The Marshalltown City Council Monday looked to put some regulations on electricity-generating wind turbines.
The move came on the heels of Marshalltown’s first application for a large-scale wind turbine which was proposed to be put on a property off of Merle Hibbs Boulevard. While the turbines have caught on in rural areas, they have been slow to infiltrate urban areas.
“There’s nothing addressed in the section at all about wind turbines,” said City Planner Stephen Troskey. “This section is all new.”
The larger, commercial-sized turbines would not be allowed on any property less than 3 acres in size, under the new regulations. Further, the turbine would have to be set back 110 percent of its height from any property line and 150 percent from any overhead wires.
For example, if a turbine were 100 feet tall, it would need to be within all property borders by no less than 110 feet and away from all overhead wires by at least 150 feet.
For residents wishing to take advantage of the new technology for their own homes, there is an allowance made for the “rooftop” turbines. They must sit on the back of the home and cannot extend more than 20 feet above the point on which they sit.
Only one is allowed per residence.
The section also outlines that a special use permit would be required for the placement of a wind turbine. This would give neighbors ample warning that a turbine was being proposed in their area.
“If one goes up, people will know about it,” Troskey said. “It won’t go in overnight.”
Andrea Maxwell, a member of the council, said she has heard some fears expressed to her.
“There’s a lot of concerns about heights,” she said.
Wind turbines are quickly gaining the attention of many local governments as they increase in popularity. Marshall County also recently considered ordinances relating to wind turbines.
By Ken Black
29 July 2008
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