Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from Wisconsin

Wind farm sparks Sparta debate

Sparta area residents are weighing in on whether a wind farm should be built near their community. The company Invenergy has applied for a conditional use permit in the towns of Ridgeville and Wells to build wind turbines. Monday the Monroe County Planning and Zoning Committee held a public hearing on the issue. Residents on both sides of the issue made their opinions clear. Those for the turbines say they will create energy in an environmentally friendly way and create about $60,000 for the county. Those against it say a wind farm would be too noisy and may even create health problems for residents. Committee members say they are taking all of the feedback into account before any decisions are made. "The next step is to reveiw all the information," says James Kuhn, Monroe County Zoning Committee Chairman. "And then, as someone suggested, we may go out and look (at land for a possible site). It depends on just what may be the particular sites." A public hearing on a possible wind farm will be held Monday, April 9 for residents in the Town of Wells.
4 Apr 2007

Glenmore wind-power moratorium questioned

A week after the Glenmore Town Board gave the green light to a Hubertus company to build eight 492-foot wind-power turbines, it halted such projects for six months, leaving lots of questions twisting in the wind. To residents like Jeff Jens, who in late February pushed for a 90-day pause for health and safety studies, the board's moratorium seems to have fallen right from the sky. "Don't get me wrong, I think this is a brilliant idea," Jens said. "But it sure seems like an awful lot of things are a coincidence." Still uncertain, though: where the idea came from and whom it affects.
3 Apr 2007

Glenmore’s plan for new wind turbines generates controversy

Rob Benninghoff, director of renewable and special projects for WPS, said wind power definitely supplements coal-fired power plants using a clean, renewable resource. But he added that wind power alone is not a reliable power source because it isn't constant. In other words, no wind, no power. Using only wind or solar power requires expensive batteries besides. "Wind requires another resource with capacity (like gas or coal) to provide energy when the unit is inoperable due to lack of available wind," Benninghoff said. "As the demand for renewables increases, I feel obligated to educate people on the apples-to-apples issues of economics of the technologies."
31 Mar 2007

Wind turbines discussed at Sparta meeting

The Monroe County courthouse annex meeting room was transformed into a think tank Tuesday morning as the Monroe County Planning & Zoning Committee attempted to foresee possible issues with a windfarm. Those issues included the placement of individual wind turbines, geological effects, and most cumbersome - governmental procedure because it is the first wind harnessing project in the county.
29 Mar 2007

Glenmore board OKs 8 wind turbines

Glenmore residents will soon see eight more wind turbines in their country landscape. The three-member Town Board Monday night unanimously approved a conditional-use permit for Emerging Energies/Shirley Wind, LLC of Hubertus to put eight 2.75-megawatt, 492-foot turbines on land owned by four families. The decision didn't please local resident Jim Sausen. "This is a nice town, but it's turning into a wasteland, between all the TV towers and now windmills," said Sausen, who already sees two decade-old Wisconsin Public Service turbines from his house.
27 Mar 2007

Public hearings planned for wind tower permits

Summit Ridge Energy LLC, the operating company for Invenergy LLC, applied for conditional use permits to construct wind energy facilities in the Towns of Ridgeville and Wells. A Conditional Use Permit (CUP) allows a city or county to consider special uses for land which are not allowed because of a zoning ordinance. Summit Ridge Energy LLC must forego a public hearing and then await a decision from the Monroe County Zoning Committee before receiving a CUP because it plans to build on property zoned only for agriculture. After the hearing each town has 21 days to veto the permit despite the outcome of the county zoning committee.
26 Mar 2007

Glenmore board to decide fate of eight wind turbines

As the Glenmore Town Board gears up to vote Monday on the first of two proposals to build wind turbines on property owned by local families, the topic of turbines still generates controversy. Emerging Energies/ Shirley Wind of Hubertus wants to build an eight-turbine wind farm on several parcels of land owned by four families. Each turbine would stand 492 feet tall and generate 2.75 megawatts of energy, for which the property owners would receive a set rent, regardless of the wind power generated. Suamico developer Tom Mattson, president of Prelude LLC, also is trying to bring seven wind turbines into Glenmore. The planning commission tabled his request March 12. "It sounds corny and nobody'll believe you when you say this, but it's not the money we're doing it for," said Rodney Leiterman, 4611 Shirley Road, one of the property owners involved. "It's money I don't have, so if they go up, they go up, and if they don't, they don't." Proponents say wind power is renewable, emission-free and makes sense as well as money in an economy plagued by rising fuel costs. "With the price of energy rising and the demand for energy rising and all of the money we are spending fighting in Iraq, somebody has to get this country nonoil-dependent," Leiterman said. But not everyone's for the project. Many residents signed a petition to urge Glenmore to delay it until an environmental and quality-of-life study can be done.
25 Mar 2007

