July 22, 2015

Wind tower ordinance remains unchanged

BY DANIEL ARENS
A proposal to change the distance between a residency and a wind tower from 1,000 ft. to one mile was
rejected.
Fred Stern spoke before the Mercer County Planning and Zoning Board, after the board opened a public meeting to discuss the potential change. He questioned whether the distance was presenting a safety issue, and
said that the new proposal was too severe.
“To me, a mile is just too restrictive,” Stern said. “I think that the rights of a landowner should include the rewards and the risk of owning that land.”
Land Use Administrator Gary Emter brought up the possibility of residents negotiating the mile restriction down on a case by case basis, but Stern held that there would likely be charges involved in implementing such a change.
Board President Dwight Berger brought up the issue of landowners who don’t actually live on the land on which the wind towers are placed, and don’t have to deal with inconveniences like noise that nearby residents would deal with. Stern replied that it should still be the landowner’s right, and pointed out that blasting coal lines can be done within 300 ft. of a residency, despite the noise involved with that operation.
The board moved to leave the ordinance in question as it was, with a 1,000 ft. distance required between a residence and a wind tower.


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