Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from Wisconsin

Wind farm not welcome in Union

Filling what it argues is a void in the state's vetting of wind-power projects, the town of Union is marking its turf with a proposed ordinance essentially outlawing such projects. "I think the state of Wisconsin has shown it's going to do what (wind-farm development) companies want," said Tom Alisankus, Union municipal judge and resident. "I think they look at these big wind-farm projects and just hope there won't be enough resistance at the local level to slow them down. "But I think they'll find there's fight in some of these places, and Union is one of them."
3 Nov 2008

Union commission recommends turbine regulation

The Town of Union Plan Commission unanimously approved a recommendation for an ordinance regulating wind turbines Thursday. ...Plan commission member Doug Zweizig expects the board to take action on the ordinance after the hearing. The ordinance prohibits construction of turbines within a half mile of occupied structures, Zweizig said. The setback may be reduced to 1,000 feet with permission from property owners or neighbors, he said.
31 Oct 2008

Energy company bypasses town ordinance

Invenergy, one of the large wind energy firms proposing to erect large windmills in the area, is bypassing the town and the ordinance it enacted to regulate wind farms. Morrison town zoning administrator Joy Koomen said Invenergy is seeking permits from the state rather than going through the town. ..."I am not happy," town chairman Todd Christensen said.
24 Oct 2008

Wind tower might slice through Union moratorium; Opponents say developer manipulated approvals

Despite local opposition and a moratorium on wind farm development, the town of Union might approve construction of a wind-measurement tower. "It doesn't make any sense to me," said Lynda Barry-Kawula, who lives near Magnolia in Spring Valley. She is against wind farm development in Rock County. "The point of a moratorium is to stop development," she said, "and it's not like this tower could lead to anything else." The town's Plan Commission on Thursday night was scheduled to discuss approving Elgin, Ill.-based EcoEnergy Engineering LLC's application to build the almost 200-foot tower.
25 Sep 2008

Wind turbine rule changes move forward

Manitowoc County planners voted 6-1 Monday to support changes in the county's small wind turbine ordinance, which some property owners say is unnecessarily strict. The Planning and Park Commission vote would eliminate a 1,000-foot setback requirement and designate areas where the turbines would be allowed. The proposed revisions now go to the Manitowoc County Board at a yet-to-be-determined date for discussion and a possible vote, said Mike Demske, Planning and Park Commission director.
23 Sep 2008

Wind measurement tower proposed in Union Township

EcoEnergy wants to erect a wind measurement tower in Union Township despite a town ordinance in the works that would eliminate nearly all suitable locations for wind turbines. "We're very interested in putting up this wind measure to evaluate wind resources in that area," said Curt Bjurlin, EcoEnergy project developer. EcoEnergy has proposed building three turbines in the township with Wisconsin Public Power Inc. to supply power to Evansville Water and Light customers.
23 Sep 2008

Cambria gets wind farm information

The village of Cambria is about two miles south, and downhill, from the nearest wind turbines proposed as part of the WE Energies Randolph Wind Farm. ...because the northeast Columbia County location of the proposed wind farm is not far from Cambria, WE officials are making the rounds of communities and towns in the vicinity to answer residents' questions about the project, said Walter "Doc" Musekamp, WE Energies local affairs representative.
15 Sep 2008

Wind turbine ordinance's proposed changes to be discussed at public hearing

Property owners in Manitowoc County installing small wind turbines likely won't be required to own large lots of land to locate their energy-generating systems, according to proposed county ordinance revisions supported by members of a county commission. The Manitowoc County Planning and Park Commission voted unanimously at its Monday meeting in favor of the proposed revisions, said Mike Demske, commission director.
28 Aug 2008

Wind farm case -- fact or fiction?

Township of Ridgeville Chairman Mike Luethe made the following statement to the Daily Reporter newspaper on Aug. 15, 2008: "The Town of Ridgeville joined the Township of Wilton in passing an ordinance establishing half-mile setbacks for wind farms. Local governments should still have a say in the matter. Invenergy LLC of Chicago, which wants to develop a wind farm in the area, already challenged in court the joint Ridgeville-Wilton ordinance." "They said we do not have the right to pass our own ordinance," Luethe said, "because it essentially vetoed the county's own ordinance."
21 Aug 2008

Townships pass wind ordinances

For several years, wind energy production has been an issue of debate in Monroe County. In 2006, the county passed an ordinance on wind turbines, but for some, the ordinance wasn't enough. Several townships in Monroe County have passed wind energy ordinances of their own this summer to create more specific guidelines on the location and decibel levels of wind turbines. ...While the issue of wind power in Monroe County will likely continue, the option of wind farms is a possibility. Now, in several townships, there will be increased regulation.
18 Aug 2008

Wind turbine rule resistance: Manitowoc County ordinance a breeze or a lot of hot air?

