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Mount Pleasant Planning Commission holds SC Johnson turbines until November

SC Johnson’s wind turbines will have to wait until the November Mount Pleasant Planning Commission meeting to move forward.

The delay does not change the possible timeline for the project since the Village Board was not scheduled to hear the issues until Nov. 28.

With two members absent, Trustee Jerry Garski recused himself from discussing the runway safety zone for Sylvania Airport because the owner is his friend, and Joe Maier recused himself from the entire matter because he’s an SCJ employee, the Planning Commission didn’t have a quorum to vote. Even after John Mallon, a retired SCJ employee, arrived, commission members still decided to hold matters until the Nov. 16 meeting.

Mallon did not recuse himself because he said he’d been retired long enough that it wouldn’t interfere with his judgement.

Gregg Anderegg from SC Johnson gave the Planning Commission the same presentation he gave at the Oct. 18 public hearing, but he also addressed residents’ concern about property values.

“We looked at one of the most comprehensive studies done on how wind turbines affect the value of properties within 10 miles and the evidence doesn’t show any real impact on prices,” he said.

But Tom Joy, a Mount Pleasant resident who also spoke at the public hearing, said he believes that because he lives half a mile away from where one of the proposed turbines will go, his property values will suffer. Additionally, he worries about wildlife and how safe it is to have the turbines so close to where people live.

“I found a study from John Hopkins that recommends wind turbines be no closer than two miles from residential areas,” he said. “With the number of ponds in the immediate area, we have a great environment for wildlife. How do we really know how this will affect geese?”

Joy provided a petition to the village where he gathered 24 signatures from neighbors who oppose the turbines. If the signatures are verified, the petition would qualify as a protest petition, which then requires a supermajority vote of 5-2 by the Village Board.

If approved, the wind turbines are expected to provide 15 percent of the electricity Waxdale uses.