Colchester County council has delayed a decision on a bylaw regulating wind power development until further study.
Some councillors were divided on how far the regulations should go following discussion at this week’s council committee meeting so the issue has been sent to the municipality’s planning advisory committee for more deliberation.
While some councillors fear the proposed regulations border on excess government intervention, others believe landowners require the protection such guidelines would provide.
“For those of us living in rural Colchester,” said Mayor Mike Smith. “If I wanted government regulation and planning on everything I’d live in Truro or Bible Hill.”
Coun. Hugh Matheson disagreed.
“That’s easy enough to say until you get a wind turbine put directly behind your house,” he said.
“I hope they do put it right behind my house,” countered Smith.
Currently, provincial regulations require an environmental assessment for wind turbine projects that generate more than two megawatts of electricity. But there are no other guidelines surrounding such development projects.
Some county residents have expressed concerns about such issues as constant noise and “flicker” (a sensation causing dizziness resulting from shadows produced by turbine movement) and the potential impact on wildlife.
Clair Peers, president of Cobequid Wind Power, a development partner in the project, said he welcomes the direction a municipal bylaw would provide.
“I think it gives us added protection,” he said. “We would much rather have the rules and regulations laid out and then comply with them. It’s just good business.”
The proposed county bylaw would involve medium to large turbines and not the smaller backyard variety.
15 May 2008
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