Library filed under Zoning/Planning from USA
From their opening comments during a special commission meeting Thursday, it was clear how individual members of the Reno County Commission were going to vote on the application by NextEra energy for a wind farm permit. ... Commissioner Ron Hirst was the critical vote, leading to a defeat of the conditional use permit sought by the Florida developer.
Commissioner John Frey says that’s because county residents don’t want wind energy, a position reflected in the comprehensive plan. “We’re going to be just fine without wind energy,” Frey says. Erin Baker ...says this ordinance does put a stop to their plans. “Not only is this disappointing, but it does have an air of finality to it,” she says.
The majority of the area where E.ON would potentially build is currently zoned as agricultural property; wind turbines are typically zoned as industrial. The commission must determine how the wind energy projects would be regulated in the agricultural zoning. Thursday was one of six meetings the commission is dedicating to discussing potential wind farm regulations.
Faced with mammoth amounts of information — studies, reports, comments from citizens — the Douglas County Board has pushed back a final vote on whether to let a wind farm set up shop. The board was scheduled to rule Monday on Texas-based EDP Renewables' application to build the Harvest Ridge Wind Farm in Newman and Murdock townships.
County commissioners balked Monday at paying a bill from Wichita attorney Pat Hughes that includes consultations regarding a proposed wind farm in the south portion of the county.
Voters in Bay County recalled a township supervisor who was pushing the development of wind farms. Jonesfield Township in Saginaw County rejected a zoning change that would have enabled more turbines. And in Baraga County, voters turned down a zoning ordinance sought by a British wind power developer. These are small communities, but indicative of the chronic problem utility companies have in siting wind farms.
Now the plan commission will revisit the proposed zoning ordinance when they meet again May 29. Last month’s meeting included a public hearing on the proposal with a majority of push-back against zoning, wind farm development or both. Before commissioners can consider anything, the plan commission must “sign off” on some kind of proposal, Taylor said. Five votes are needed to pass out of the commission and go to commissioners.
The board planned to approve the law Wednesday, but during a meeting that attracted more than 50 people to the town barn, several residents criticized the legislation, which they viewed as too restrictive for wind development, and urged the board to amend it before taking action. The proposed law limits turbine height for projects that would generate more than 100 kilowatts of electricity to 400 feet. Developers have to erect turbines and components away from property lines, structures and roads at a distance of five times their height. Commercial wind farm turbines cannot emit noise louder than 35 A-weighted decibels, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and 25 A-weighted decibels, from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.
As protests mounted Monday about the message being sent to the rest of Indiana and world about Tippecanoe County’s commitment to green energy, the biggest turbines and commercial wind farms were banned from rural land around Lafayette and West Lafayette.
Woman angrily walks out of county meeting Opponents of a proposed wind farm that would span from Florence to Aulne to north of Peabody have hired two lawyers in an effort to stop potential development.
The Boone County Planning & Zoning Commission is looking to create zoning regulations for future wind farms, though no decisions have been made to allow one in northwest Boone County. The Energy & Environment Commission met with the Planning & Zoning Commission during a work session Tuesday to discuss the future of regulating wind farms in the county.
As opponents of a proposed wind farm in Reno County work to gather enough petitions to force a unanimous vote by the Reno County Commission on the issue, an unidentified organization is conducting a telephone campaign in support of the development.
CLINTON — A $300 million wind farm will not be coming to DeWitt County. The DeWitt County Board voted 6-5 with one abstention Thursday night against a special-use permit from Tradewind Energy. The vote was taken after a two-hour meeting before a crowd of about 300 people at Clinton High School. Previously, the county's Zoning Board of Appeals and Regional Planning Commission also rejected the plan.
A proposed wind farm in Nemaha county is drawing a great deal of support and criticism from people who live there. Dozens of people came to the Nemaha county community building in Seneca Thursday afternoon to speak their mind about the project at a county commission meeting.
During a brief public hearing on Monday evening, Otis residents voiced unanimous opposition to commercial wind development in the town. “I love the area,” said William Grindle. “It’s pretty much undisturbed and it should stay that way.”
“I think more harm will be visited on the residents than for the welfare of the county as a whole,” he said. “I salute NextEra for proposing a grand project. It’s a dandy project in the wrong place. Three-fourths of the county would be a better place than this location.”
Speakers addressed possible mechanical failures with wind turbines; noise; “shadow flickers” from turbine blades and other health effects; karst geology in the bluffs; other environmental issues such as wildlife and groundwater; property values; roads and other infrastructure; and “setbacks,” the required distances between turbines and homes, other structures and roadways. “There are too many what-ifs (with the current ordinance) to protect the taxpayers and the residents of our county,” said Rich Harsey, 47, of rural Waterloo.
A proposal to build a 100-tower wind farm in the southern portion of the county will be taken up by the county planning and zoning board April 25.
The planning commission pointed to the code compliance section of the Pegasus SLUP application as the main reason for revocation. The section reads: “The Pegasus Wind Energy Center will comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations and will obtain all required federal, state, and local approvals, licenses, permits or variances for the proposed wind project prior to the date of construction. ...Despite a portion of the section stating that NextEra would not begin construction until it retains all applicable permits, the Pegasus Project has begun with the construction of base supports as well as roads to the supports.
“We increased the setbacks to 2,000 feet (from 750 feet) from property lines. We indicate there should be zero shadow flicker on peoples’ property, unless they want to participate...and we also lowered the sound level,” he said.