Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from USA
Supporters of a proposed wind farm outnumbered opponents for the first time during a public hearing in Tazewell County. The Tazewell County Zoning Board of Appeals held its third public hearing Tuesday night, allowing comments on the proposed Rail Splitter Wind Farm by Houston-based Horizon Wind Energy LLC. ...Opponents of the wind farm have dominated the two previous public hearings with about a dozen speakers. They say the towers will lower property values, cause noise pollution and create an eyesore. Six people opposed to the wind farm spoke Tuesday. But residents who plan to host towers on their land and receive up to $500 a month to do it told the board about the benefits the towers would bring.
Douglas C. Webb, owner of Webb Research Corporation, is applying to the board of appeals for a special permit to install a 1.5-megawatt turbine on the company's property in the Falmouth Technology Park. ...The base of the turbine is planned to be 15 feet in diameter and 262 feet high, and the blade is 126 feet, according to the project's application on file with the town. Douglas Webb's son, Daniel H. Webb, who is president of Webb Research, has said that the turbine would provide energy for the company, and that any additional energy would be sold back into the regional power grid. Daniel Webb is also president of Notus Clean Energy, which will install the wind turbine. Though the only direct abutter to the property is Cape Cod Aggregates Corporation in the technology park, residents who live nearby have brought up concerns about the installation of the turbine.
McLean County will not be released from a lawsuit filed by homeowners who want to halt construction of a wind energy farm near Carlock, a McLean County judge ruled Wednesday. ...The McLean County Board granted the developer, Chicago-based Invenergy Wind, a special-use permit last year after a prolonged hearing process before the county Zoning Board of Appeals. Melissa McGrath, attorney for Information Is Power, argued in court Wednesday that the zoning board violated homeowners' constitutional rights by limiting the testimony in opposition to the project. She accused the county of imposing different procedural rules on homeowners who spokes against the project.
The developer of a proposed Ellis County wind farm has re-initiated the process of building the wind-energy complex in the county. Hays Wind today filed a request to the county commission requesting a waiver of the one-year waiting period for consideration of the proposed wind farm. The waiting period came into play after last year's rejection of the plan by the Ellis County Commission. Hays Wind project manager Krista Gordon said the latest request was well-researched. ...Recently, Hays Wind, whose parent company is Madrid-based Iberdrola, said it has considered two alternative locations within Ellis County, on top of the hotly contested location just southwest of Hays.
Navitas Energy of Minneapolis, Minn., has received permission to put two towers in the El Paso area to study the site of its proposed wind farm. The Woodford County Board voted Tuesday night to approve two special-use permits for 197-foot meteorological towers near El Paso. One will be on property owned by Charles Turk at 1052 County Road 2425 East, and the second on land owned by Milton Jochums, a quarter mile southeast of county roads 2200 North and 3000 East. The Woodford County Zoning Board recommended the approval. The permits were quietly approved in a consent agenda of resolutions, but that followed attempts by a resident to speak against proposed wind turbine projects in the county.
The Somerset Town Board will meet at 7 p.m. April 23 to discuss wind energy and possibly finalize a Host Community Agreement. The board, which voted against pursuing Empire State Wind Energy on March 24, bowed to public pressure and voted to invite the Oneida-based company. Keith Pitman, the chief executive officer of Empire State Wind Energy, will represent the company. ..."At every turn, we stumble with this project," Engert said. "It's an exercise in frustration." Residents were upset to learn of the breakdown in communications between the town and Empire State Wind Energy.
"The announcement the other day wasn't an announcement against wind energy or alternative energy. It was an announcement to preserve the public lands that we hold in trust for future generations," said Rick Abbruzzese, an O'Malley spokesman. "The governor is interested in doing all that we can to find alternative energy sources here in Maryland," he said. "But it didn't make sense to do at this particular state park." O'Malley's decision has "absolutely no impact" on the renewable portfolio standards or RPS bill ..."
The Hays City Commission will discuss wind generators within the city limits during the work session at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at City Hall, 1507 Main. "We had more than one individual come forward inquiring about wind towers within the city limits," said Jesse Rohr, superintendent of planning, inspection and enforcement. "They raised the flag and made us do some checking and realize we don't have enough in place to regulate those." The commission will discuss a moratorium to allow time to research. The moratorium would be in place until the end of the year, unless it was extended.
The Zoning Board of Appeals will hold a hearing Thursday night on constructing a 164-foot-high tower at the Worcester Envelope Co. to determine whether a wind turbine is feasible there. The company is seeking to build a temporary tower that would gather information on wind speed and direction, according to the application for a special permit. ...If the test tower shows there would be enough wind, the company would purchase a 1.5 megawatt wind turbine that would cost between $3 million and $4 million, Mr. Pond said. That structure would be about 380 feet tall and it would be in the middle of Worcester Envelope's 7.3 acres at 24 Millbury St., Mr. Pond said.
In August, the Lyme Planning Board asked residents to fill out a survey to help them write a zoning law amendment for wind turbines. Now questions on that survey are being challenged as not valid. Two questions on the survey ask residents how far from the waterfront, village of Chaumont and hamlets turbines should be placed. Their options were: 1,500 feet, 3,000 feet, 4,500 feet and "Turbines should not be near the waterfront" or "Turbines should not be near any area of population such as a hamlet and/or village." That final selection was tallied as farther than 4,500 feet, although it does not give a specific distance.
