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Wind farm restrictions hurt neighbors, too  

Credit:  The Journal Gazette, www.jg.net 15 May 2011 ~~

I read with interest Stacey Stumpf’s article “A blow to wind farms” (May 1). We have no argument with wind power per se, as we use a 20-foot windmill to aerate our pond. We do take issue, however, with 400-plus-foot industrial wind turbines in anyone’s backyard by creating an “overlay” district.

This means an area zoned agricultural or residential can have an industrial zone overlay to allow exceptions to the very zoning laws meant to protect our rights as property owners. As Stumpf quite correctly stated, any true conservative should be apprehensive about any law giving power of eminent domain to a private company.

She may not realize this is exactly what Wind Capital Group proposes for Whitley County. The original ordinance endorsed by WCG required only 1,000-foot setback from these massive towers to the nearest residence (not property line or outbuildings).

If this had passed, a private company and property owner (person who signed a lease agreement) could claim eminent domain on any land between a neighbor’s residence and a 400-foot tower, severely limiting its use. By doing the math, up to 20 acres of land could be acquired with no compensation to the landowner who happens to have the bad luck to live next to a lease signer (who is compensated) and now has to live with the lost property value, noise and loss of rural lifestyle which drew many to the area in the first place.

These industrial wind parks need to be located in areas with low population density so they have minimal impact – not in bedroom communities near larger cities. This is what numerous communities have already discovered and why more study is needed before further construction.

CAROLYN STANGER Roanoke

Source:  The Journal Gazette, www.jg.net 15 May 2011

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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