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Clayton trustees receive petition against wind energy

The wind energy debate in Clayton continues.

Village trustees received a petition containing 196 signatures against the development of wind energy within village limits and the 1.5-mile radius surrounding the village’s zoning jurisdiction.

Presented by Clayton resident Ed DeMoss Tuesday night, the petition contains signatures from Clayton residents or landowners who are old enough to vote.

“I’ve spent days going door to door all over this town,” he said. “In all that time, I came across less than 15 people who decided not to sign it.”

DeMoss did not ask any business owners to sign the petition.

“They have a hard enough time making ends meet without getting in the middle of this mess,” he said.

The petition comes just one month after a public hearing in Clayton where both sides of the wind energy debate were heard. While the issue is currently tabled under a two-month moratorium, the Clayton Zoning Board of Appeals will meet Sept. 20 to make a recommendation.

Acciona Energy North America, which is working with Global Winds Harvest has proposed building the $300 million Prairie Mills Wind Farm in the Camp Point, Clayton and Golden vicinity.

During the public hearing Acciona representative, Chip Readling said the zoning radius around Clayton would eliminate a lot of land from the area, forcing it to realign their turbine alignment.

The Adams County Board approved revisions to its wind ordinance Aug. 10. The revisions increased the setback of wind turbines from primary structures of non-participating landowners to 1,320 feet from 1,000 feet. The revisions also included a 1,500-foot setback from school property lines, requirements for shadow flicker mitigation and minimizing impact on wildlife.

John Gebhardt, spokesman for the Advocates for Responsible Energy Development, said he thought residents were concerned, but he was surprised with the numbers of signatures collected.

“As the residents of Clayton become educated about wind energy, they now appreciate the enormous size and irreversible, adverse impact turbines will have on their community,” he said.

The group has sought additional amendments to the wind ordinance including increasing setbacks to 1,500 feet from the property line, introduce a stronger shadow flicker plan and require that noise levels are not increased on a non-participants’ property.