Both supporters and critics of wind energy called Thursday for Bruce County council to come up with clear regulations surrounding wind turbines when it updates the county’s official plan.
That’s about all the two sides agreed on.
“We received a lot of written submissions ahead of time, so we have a pretty good idea of the lay of the land,” Chris LaForest, the county’s head of planning and economic development, said after hearing from more than a dozen people who appeared before the county’s agriculture tourism and planning committee.
“I think there’s been a suggestion that in the absence of a provincial regulatory framework that we should be inventing one.”
The general manager of Enbridge, the largest developer of wind energy in the county, said more clarity on such issues as setbacks, noise levels and zoning requirements would make his job much easier, avoid costly delays and reduce the amount of conflict in the community.
“If we have good clear rules then you can build to them. It takes away all the unknowns,” said Bob Simpson, whose company has just come through a seven-week hearing before the Ontario Municipal Board over a proposal to put up more than 120 turbines in the Kincardine area.
Simpson said the county is moving in the right direction with public meetings that promote dialogue between both sides.
“I think the county is doing an excellent job . . . So as long as that communication continues and there’s negotiation and there’s opportunity to comment, yes they are going in the right direction.”
Charles Edey, chief operating officer for Leader Resources, which has a 50-megawatt development proposal for Arran-Elderslie, wants certain areas of the county set aside as suitable for wind energy the same way the official plan designates areas for farming, industry or aggregate development.
By Don Crosby
21 June 2007
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding