A plan that could eventually result in a wind farm was shot down Tuesday by the Rush Township Zoning Hearing Board, which unanimously voted to prohibit a 197-foot mast that would be used to study the feasibility of the project.
According Josh Framel and Peter Kennon, of Gamesa Energy, the mast would be used to gather meteorological date on the Broad Mountain, approximately a mile and a half north of Hometown, and up from the Wal-Mart construction site on property owned by Kenneth Breisch. The tower site would cover just under two acres and Kennon said the tract is “remote and landlocked.”
“Because of the exposure to the prevailing winds, the site is an ideal candidate,” he said.
The firm was looking for relief from height restrictions and work was scheduled to begin next month.
“What we’re trying to do is learn if it is a viable site for a future wind farm,” Framel told the board. “We can’t even say if the site would be fit for (wind) turbines.”
Had the plan been approved, the 8-inch diameter mast would have been removed after four years of data collection.
Resident Michelle Griffiths asked if there would be any impact on wildlife in the area and Kennon said no studies had been conducted on the site.
“Then, I guess it’s safe to say that you don’t know,” Griffiths replied.
Marion Lazur, who owns property adjacent to Breisch, said the project would have a negative impact.
“We like to keep things the way they are,” she commented.
Breisch testified that the property is of no value, except for possible residential development.
“I don’t think we want to see that,” he said.
He added that wind power is a good choice and makes a better neighbor than a nuclear power plant.
When asked if the firm planned to appeal the board’s decision, Kennon said he had no comment.
By Richard W. Funk
25 October 2006
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