Supervisors heard residents concerns regarding the townships regulation of windmills at Thursday night’s meeting.
The board has proposed a windmill ordinance, which is more stringent than the county’s regulation on wind turbines.
The ordinance includes a setback of three times the hub height from the nearest property line of a non-participating landowner and state the noise level generated from the structure is not to exceed 45 decimals from the nearest property line of a non-participating landowner, said township solicitor Scott Bittner.
In addition, the ordinance also includes a $2,500 permit application fee per application, which will used to assist the township’s cost for inspecting the structure, he said.
Residents voiced their concerns whether the supervisors should adopt tighter regulations on wind turbines.
Shade resident Glen Wagner advised the board to stay with the county’s ordinance for wind turbines.
“The worse the ordinance gets, the harder it gets for them (the wind turbine companies) to put windmills up,” he said. “As a property owner and taxpayer, my neighbors should not tell me what I should do with my property,” he added.
Wagner said he has been approached by wind turbine companies to erect windmills on his property. He said he supports the installation of wind turbines in the township because it utilizes the area’s wind.
Concerned resident Kim Moore stated her support for a tighter regulation of wind turbines. “This is industry brought to our ridge tops,” said Moore as she held a photo of the clear cutting of a mountain top in Maine. “I don’t think people come to this area to look at this and I don’t want my children have to see this.”
Supervisors said windmill regulations are necessary.
“We (the board) have sat here meeting after meeting and we have heard all the pros and cons of the situation,” township Chairman John Topka said.
“It’s a hard decision for us,” he said. “We have looked over a lot of material and we know we can’t make everyone happy.
“If you don’t do something in the beginning, you will never be able to regulate it,” Topka said. “If you just let development come in here and do what they want you will never be able to regulate it.”
Topka said that Shade Township is not the only area municipality creating more strict regulations on wind turbines.
“With the ordinance the county passed, no one seems comfortable with it except our wind developers,” he said.
The board voted to authorize the township’s solicitor Scott Bittner to advertise the ordinance, which is scheduled to be adopted at the Dec. 7 supervisors meeting.
By Jennifer Garlesky
Daily American Correspondent
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