Ethanol Reaps a Backlash In Small Midwestern Towns

CAMBRIA, Wis. -- With empty storefronts on the main drag and corn stubble stretching for miles in the surrounding hills, this fading farm town seems like a natural stop for the ethanol express. Not to John Mueller, though. The 54-year-old stay-at-home dad has led a dogged battle to prevent a corn mill from building an ethanol plant up the hill from the village school. Concerned about air pollution, the water supply and the mill's environmental track record, Mr. Mueller and his group, Cambrians for Thoughtful Development, have blitzed the village's 800 residents with fliers, packed public meetings and set up a sophisticated Web site. The mill has fought back with its own publicity campaign and local corn farmers have taken to the streets in tractors to show support. Now, as the mill races to build the $70 million plant, the matter is headed to the federal courthouse in Madison, 40 miles southwest.
23 Mar 2007

Town of Morrison to get help to regulate urban development

Wind farms: The Plan Commission is about halfway through the process of developing an ordinance to regulate wind energy systems. Koomen said the town has been working from ordinances from the nearby towns of Wrightstown, Glenmore and Rockland in crafting its own ordinance. The commission has scheduled a meeting for 7:30 p.m. Thursday to finish work on the draft ordinance, which would then go to the Town Board for consideration. Koomen said a representative of a wind energy firm has been attending the wind ordinance meetings and providing input, but town Chairman Todd Christensen asked Koomen to make sure the commission's discussions are not dominated by the company. Portions of the town, primarily the highlands west of the Branch River Valley, are considered as potential sites for banks of large wind turbines that would generate electric power.
17 Mar 2007

Company seeks more windmills in Glenmore

Passions flared as Glenmore residents listened to a second wind-turbine company's request to build more windmills in their town. In a nearly four-hour meeting Tuesday night, Suamico developer Tom Mattson of Prelude LLC presented his plans for seven wind turbines on School and Morrison roads to the town planning commission, which ultimately tabled it pending legal counsel. Mattson's request came on the heels of a request last month from Emerging Energies/Shirley Wind LLC of Hubertus for a 30-year conditional-use permit to construct eight turbines on land owned by four families. The Town Board is slated to vote on that measure on March 26. Many residents spoke against Mattson's project, saying their property values would drop and their quality of life would plummet from noise, strobing and disturbance to the landscape. "My 2-acre property is going to be surrounded by wind turbines," Rockland resident Paul Falck said. He lives across the street from an existing windmill site near the Glenmore-Rockland border. School Road resident Jean Tenor said the windmill near her house sounds "like a jet engine flying over the house," only it doesn't fly over - it just keeps going on and on. Shirley Wind executives sat in the audience at Tuesday's meeting. They tossed a wrench into the situation by requesting that Mattson pay for studies to determine whether the placement of his proposed wind turbines would deprive their proposed turbines of potential energy revenue.
15 Mar 2007

Glenmore officials look at wind turbine permits

GLENMORE - The town's Plan Commission will hear a request for a conditional-use permit from a company that wants to place seven wind turbines on two town properties. The request is being made by Thomas Mattson on behalf of Prelude LLC who wants to construct seven turbines on several parcels of land on Morrison and School roads. The land is owned by two families. This request comes on the heels of a request from Emerging Energies/Shirley Wind LLC of Hubertus for a 30-year conditional-use permit to construct eight turbines on land owned by four families. The Town Board is expected to vote on that measure on March 26. At the public hearing for the Emerging Energies project, residents expressed concern about property values, noise pollution and liability. At a March 5 meeting, conditions were brought up - some of which could become the terms of the permit - including payments to both the town and residents who live within a half-mile of the turbines, regular inspections, review of engineering schematics and a way for residents to immediately submit complaints.
13 Mar 2007

Glenmore delays vote on turbines to discuss details

GLENMORE — The Town Board voted 2-1 Monday night to postpone a vote on a proposed wind-turbine project until the end of the month. Town Chairman Don Kittell voted against the extension, saying he was ready to make a decision on the project proposal by Emerging Energies/Shirley Wind LLC of Hubertus. But the two supervisors agreed with the town attorney who suggested some more time would give lawyers from both the town and the company to hash out the specifics of the agreement.
6 Mar 2007