A dozen people voiced objections to a proposed Logan-Tazewell county wind farm last week, including a Delavan man who says 15 wind towers will surround his house if the project is approved. "I can look out of every window in my home and see a wind tower," said Rod Egli of the Rail Splitter Wind Farm proposed by Houston-based Horizon Wind Energy LLC. ...No one spoke in favor of the project. Objections ranged from noise pollution, decreased property values, damaged farmland and problems for crop dusters who would have to fly near the towers. Luke Taylor of Delavan had an attorney file a motion for a continuance Wednesday. That extended hearings on the issue and will allow more cross-examination of Horizon representatives.
A controversy that has been brewing in Columbia County for months draws closer to resolution tonight. The Columbia County Planning Commission will discuss options for amending the zoning ordinance regarding development requirements or processing for wind tower-related energy production. ...Of the five options under consideration, two are proposed by citizen's groups. Friends of Scenic Columbia County is a group representing residents with more restrictive ideas for development standards, according to county documents.
Navajo Nation leaders are well aware that coal has fallen from favor in thisage of global warming. But to them, plans for a new power plant on the reservation mean more than rising temperatures and climate patterns. To them it is survival. The proposed Desert Rock Energy Project in northwestern New Mexico could add $50 million in revenue to their annual budget of about $130 million, excluding government contracts, and bring 1,000 construction jobs and 400 permanent positions to the plant and expanded mine. advertisement Environmentalists on and off the reservation are fighting the plans, saying that the region already suffers enough air pollution from existing coal plants and mines. They say the poverty-stricken tribe could see a bigger economic boost from developing wind and solar energy.
Regarding the three-page petition, based on legal advice, Touchette said the board had to accept it. However, he added, the petition doesn't demand a revote of the March 3 town meeting ordinance amendment vote that OK'd the creation of a wind farm district. Essentially, the petition is a proposed land-use ordinance that seeks to ban wind power development in Roxbury as of March 3 until the town can create and adopt zoning and land-use ordinances. It requires planners to regulate wind power development "to minimize its deleterious effects on public health, safety and welfare." ..."We've also been advised to do a revote on the (March 3) ordinance, because there were a few gray areas involved," Touchette said. "We had a public informational meeting instead of a public hearing.
A dispute over transmission lines for the proposed Nantucket Sound wind farm landed in court this week. ...Barnstable officials filed a complaint in Barnstable Superior Court Wednesday claiming the Cape Cod Commission has exclusive jurisdiction over the transmission cables that would link the turbines to the shoreline. In October, the commission rejected a plan to have the transmission cables make landfall in Barnstable, and Cape Wind appealed that decision to the state Energy Facilities Siting Board. In the complaint filed Wednesday, Barnstable officials contend the state Energy Facilities Siting Board does not have the authority to review the commission's denial of the transmission lines.
When it comes to wind energy, the opinions of Haycock residents blow in all directions. Folks here were divided Monday over a proposed local law that would allow the installation of energy-harnessing wind turbines on residential properties. Some fear the turbines will be towering eyesores whose wind-whipping will create a perpetually annoying noise, disrupting the quiet of the rural Upper Bucks township. ...To install a wind turbine under the proposed ordinance, residents would have to have at least 2 acres and set the device at least 300 feet back from the front property line, among other requirements, said Supervisor Henry DePue. The usage would be limited to the property so wind power couldn't be sold to neighbors, officials said.
Gamesa also erected a wind testing tower on land owned by Blackwood, Inc. on the Sharp Mountain. The company plans to put another 80-meter tower there soon, Barr said. Barr said the company will potentially erect 14 turbines at 2 megawatts each on Second Mountain and 25 turbines on Sharp Mountain. “We have been in extensive discussion with a few landowners up there,” she said. Barr said a company that performs environmental studies for wind farm developers must study spring and fall bird migrations to determine where and how many turbines should be placed. The studies are part of a voluntary agreement through the Pennsylvania Game Commission and is the first step in the wind farm permitting process, Barr said.
Brooks made the comment during the Planning Board's April 7 meeting. Members were discussing the Annual Town Meeting at which voters rejected a citizen's petition to allow residential wind turbine by right. Enough support was voiced that the board could bring a new wind bylaw forward, said Brooks. ...Former associate planner Leo Blair, recently elected to the Board of Selectmen, attended the meeting to encourage the board to continue working on a wind-energy bylaw.
Town ordinances in this coastal Washington County community only allow structures shorter than 50 feet, or 35 feet if the property falls within the designated shoreland zone near the Pleasant River. But Thompson said she felt that the debate over alternative energy sources such as wind power was one worth having, even in her small town. So, after failing twice to get a variance from the town's planning board, Thompson explored the process of amending the municipal height ordinance to allow taller towers. Thanks in large part to her tenacity on the issue, the Addison Board of Selectmen voted unanimously on Wednesday to put the question out to voters. "At least it will go to the voters. That's all I wanted,"
Gov. Martin O'Malley is to announce his administration's long-awaited decision on Saturday in western Maryland about whether to allow wind farms in state forests. State officials won't say what the decision is in this long-running debate, which has divided environmentalists and drawn overflow crowds to public meetings in western Maryland and in Annapolis. ...Some think he may announce a "split decision," saying that wind turbines may be permitted on state lands but only if they pass strict environmental review. The head of the Maryland Energy Administration, Malcolm Woolf, will be with O'Malley for the announcement, according to an invitation e-mailed to one person by Natural Resources Secretary John Griffin. That makes some think O'Malley's likely to give a nudge of some sort to wind power ...But others take heart from O'Malley's choice of locations for his announcement ...