September 28, 2010

Perry trustees approve resolution setting guidelines for wind turbines

By LARRY SHIELDS, Staff Writer, The Salem News, 28 September 2010

PERRY TOWNSHIP – After tabling the issue at its Sept. 13 meting, trustees approved Saturday a resolution setting guidelines for wind turbines in the township.

At the Sept. 13 meeting, Greg Courtney, president of Wind Turbines of Ohio, LLC, raised objections saying the resolution basically outlawed the devices.

Courtney said he’s installed over 120 of the turbines and noted the five-acre minimum land requirement is excessive.

He pointed out that most wind turbines are built on an acre but said he wasn’t sure where that requirement came from.

Fiscal Officer Susan Johnston said the resolution was written using a model from the Ohio Township Association.

Courtney said if the resolution passes “there won’t be a wind turbine in Perry Township,” explaining that to qualify for an Ohio grant a tower has to be 100 feet high.

He said he was told by state officials not to apply for anything under 100 feet tall.

“Based on this, no tower will be built in Perry Township,” Courtney said, adding there is a 30 percent renewable federal tax credit and residential grants available.

He also took exception to color requirements in the resolution.

Courtney called the resolution “overkill.”

Trustee Chairman Mike Halleck said Monday that trustees went ahead and accepted the recommendation of the township association, passing the resolution on freestanding wind energy conversion systems with a unanimous vote.

Two weeks ago, Halleck said, “I don’t know if I want a 100-foot tower in my neighbor’s backyard … in a residential township.”

The township association model is broken down into residential district and commercial district uses.

Halleck said, “We’re a very urban township when compared to many other townships in the state.”

He repeated his concern for 100-foot tall turbines.

“We’re satisfied that anyone not satisfied can appeal it,” Halleck said, adding they could start asking fro a variance from the township’s appeals board.

If that didn’t work, they could also pursue relief through the Columbiana County Common Pleas Court.

Halleck called the township associations’ model resolution “pretty standard.”

The most important requirement is that no wind turbine receives a placement variance so close to a property line as to result in any portion of the turbine, whether operational or fallen or toppled, to overhang, cross or otherwise extend beyond the property line.

A five-acre minimum amount of space is required in residential and commercial areas and placement density shall be no greater that one tower per five acres; nor will they be located in front yards.

The maximum height in both districts is 100 feet; a minimum setback residentially is 125 feet and commercially 150 feet from all property lines, structures and above ground utility lines.

Anchor points for guy wires will be no closer than 25 feet to the property lines and will not be on or across any above-ground electric lines; the minimum height from the tower base to the lowest point of the blade tip or rotor systems is 12 feet, also in both districts.

Blade colors will be white or light gray and lighting for aircraft protection will conform with Federal Aviation Administration standards for wattage and color when needed.

The towers also will have: a climbing apparatus no closer than 12 feet to the ground; a locked anti-climb device; a sign warning of electrical shock or high voltage; an auto brake system governing and feathering of the system to prevent uncontrolled rotation.

Site planning requirements include the physical dimensions for the site, location of the tower; location of signage; tower elevation; location of trees within a 100-foot radius and manufacturer’s specification, photos and noise decibels generated.

Halleck said the resolution went into effect immediately.

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