Members of the Potter County Planning Commission will try once again Tuesday night to reach a consensus on regulating the wind energy industry. Meanwhile, several townships around the county are moving forward on their own.
Planners will meet at 6 pm at the County Extension Office, along Rt. 872 south of Coudersport, to consider an ordinance limiting wind turbine construction.
Meanwhile, the prospects of massive turbines being built in at least one Potter County municipality improved last month when the Homer Township Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance regulating the structures.
Supervisors Carl Klingaman and Mark Freeman approved the ordinance. Board Chairman Gary Goodwin abstained because his father, Stanley Goodwin, is leasing property that is targeted for location of the approximately 410-foothigh turbines that will generate electricity.
Properties owned by Stanley Goodwin and Charles Whitman, south of Coudersport, are among those being leased for commercial wind development.
Developers are also eying other properties surrounding the borough: Dutch Hill to the south, Crandall Hill to the north, and Sweden Hill to the east.
A separate plan, proposed by international energy giant AES Corporation, calls for as many as 80 of the wind towers being erected on a wide swath of high-altitude farmland near Ulysses.
A key element of the Homer Township ordinance allows developers to place the turbines within approximately 750 feet of an adjacent property.
Some citizens have been lobbying the Potter County Planning Commission to adopt a countywide ordinance requiring much longer setbacks – as far as 3,000 feet from neighboring properties.
Eulalia, Hebron, Sweden and Ulysses townships are also considering municipal wind turbine ordinances while the Planning Commission continues its deliberations on countywide standards.
Hazardous driving conditions prompted the Planning Commission to cancel its February meeting. That agency will hold its next meeting at 6 pm Tuesday, at which time members could take action on setbacks and other regulations of wind turbines.
Any regulations that are passed would be referred to Potter County Commissioners Doug Morley, Paul Heimel and Susan Kefover, who have the final say.
Two AES officials were in Coudersport last week to share information about their company’s plans and learn more about the county’s regulations.
8 March 2008
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