In its meeting on Wednesday night, the Kidder Township Planning Commission voted to recommend that township supervisors table their discussion of amending zoning ordinances related to windmills, wind turbines and wind energy conversion systems until more questions can be answered.
The amendments are required to approve a permit for David and Nancy Pfeil, owners of the Inn at Hickory Run, White Haven, who plan to erect a wind-powered turbine.
The Carbon County Planning Commission has already recommended approval of the proposed amendments to the township ordinance, stating in a letter that “the proposed amendment for wind energy conversion systems in the Kidder Township zoning ordinances is consistent with current state and surrounding township zoning ordinances and we therefore recommend approval.”
But Pfeil’s neighbors came to the meeting with a list of questions. Tim Ryan, who owns an adjacent lot, raised concerns about the local wetlands, the resulting noise level, the height of the proposed structure and whether the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, which provided a grant to the Pfeils for the erection of the wind turbine, should be spending taxpayer money on wind power when there were so many people in the state without adequate fire protection.
Ryan added, “I’m concerned this will impact the value of my property.”
Planning commission members admitted that they didn’t have all the answers, but member Ellen Matt suggested that the Carbon County Conservation District be contacted by the applicant to provide more information about the impact of these structures on the environment. The commission moved to recommend that township supervisors table their discussion of any amendments until more information was made available.
Township supervisors have already published details of the proposed amendments and plan to meet on the issue at their regular monthly meeting on June 19 at 7 p.m. at the Kidder Township Municipal Building.
By Rick Grant
5 June 2008
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