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Town seeking input on wind turbines  

Credit:  By Chris Roark, Flower Mound Leader, www.scntx.com 24 August 2010 ~~

The possibility of wind turbines in Flower Mound has long been an issue raised by residents in town.

Next week, those interested will be able to give the town its input on the matter.

The planning and zoning commission will host a work session at 6:30 p.m. Monday at town hall, but unlike most work sessions, this one will allow residents to give their input on amendments to the town’s land development regulations to incorporate standards regarding the use of wind turbines for residential use.

Monday, the commission had its first work session on the subject, with Charles Crumpley of WeKnow Technologies providing some insight on wind turbines.

Among the items discussed were the potential benefits, which include reduced energy consumption, decreased energy dependence and renewable energy.

Other topics included potential issues, such as height.

Crumpley said the height is important for the wind turbines to function. A lower turbine leads to less wind and more interference from homes, buildings and trees, thus less power.

That’s why some of the turbines illustrated in the discussion ranged from 35- to 50-foot towers, and some were taller.

“You have to get these tall enough to capture the clean air flow,” said Nick Hollingshad, P&Z chairman. “But historically in Flower Mound, people don’t like tall things, so that’s why we want to get the public’s input.”

Commissioners said it will be a challenge for the turbines to be functional in small-lot areas, though it might be easier for property owners who live on large lots.

Hollingshad did say it would be worth looking at commercial uses for turbines, such as in the Lakeside Business District. He said the buildings’ flat tops would provide less wind interruption to make the turbines more beneficial.

Also included in the work session was a comparison of Flower Mound’s survey cities in regard to action they have taken on wind turbine regulations. Of the 15 standard survey cities, three of them – Colleyville, McKinney and North Richland Hills – have regulations on them. North Richland Hills regulates turbines with a specific use permit (SUP) and a building permit, but the turbines are only allowed on two acres.

An amendment to Flower Mound’s current regulations would require a vote by town council following a recommendation by P&Z. There is a work session set for the Nov. 18 council meeting.

Source:  By Chris Roark, Flower Mound Leader, www.scntx.com 24 August 2010

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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