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Jackson to regulate windmills  

JACKSON TWP. Windmills are not yet in the township, but the Zoning Commission is preparing for them.

The township is set to become the first government body in Stark County to put regulations for windmills in its zoning book.

“We’re always trying to look ahead for the kind of things we’re going to see,” Zoning Commission Chairman David Benner said.

Windmills are being used more and more throughout the country to provide an alternative energy source to homeowners and businesses. There are currently no residental windmills in Stark County.

“We needed to put in a regulation because we don’t want a bunch of these things just popping up,” Jackson Township Zoning Inspector Joni Poindexter said.

Tuesday, the Stark County Regional Planning Commission recommended that the township’s Zoning Commission and Board of Trustees approve the amendment to its zoning book.

The amendment would only allow windmills in rural-residental and industrial areas consisting of 5 acres or more. The windmills would be restricted in height and in where they could be situated on the land.

The Zoning Commission will vote on whether to recommend the windmill zoning regulations to trustees at its Jan. 17 meeting. Trustees must accept the recommendations before it becomes law.

Jackson Township isn’t the only public body in the county looking at adopting windmill regulations.

“We’re working on one, but we haven’t passed anything yet,” said Nimishillen Township Zoning Inspector Keith Lasure, whose office is one of several in the county that has had requests to erect windmills. “I think (Jackson Township) will probably beat me.”

Because there are no written regulations on windmills in the county, Poindexter pulled language from cities in New York and Michigan that allow windmills to craft the township’s text amendment.

“I did a bunch of research and collected a bunch of information about regulations other places have before I gave it to the commission,” Poindexter said. “I had (township Law Director) Neil Fitzgerald look at it, too. It can always be tweaked later if it needs to.”

Reach Repository writer Fellicia Smith at (330) 580-8312 or e-mail:

fellicia.smith@cantonrep.com

WINDMILL REGUATIONS

Jackson Township is set to become the first government body in Stark County to adopt zoning regulations for windmills. Here are the main points:

• Primary purpose shall be to provide power for the principal use and accessory uses of the property and is not for the generation of power for commercial purposes.

• Blade color shall be white or gray.

• They shall not be located in a front yard.

• Minimum setback from all property lines, structures and above-ground utility lines shall be 125 feet in rural-residental areas and 150 feet in industrial areas.

• Maximum height shall be 80 feet in rural-residental areas and 100 feet in industrial areas.

By Fellicia Smith
Repository Staff Writer

Canton Repository

9 January 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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