WOODSTOCK – The public will have an opportunity to express its views on building wind turbines during a joint public hearing of the Town Council and the town Planning Commission next week.
The panels are considering a proposed ordinance that would allow wind turbines in the medium-density residential district by special-use permit.
It calls for turbines to be 70 feet tall or shorter. They must be placed on land parcels that are a minimum of 1 acre.
The ordinance would require setback distances from property lines and occupied buildings of at least 110 percent of the turbine’s height. Once it is no longer being used, it must be removed within 150 days, and the site must be stabilized or re-vegetated.
The ordinance bans “any sign, writing or picture that may be construed as advertising.”
The town has been working on the project for several months, said Assistant Town Manager Brent Manuel.
Central High School has partnered with James Madison University on a wind project. They plan to build a 55-foot turbine in open space between the high school and W.W. Robinson Elementary School using grants and money generated by fundraising.
The project is a part of the Wind Powering America’s Wind for Schools initiative, which seeks to raise awareness in rural parts of the country about the benefits of wind energy by placing turbines at public schools.
“It’s basically a demonstration project that would happen out at Central High School,” Manuel said Tuesday. “Without this ordinance, it wouldn’t be permitted because of the height restrictions.”
The hearing is slated for Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the town office.
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