SCOTSBURN ““ Residents living near a wind turbine on Fitzpatrick Mountain want stricter regulations put in place to prevent the turbines from being put too close to homes.
In the right weather conditions, says nearby resident Wayne Pierce, the turbines can make a “noise like a jet aircraft in place overhead.”
County council is in the process of creating a new bylaw to put regulations in place on the distance wind turbines must be from other properties. The proposed bylaw would require turbines to be placed three times the height of the turbine from the property line.
That’s not enough for Pierce, however, who believes the distance should be taken from adjacent homes.
“By not looking at the location of other homes, you’re eliminating the human factor,” he told a committee from county council looking at the bylaw at a meeting in Scotsburn this week.
Pierce also believes wind turbines shouldn’t be placed within one kilometre of homes to reduce noise and impact on property assessments. Other residents who attended the meeting questioned the impacts large-scale turbines could have on farming and agriculture and tourism.
Reuben Burge, who owns the wind turbine on Fitzpatrick Mountain, also doesn’t believe measuring from the property line is a wise choice. “We need to decide on something that’s known,” Burge said. “We can dispute on the location of property lines all day.”
Instead, he also believes measuring the distance of a turbine from an existing home is the best choice. While he says one kilometre is too far, he suggests a distance of five times the overall height of the turbine from a home would be sufficient. It would also eliminate problems for wind turbine operators who own narrow tracts of land, Burge added.
This bylaw would also delay development of further wind turbines Burge is hoping to erect shortly. Burge wants to do an environmental assessment on the sites he’s selected on Dalhousie Mountain in June, but that could be delayed indefinitely if this bylaw, as it stands, goes through.
The current proposed bylaw, developed by 4-Site planning development from Halifax, would allow for variances, or exceptions, under certain situations, said Chris Millier, who is working on the project.
Pictou County residents still have the opportunity to comment on the bylaw by contacting their councillors or the county office.
There’s no timeline available yet for the adoption of this bylaw. Before the county adopts it, they’ll hold a public hearing to give county residents one last chance to voice their opinions on the issue.
By Jennifer Vardy Little
2 March 2007
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