Some residents and business owners are worried the landscape of one of P.E.I.’s most beloved tourist destinations could be changed forever, if wind turbines are allowed to take roost.
The Resort Municipality of Cavendish has received two requests for permits to build the structures, said Donald McKearney, the resort municipality’s chair.
He said one applicant wanted permission to erect a 35-foot structure, which is the maximum height allowed under the municipality’s bylaw.
Another wanted to erect a wind turbine that could top 90-ft., he said.
A few exemptions to the height restriction are allowed, including barn silos and church steeples.
“I also heard rumours a couple of companies wanted to come in… but that’s just talk.”
The issue was aired at a public meeting recently held to review the resort municipality’s draft bylaw.
McKearney said councillors will keep an open mind if businesspeople and residents decide they want to make changes to accommodate wind turbines.
But there are legitimate concerns.
For instance: “Do we want them all over the municipality?” he said.
And what sort of restrictions should be in place if they are approved?
Council members haven’t had much experience dealing with wind turbines and want to learn as much as possible before making a decision with far-reaching implications, said McKearney.
It must be noted many municipalities, homes and businesses are embracing wind turbine technology as a cheap, clean method of generating electricity, he said.
McKearney added the resort municipality is hoping to find people with expertise on the subject.
The resort municipality is comprised of Bayview, Stanley Bridge, Hope River, Cavendish and Rustico.
McKearney estimates the area’s population tops 3,000 during the busy summer season when cottages and summer homes are opened.
About 300 year-round residents live here.
By Jim Brown
11 September 2007
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