UPPER NAPPAN – Cumberland County plans to update land-use bylaws in an attempt to maximize wind energy potential.
The county is holding three public meetings to gather input on a series of wind turbine amendments. The first of these meetings was held last night in Wallace, with additional meetings planned for tonight in Parrsboro at the Fundy Geological Museum and Thursday at the E.D. Fullerton Municipal Building in Upper Nappan.
Director of planning Penny Henneberry said the bylaw changes are relatively minor, but will not change the most controversial of the bylaws – the separation between wind turbines and homes.
“Those provisions would stay the same,” said Henneberry, who added increasing the setback from the existing 500 metres to two kilometres would exclude pretty much the entire county from the development of wind energy.
Several years ago, when a firm was considering establishing a wind farm on the Gulf Shore, there was considerable debate in the community and on council as to the distance between homes and businesses and turbines. The county settled on the greater of 500 metres or three times the height of the turbine.
Henneberry’s proposed changes would also cover smaller turbines used for domestic purposes. As well, there are also larger turbines of about 30 metres in height that will be covered by the bylaw along with those that are put on the roofs of homes and businesses.
Finally, she said, the county is also producing maps including preferred areas for wind development as well as excluded areas so developers will have a better of idea of where turbines can and should be located.
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