Articles filed under Zoning/Planning
"Of the 40 landowners who agreed to have turbines, half are residents and half are absentee owners,” said Reichert, adding that the group is holding out for deeper setbacks, so turbines would have to be located 2,000 feet from a property line, not from a residence. “Otherwise, that residence is being used to make up the setback and we think that’s easement trespass,” Reichert said.
Following a decision-making flow chart prepared by Falmouth special counsel Mark Bobrowski, board members weighed the existing turbine’s consistency with the 2010 town bylaw that was in place when Wind 1 was erected. ...board chairman Kimberly A. Bielan argued that neighbors testified in the hearing that curtailment would not lessen the impact of the turbine on their daily lives.
The special-permit application is just one legal issue surrounding the turbines. Nine lawsuits are now pending in Barnstable Superior Court about their operation, said Westboro attorney Christopher Senie, who represents some of the neighbors. The special-permit denial may help quell some of those suits as well as deal with the continuing operation of Wind 2, he said.
The majority of board members found fault with the application on more than one front, including the zoning requirement that the turbine known as Wind 1 will not have "adverse effects" on either the neighborhood or the town. Throughout the permit hearing, which stretched over a half dozen meetings and several months, neighbors of the turbine presented evidence on multiple fronts, including personal testimony, in an attempt to show the negative effects of the turbine.
“It’s important that the community know the short-term, mid-term, and long-term consequences of having turbines in the community,” Tussey said. “It’s not a situation where, if you don’t like it, you can just turn it off. It’s more akin to building a bridge, and once a bridge is built, it’s built.” Tussey plans to work with the concerned citizens in Ellington Township on an educational campaign intended to deliver straight facts about turbines – and not just at public meetings held during major snowstorms.
A six-year battle over the town's wind turbines faces a critical turning point Saturday when the Falmouth Zoning Board of Appeals will deliberate a special-permit application to keep one of the devices operational. The board has scheduled a public meeting to deliberate the application and is expected to vote on it, although a delay is possible. But whenever the board's decision comes, whether it marks the beginning of the end for the fight or simply sparks another round of litigation remains to be seen.
Residents of Ellington Township planned last night to ask township Supervisor Duane Lockwood to recuse himself from any further decisions regarding wind turbines in the community – and have threatened to file a lawsuit if it doesn’t happen.
Wheatland Township voters will have their say on March 8 over an amendment to the township’s zoning ordinance that sets up special parameters for wind turbines. The township’s board adopted the measure Sept. 12, and residents petitioned the language go to a public vote three months later.
The hearing on the wind farm is now scheduled for 8 a.m. March 30 at Dickinson City Hall, while a hearing on the transmission line will be held at 5 p.m. that same day. The 87-turbine, 150-megawatt wind farm would stretch across the south side of the county between Dickinson and New England.
Norris said the law requires wind developers to pay for a baseline study of the health of residents who want to take part. Developers would have to pay reimbursements to property owners whose land values fall because of turbines within two miles, and sets rules for decommissioning unused windmills. Quarles said Apex still intends to file its final application, including specific turbine locations, this summer.
A top Tuscola County official said it was “very disconcerting” that at least one Ellington Township official struck a deal to lease land to NextEra Energy Resources – and has been involved in setting ordinances for wind turbines.
Townships and plantations in Maine have until June to opt out of being an “expedited permitting area” for wind development. Already there are nearly two dozen petitions that have been received ...Another 18 petitions are in circulation.
“The feeling now is pretty much of relief that the right decision has been made. We were all quite emotional that this fight is over and we can get on with our lives and not worry about this huge turbine that would have impacted on us."
Draft rules being unveiled Monday aim to improve the siting of solar projects by helping communities and residents give input and by creating financial incentives, according to a member of the Public Service Board. Margaret Cheney ...Well-placed solar arrays would earn the developer a higher rate from utilities for the electricity, known as a solar adder, Cheney said. Poorly located arrays would get what Cheney called a subtractor.
Davison County residents will not have the opportunity to refer the denial of a $40 million wind farm to a public vote.
The two landowners and Wind Estate A / S, which wants to build three giant wind turbines west of Pederstrup do not think of neighbors and the health of local residents. It is about generating electricity from wind turbines, about money, and so it is also for those who are thinking about investing in the project to achieve a good profit. It's not about noise by neighbors and people's health.
“Day after day, month after month, the wind developers are relentless in trying to force wind turbines in our townships in locations where the turbines will be negatively affecting the residents’ health, safety and welfare,” said Ellington Township resident Bobbie Mozden. “Board members, please revise the wind ordinance and protect our township residents.”
Where the wind developer can use these unleased properties for nuisance noise and safety easements free of charge, they have no reason to approach the neighboring residents to negotiate a fair price for their loss of amenity. Trespass zoning has deprived wind plant neighbors of all economic bargaining power. Trespass zoning has donated their private property to the neighboring landowner’s wind developer tenant.
Some area residents used the informational meeting to express their displeasure with the first phase of the wind farm project. “If this project is so wonderful, why was it done under the table?” asked Charles Moser.
Lawmakers concerned by a growing revolt against wind and solar projects are considering ways to give locals more control over the decision-making process. The Senate Energy Committee met Wednesday to examine the roles of the Public Service Board, regional planning commissions and municipalities regarding siting of renewable energy projects.