County officials in 2006 enacted two ordinances - one for turbines 170 feet or shorter and another for turbines taller than 170 feet - after residents voiced concerns about potential public health and safety issues with turbines located near their backyards, Demske said. Navitas Energy Inc. had proposed to build a 49-turbine wind farm in Two Rivers, Mishicot and Two Creeks, dubbed the Twin Creeks Wind Park. ...Bauhs said the county "overreacted" in drafting regulations for the small turbines because of public criticism of the Twin Creeks wind farm project.
13 Aug 2008

Board to ponder wind power

Wiscoy Valley test site could lead to wind turbines in Winona County Commercial wind power is slated to arrive in Fillmore County, Minn., while Trempealeau County, Wis., has rebuffed it so far. Now it appears Winona County may be the next municipality to decide whether - or how - to embrace wind power. A Wiscoy Township man wants to erect a 60-meter-high temporary tower that would collect weather data to determine whether a commercial wind turbine is feasible on his property.
4 Aug 2008

Turbines push Madison to green ceiling; Safety and aesthetics yield cautious approach

"I'm not opposed to alternative energy or looking at options," said Alderwoman Judy Compton. "But if repercussions exist, it's our job to protect this city's residents." For example, state law essentially requires safety, productivity and cost-effectiveness when it comes to wind turbines, but Compton said Madison needs to worry about more than that. "We have to consider covenants and restrictions, historic districts and different architectural factors," she said. "We have different zoning codes that need to be figured out. We're dealing with the human factor here."
4 Aug 2008

Coming soon to a neighbor near you, a 200-foot wind tower?

Madison Ald. Judy Compton claims she's all for alternative energy. In fact, the conservative-leaning real estate agent is co-sponsor of an ordinance aimed at boosting private use of solar and wind power. But after reading the fine print and getting an opinion from the city attorney, Compton is now sounding the alarm over what she fears is flawed legislation. "The way this is written, if your neighbor wants to put a 200-foot-tall wind tower in their front yard, there is absolutely nothing anyone can do to stop them," said Compton, who represents the city's far southeast side.
30 Jul 2008

Union Township reviews wind ordinance

The Town of Union Planning Commission on Monday night, July 28, 2008, spent three hours reviewing with counsel, the text of the draft wind turbine ordinance. The purpose of the review was, as explained by counsel, to simply and forcefully connect the facts that were found in the evidence to the text of the ordinance. Thus, one of the most discussed topics was the factual evidence of damage that "noise" produced by wind turbines create---and whether the set back in the ordinance reflects the evidence cited in the appendix of evidence that has been gathered.
29 Jul 2008

Windmill regs face study

Douglas County does not have an ordinance regulating possible sites, designs, permit requirements and public hearing requirements. But tonight, the Douglas County Board considers a stopgap measure until such an ordinance is developed. The board is considering a 120-day moratorium on the development of wind farms to give the county's zoning committee time to develop an ordinance. "What it does is give us breathing room," said Supervisor Carol Johnson, chairwoman of the zoning committee. ...Rather than allow something that could make life miserable for county residents, Johnson said the county wants to be prepared in the event it is approached with a commercial proposal. "We don't want to have anything slip through our hands," she said. "We are certainly not against alternative energy ... We want to be prepared."
17 Jul 2008

City proves there's no harm in trying; Magnolia sets wind rules that PSC could blow past

Magnolia has an ordinance for wind farm development, but that might do little to stop such growth in the town. That's why town Supervisor David Olsen said officials opted for a noncontroversial ordinance that should bode well for them if legal issues ever arise. ...It's a fair thought, said Tim Le Monds, governmental and public affairs director for the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin. "That's a pretty safe distance," he said. "It's acceptable to us."
7 Jul 2008

Magnolia adopts ordinance regulating wind turbines

By a 3-0 vote, the Magnolia Town Board added an ordinance regulating the construction of wind turbines to the books. The vote came on the heels of a heated public hearing at the same meeting, where nearly a dozen Magnolia residents voiced their support or concern for the ordinance. The ordinance prohibits building wind turbines within a half-mile of a building or 1,000 feet of a property line. A provision allows homeowners to add a turbine as an easement to the property if they want a turbine within the half-mile.
4 Jul 2008

Towns continue work on wind ordinances

The town of Union plan commission extended a moratorium on large wind turbines to November at a meeting Thursday night while the town continues work on an ordinance to regulate the turbines. Committee member Doug Zweizig said officials don't think they'll need that much time, however. He's hopeful the plan commission will vote at its July 31 meeting on a recommendation to the town board. The draft ordinance states wind turbines are to be built at least a half-mile from homes and 1,000 feet from property lines. ...The town of Magnolia planning and zoning commission already has recommended a draft wind ordinance to the town board, which will hold a public hearing and possible vote at a special meeting Thursday night.
27 Jun 2008
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