September 13, 2006

Turbines receive zoning changes

Allana Gillam-Wright
Kincardine News staff

The Enbridge Ontario Wind Power project is another step closer to becoming a reality.

Municipality of Kincardine council approved 102 zoning bylaw amendments which will allow for the construction of 110 wind turbines on 102 lots, last Wednesday.

Council’s approval of the zoning bylaws was met with outrage from Kathy McCarrel, spokesperson for the Windfarm Action Group (WAG).

In her address to council, McCarrel said she and fellow members were stunned that their concerns were not heard prior to council approving the zoning bylaws in a blanket policy.

“The bad decision made by council here tonight has triggered the potential for 139 appeals to the OMB,” said McCarrel. “Our voices were blatantly dismissed here tonight. This is truly disheartening as far as how a democracy is supposed to work.”

Mayor Glenn R. Sutton said council had previously given the group an opportunity to address the issue and, in fact, their deputation went over the time limit. He added the issue has been beaten to death and it was time it moved on.

Coun. Guy Anderson was the only councillor opposed to approval of the bylaw amendments.

The $400 million project experienced a number of delays, which has increased the costs by $8 million.

Bruce County had asked the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) to bump the Environmental Screening Report (ESR) up to a full Environmental Assessment (EA), but has since withdrawn the request since Enbridge met all of the requirements stipulated.

“It’s back to the drawing board,” said Scott Dodd, director of planning and economics for Enbridge Wind Project. “We now have to approach property owners and carry out individual site analysis and submit a site plan control.”

Although the county and municipality have waived their objections, there are still two processes that must be completed before Enbridge can move forward.

“The news was good, but we are still dealing with a two-part approval process,” said Bob Simpson, general manager of Enbridge.

“We received approval from council to install the turbines on specific lots and concessions, but the public still has 30 days to appeal that decision to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).”

Enbridge is also awaiting the decision of James O’Mara, the director of the MOE, to decide if the ESR is accepted or a full EA is required. The decision is expected during the week of Sept. 18, Simpson added.

If the ESR is deemed sufficient, opposers have 15 days to appeal the decision to Laurel Broten, minister of the environment. She, in turn, has 45 days in which to render a decision.

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