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Change delays windmill rules in Mahoning Township  

Credit:  By Karen Blackledge, The Danville News, dailyitem.com 9 November 2010 ~~

DANVILLE – An ordinance regulating personal windmills in Mahoning Township should be adopted in December after supervisors modified the proposal Monday night.

The board added a provision to the windmill ordinance stating personal property windmills cannot cause loss of a signal, such as from a satellite or dish TV or a cell phone, to a neighboring property.

As a result of the change, the supervisors will have to re-advertise the ordinance to be adopted at its Dec. 20 meeting.

They also adopted an ordinance regulating outdoor furnaces.

Currently, there are no personal windmills in the township. Zoning officer Dean VonBlohn said he received a call from one owner who doesn’t have enough room on his property for one.

Resident Mark Harlor expressed concern about possible signal interference from a windmill.

Under the proposed ordinance, personal wind energy facilities may be permitted as an accessory use in the township with the following requirements: they are set back from all property lines no less than a distance equal to 1.1 times their height and shall be set back from any occupied building on a non-participating landowner’s property no less than a distance equal to five times their height, no personal wind energy turbine shall exceed 60 feet in height, all such turbines shall have demonstrated survival wind speed of 140 miles per hour and be designed, installed and inspected in accordance with the requirements of the state Uniform Construction Code.

All energy generated by a personal windmill shall be for the use of the person holding the permit and there shall be no commercial resale to off-site users.

If a personal windmill isn’t used or doesn’t generate electricity for 12 consecutive months, the township will consider it to be at the end of its useful life and instruct the zoning officer to issue a notice to the property owner to dismantle or remove it.

Anyone violating the ordinance would be subject to a fine of $500 plus all court costs including reasonable attorney’s fees incurred by the township to enforce the ordinance.

Under the outdoor furnace ordinance, furnaces need to be set back at least 25 feet from all side and rear property lines and shall be located at least 100 feet from any home other than the dwelling served by the furnace. Furnaces must comply with emission standards established for outdoor furnaces by the Environmental Protection Agency.

There are no outdoor furnaces in the township to date, according to the supervisors.

Only natural untreated wood, wood pellets, charcoal, peat, coal and similar materials including pellets made from corn, wheat, rye and other grains may be burned in a furnace. The ordinance prohibits burning of wood that has been painted, varnished or coated with a similar material, rubbish or garbage, plastic materials, rubber, newspapers, cardboard or other paper with ink or dye products, waste oil, asphalt and any other items not specifically recommended by the unit manufacturer.

All outdoor furnaces must have a minimum chimney height of 20 feet above the average finished grade of the site where it is located. The chimneys must be firmly secured to prevent topping and fitted with a spark arrestor. A draft-induced blower shall be installed on the chimney to create a positive draft.

Anyone found violating the ordinance would be subject to a fine of $500 plus all court courts including reasonable attorney’s fees incurred by the township to enforce the ordinance.

Source:  By Karen Blackledge, The Danville News, dailyitem.com 9 November 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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