Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from Virginia
"I think this will help protect the natural beauty of the county, preserve the ridges," said Clinger. A public hearing on the potential ridge line ordinance is scheduled for January 31st, but supervisors do not expect much if any opposition.
Elswick asked the county board of supervisors on Tuesday to rescind a 60-decibel maximum limit on large wind turbines. That policy regulates how loud the turbines can be at the nearest property lines. The 60-decibel limit is too high, Elswick said Tuesday.
No company has formally applied to build such turbines -- which can be well more than 400 feet in height, visible for miles and most likely targeted for ridgelines. But Chicago-based Invenergy has announced plans for 18 on Poor Mountain and received Federal Aviation Administration approval for all but three.
The renewed interest in the development of wind energy in southern West Virginia and southwestern Virginia prompted officials of Bland County to share the text of their wind energy facility ordinance with county governments in neighboring counties.
Mercer County currently does not have a ridgeline protection ordinance that would regulate the height of structures constructed atop the county's mountains. Two people planning to serve on the Mercer County Commission have said that the county should consider such a rule. "In my opinion, I don't like it myself," Mike Vinciguerra of Bluefield said when asked about the idea of wind turbines erected in the county.
The board probably thought this story was finished when they passed the so-called ridgeline protection ordinance on a 3-2 vote last February. But Dominion Resources is still in town, and they say they are committed to developing the newly dubbed Bluestone River Wind Farm. They are classifying it as a long-term project without an actual construction timeline.
County officials are in the process of considering provisions to also allow utility scale wind energy systems with a conditional-use permit in the business and industrial zoning districts, Planning Director Jim McGowan said.
Oil giant BP broke the rules in Botetourt County. A company official admits they built a 198 foot tower last year without permission.
Planning commission members are putting the finishing touches on a proposed ordinance that would regulate the construction of wind turbines across Tazewell County. The draft ordinance would regulate everything from setbacks with regards to wattage generated by wind turbines to the distance wind turbines could be erected from a road and the decibel volume of the tall structures.
After being immersed in the windmill debate via our newspaper for more than a year - and openly looking at the issue from both sides - I personally do not support the project. But it's not my call to make - it is a decision that should be decided by the residents of Tazewell County. At the public hearing on the project, 71 individuals spoke in favor of the ridgeline ordinance, while 18 spoke against it. That's an overwhelming anti-windmill majority.
...in the ninth inning, Supervisor Dennis S. Rooker rallied support for restrictions aimed to limit noise and visual disturbances. Rooker argued Wednesday that wind turbines should be permitted only in rural areas, and should be erected no closer to neighboring property than 150 feet. Supervisors passed a version of Rooker's proposal Thursday when they amended a county zoning code to allow wind turbines no taller than 35 feet.
Albemarle County Planning Commission members sent a clear message Tuesday: The county should allow wind turbines. Turbines are prohibited in Albemarle, but the Planning Commission unanimously approved a resolution calling for the county to allow small power-generating wind turbines. However, some specifics about where turbines should be allowed and what restrictions should be established were left up in the air.
York officials have taken the first steps toward crafting wind turbine regulations. At a Wednesday night Planning Commission work session, the five commissioners in attendance were unanimous in their support for regulations that would permit the use of wind turbines for generating electricity. During the lengthy discussion, commissioners differed on how regulations should be applied.
The Planning Commission will consider during a work session next week whether York County should create a zoning ordinance allowing wind turbines in neighborhoods. ...Planning staff suggest proceeding slowly. "The lack of any first-hand, real-world experience with wind turbines anywhere in the region probably calls for a cautious approach," one document cautions.
If speed tests this year show that the wind is powerful enough, the school could buy a wind turbine to make electricity, said Bonnie Holliday, development director. "We sit in a very windy spot, so we might be able to have some great energy produced by the turbine and reduce our costs," she said. A number of homeowners in the region are feeling the same winds and thinking much the same thing.
Wind energy got the welcome mat and elk the boot Thursday before the Wise County Board of Supervisors. The board approved without discussion a zoning change to allow development of a wind energy project now under consideration by Virginia Dominion Power and BP Wind Energy. The two companies have been assessing the viability of erecting 50 to 60 wind turbines in the county along the Kentucky border along an area stretching north of Big Stone Gap to northwest of Pound.
The Nelson County Planning Commission took comments from the public at its July 22 meeting on a proposed ordinance that would regulate small wind turbine energy systems used for electrical generation within Nelson County. ...The ordinance came about because there are several people in the county interested in using small wind energy systems.
A third meeting of county officials reviewing HNWD's plans was held at a brisk pace this week. The Technical Review Committee of county administrator Roberta Lambert and building official Jim Whitelaw is sorting through a checklist of conditions Highland New Wind Development must meet before it can get a green light for construction. Opponents of the 38-megawatt electric utility are pushing to hold the county, and HNWD, accountable for meeting their responsibilities, raising questions about erosion control, wetlands protection, proper maps, and other concerns.
A month ago HNWD development made national news when its public relations firm announced that Virginia's first utility scale wind project was ready to start construction. As indicated here, that was a blatant misrepresentation. HNWD does not have a building permit, does not have an Erosion and Sediment Control permit, does not have approval from the FAA, has not satisfied the permit conditions imposed by the State Corporation Commission (SCC), and has not obtained an Endangered Species Act permit.
A recommendation on a proposed ordinance that could regulate the development of windmills along East River Mountain has been delayed until June. The Tazewell County Planning Commission delayed action on the proposed mountain ridgeline ordinance Thursday ...The planning commission is mulling over changes recommended by a tall structures steering committee.