February 9, 2008

Gardner puts hold on wind ordinance

Board wants a year to analyze county plan

The Gardner Town Board Thursday adopted an ordinance that blocks – for not more than a year – the implementation of the Door County wind ordinance passed by the county board last week.

The county ordinance regulates the location and operation of large (more than 170 feet above the ground) wind turbines that generate electricity for public consumption.

“No such large wind turbines shall be constructed while this ordinance is in effect,” the ordinance reads.

The town ordinance “declares an interim control” on such wind turbines to “provide the town of Gardner adequate time to review and analyze” the new county ordinance. It will also “determine if it meets the health and safety standards needed to protect the residents and property owners” of the town.

In addition, it is also stated that should the county ordinance “not meet that requirement, this (the town) ordinance will provide the town of Gardner time to formulate, publish, conduct hearings and adopt an ordinance to preserve or protect the public health or safety” of town residents.

Town Chairman Paul DeWitt, who is also a member of the Door County Board of Supervisors, said the action is the result of comments Door County Corporation Counsel Grant Thomas gave county board members when they voted 17 to 3 to adopt the county ordinance Jan. 29.

Thomas suggested each community enact a local ordinance delaying the implementation of the county wind ordinance for “a period of six months or a year, “ Dewitt said.

The Gardner ordinance is effective for a full 12 months, unless town action is taken sooner to create specific additional regulations or complete a review of the county ordinance.

In other business, DeWitt said snowplowing this winter could result in the reduction of road construction and repairs the town undertakes this coming summer.

DeWitt said the bill from the Door County Highway Department for snow removal from town roads in Gardner amounted to $7,000 in December, while the January bill is expected to be larger.

The town budgets a dollar figure for maintaining town roads each year.

When winter storms take a larger chunk of the total road budgets, there’s less money available for repaving and other warm weather road work, DeWitt said.

By Peter J. Devlin
Advocate correspondent

Door County Advocate

9 February 2008

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2008/02/09/gardner-puts-hold-on-wind-ordinance/