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Green Bay looks at temporary freeze on wind turbines

The Green Bay City Council is finalizing plans for a six-month moratorium on building wind turbines inside city limits.

According to city officials, there’s been an increased interest both privately and commercially for wind turbines.

The problem, Green Bay lacks regulations when it comes to putting up wind turbines within the city.

The city hopes this six-month moratorium will buy some time to properly draft some kind of ordinance – something city leaders say is increasingly needed.

Last spring when East Town Mall installed electricity-producing wind spires at its front entrance, the idea took off like the wind.

“We’ve had residents call who’ve expressed interest in putting turbines up on residential properties. We’ve also received calls from businesses – some in the I-43 business park as well as some of the commercial areas,” city economic development director Derek Lord said.

Two wind energy companies have been in talks with the city, both interested in tapping into the market.

But there’s a problem for the city. “The city doesn’t have an ordinance that addresses wind energy systems,” Paul Neumeyer of Green Bay Planning & Development said.

Which is why the city is now pushing for a temporary moratorium to hammer out regulations, including lot sizes, height requirements, and aesthetics.

“We have height controls, certainly, and some use controls, but we want to talk about buffers and how they can best fit into commercial and industrial areas, maybe even residential areas,” Neumeyer said.

The city council is expected to finalize the moratorium Tuesday night.