Re: Policies Must Please All, Jan. 4, by Austin Hughes.
I am addressing Mr. Hughes’ attempt to influence the Essex County steering committee on the renewable energy draft planning policy put forward by the Jones Consulting group.
In the absence of adequate provincial policy for location of industrial wind turbines, the county hired Jones Consulting to set some parameters that make sense for Essex County.
I also attended the Dec. 13 meeting Mr. Hughes refers to. Jones Consulting presented what appeared to me as a compromise between the needs of the industry for available land use and the concerns of residents regarding migration routes and setbacks from populated rural areas and residences.
Their proposal allowed 50 per cent of the county for virtually unrestricted turbine development. The recommended five-kilometre buffer zone from the shores of lakes St. Clair, Erie and the Detroit River, would limit the placement and number of turbines in the most-populated areas and keep them from major migration routes.
Rather than be satisfied with the proposal, developers and landowners attacked Jones representatives for putting restrictions on them.
It became apparent Jones Consulting had been ambushed by developers and landowners who had signed leases and been promised big bucks.
Mr. Hughes’ plea for intelligent land use policy can be easily interpreted by this writer into a policy of greed for government subsidies and free reign for them to install turbines whenever and wherever they deem appropriate.
I urge the county planning committee to resist the tactics of some developers and landowners and accept the compromise of the Jones group. Keeping turbines from populated rural areas and flyways makes sense and will go a long way toward circumventing litigation from affected residents.
Essex County Wind Action Group
8 January 2008
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