Summit Ridge Energy LLC, the operating company for Invenergy LLC, applied for conditional use permits to construct wind energy facilities in the Towns of Ridgeville and Wells. A Conditional Use Permit (CUP) allows a city or county to consider special uses for land which are not allowed because of a zoning ordinance. Summit Ridge Energy LLC must forego a public hearing and then await a decision from the Monroe County Zoning Committee before receiving a CUP because it plans to build on property zoned only for agriculture. After the hearing each town has 21 days to veto the permit despite the outcome of the county zoning committee.
A study to collect meteorological data for wind towers in Ridgeville first began in August 2004 and a committee was created to pursue a wind tower construction ordinance. Invenergy and the Monroe County Zoning Committee conducted research on other windfarm sites such as Montfort, WI; Clear Lake, IA; and several in Minnesota. Studies found that positive effects from wind towers include its use as renewable energy; tax relief for municipalities; and indirect income for property owners with a wind tower. Negative effects could include noise pollution; shadow flicker, a complete covering in shadow from a tower; and the disruption of natural scenery.
The public hearing for the Town of Ridgeville will be April 2 at 7 p.m. and the hearing for the Town of Wells will be April 9 at 7 p.m.
Sign-up to give oral testimony is from 6:30 – 7 p.m. Public hearings are scheduled for both towns in the Monroe County Courthouse Annex meeting room.
For more information contact the Monroe County Zoning Department at 608-372-8939.
27 March 2007
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