How close is to close when it comes to living next door to a wind farm? It’s a question residents living along the Gulf Shore near Pugwash are trying to find out and it’s something residents living outside Amherst are going to learn when a proposed wind farm for the Tantramar Marsh takes shape next year.
While Cumberland County could have sat back and let nature take its course, it has attempted to be proactive by trying to establish a framework for just how far wind farms have to be from residential areas. To some residents, facing the real prospect of having wind turbines next door, the proposed setback guidelines are just not far enough.
When he made his presentation to council two weeks ago, county planner Jim Coughlin said he has looked at similar bylaws in other areas and has found three times the height of a turbine to be sufficient. Any further would be a waste of space.
That’s not good enough for Lisa Betts, who is calling on the county to increase the setback to two kilometres. She feels the setback should be 10 times the height of the turbine. Only then would nearby residents not have to listen to the turbine blades or be bothered by shadows cast by the turning blades.
While she may or may not be crying wolf, we have to be sure there is sufficient evidence to support the county’s proposed setbacks before it ends up with egg on its face. After all, it’s a situation that’s going to keep coming up as more developers look at the county as a location for wind farms.
The Amherst Daily News
3 April 2007
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