Wind farm in Vernon County moves closer

Although in very preliminary stages, Westby City Council members recently jumped on the alternative energy resource bandwagon giving an unofficial nod of approval for representatives of WPPI (Wisconsin Public Power Inc.) to work Westby’s municipal electric utility and local officials at the possibility of installing a wind-powered project in Westby. WPPI is looking at developing as much as 24 megawatts of community-based wind projects in Wisconsin. WPPI hopes to develop these community-based wind power projects cooperatively with local elected officials, community leaders, site landowners and site neighbors.
1 Mar 2007

Glenmore residents have questions about proposed wind turbines

Residents showed a healthy skepticism Monday at a public meeting on a proposed wind-turbine project. The town’s community center on Dickinson Road drew a standing-room only crowd to discuss the eight-turbine proposal by Emerging Energies/Shirley Wind, LLC of Hubertus. The company wants a 30-year permit to put eight turbines on land owned by four families. Each turbine would stand 492 feet tall and operate at an optimal 2 to 3 megawatts, Emerging Energies spokesman Bill Rakocy told those attending. The turbines would conform to the town’s new wind energy ordinance. Licensed electrical engineers would oversee installation.
28 Feb 2007

Rejected wind turbine project gets back on track

TOWN OF MENASHA — Construction could begin this spring on a wind turbine demonstration project along Northern Road similar to one rejected in January. Tom Newton, president of Worship Thanks Praise Ltd., Manitowoc, said the scope and location of the project has changed and all generated electricity will be used on site, not sold. That eliminates the need for a Winnebago County conditional use permit approved by the Town Board and requires only a staff review before a building permit is issued.
28 Feb 2007

Sawyer County researching wind power policy

Amidst times of high costs for traditional fuels and growing pushes for alternative energy sources, Sawyer County officials are considering to create an ordinance that would specifically regulate a rather rare structure in this part of the state-wind turbines. The Sawyer County Record reports that the county’s zoning committee is holding hearings to gather feedback from the public as to what it would like included in any such ordinance. Some concerns commonly raised involve not only how loud of turbines should be allowed, but also how the large propellers might affect the aesthetic value of the area. At least one local government member has asked for more technical experts to weigh in on the feasibility of wind-generated power for Sawyer County.
27 Feb 2007

Public hearing Monday for proposed Glenmore wind farm

Residents and neighbors will have a chance to voice their opinion Monday at a public zoning hearing on a proposed wind farm in the town. The Milwaukee-area company, Emerging Energies, wants to build an eight-turbine wind farm on several parcels of land owned by four families. Each of the turbines would stand 492 feet. Shirley Wind LLC, a division of Emerging Energies, is the applicant. Shirley Wind and Emerging Energies want to erect turbines on property owned by Mark Mathies, 5982 Fairview Road; Dan Mathies, 4157 Shirley Road; Dan and Tina Zeamer, 3384 School Road; and Rodney and Sue Leiterman, 4611 Shirley Road. Neighbors have signed a petition to urge the town to delay the project until an environmental and quality-of-life study can be done on wind turbines.
24 Feb 2007

Wind farms proposed for Vernon County

With federal regulations requiring more electricity from renewable sources, Vernon County is being considered as a potential future home for a “wind farm.” A wind farm is a collection of electricity-generating wind mills. Both the town of Christiana and city of Westby have been approached about erecting wind farms.
23 Feb 2007

Clarification sought for proposed wind ordinance

In the coming months, Sawyer County will be adopting a new wind ordinance governing all single wind turbines and larger wind farms. At its monthly meeting last Friday, the zoning committee held a discussion on the amendments and changes to the initial proposed ordinance that was introduced last year. On Jan. 22, county zoning held a public information meeting about the proposed ordinance where administrators gathered feedback from the public as to what to amend or eliminate altogether. Based on this meeting, zoning administrator Bill Christman distributed a revised copy of the proposed wind ordinance this month and sought questions from the committee as a whole at Friday’s meeting. “It was a time when we went to the public and asked ‘what do you think about this?’” said Christman. “Out of that there were some recommended changes to the ordinance. That is not to say these changes will be what is ultimately approved. We will need another public hearing to get the towns’ input.”
23 Feb 2007

Zoning public hearing for proposed wind farm

A zoning public hearing for a proposed wind farm in the town will be held at 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Glenmore Community Center, 5718 Dickinson Road. Shirley Wind LLC of Hubertus wants to build eight 492-foot wind turbines on property owned by four families on Fairview, Shirley and School roads. The meeting is open to the public. Written comments also will be accepted by mailing Clerk Lana Ossmann at 5795 Dickinson Road, De Pere, WI 54115.
21 Feb 2007
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