally for our county politics is the best pathway for getting real meaningful setbacks in place here in Garrett County."
A petition signed by 39 residents asks Garrett County commissioners to impose realistic setbacks or ordinances that would protect families and homes from a proposed wind farm on Four Mile Ridge and part of Big Savage Mountain.