LONG BEACH TOWNSHIP – The Township Board of Commissioners is preparing to introduce an ordinance that would regulate energy-generating windmills in the township.
The ordinance, which is expected to be introduced during the board’s meeting Friday, would require that a windmill be put on sites that are greater than two acres, said Mayor Joseph Mancini.
“Right now, we don’t have anything on the books regarding the windmills,” Mancini said during the board’s caucus meeting Tuesday morning. “There are a variety of issues when it comes to windmills, from the noise to the strobe-like effects they give off.”
The proposed ordinance goes on to state that the maximum height of the windmill can be 40 feet and requires a setback of 100 feet from the property line.
The township is no stranger to issues related to the energy generating windmills.
In 2007, a pair of neighbors brought suit against a fellow neighbor who had a 35-foot high windmill. The suit claimed that the windmill created a public nuisance. The neighbors also claimed it was noisy, disturbed their sleep and produced “strobe-like” shadows on their property from noon until sundown.
During the summer of 2007, the lawsuit prompted the commissioners to begin discussing an ordinance that would prohibit energy-producing windmills from being built in town. As part of a 2009 settlement, the homeowner was forced to take down the windmill.
In the past, the township only had an ordinance that allowed decorative windmills not exceeding 12 feet in height.
The township modeled its ordinance after rules that were developed in Iowa, Mancini said.
“There are a lot of issues that have to be addressed when it comes to windmills,” Mancini said. “We are all for solar power, but there are still issues with windmills.”
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