KENTVILLE – Kings County plans to revisit its new wind turbine bylaw after opposition to a test tower recently erected in the Greenfield area, south of Wolfville.
“There are a lot of concerns out there, so we have committed to do a full review,” Warden Diana Brothers said in an interview.
Residents of Greenfield and surrounding areas recently presented county council with a petition with almost 400 names opposing Scotian WindFields’ 60-metre test tower off Peck Meadow Road.
Residents are concerned about noise, potential health risks, lower property values and the minimum setback of 700 metres from the nearest house if permanent towers are erected. They are also worried that the new bylaw doesn’t allow public input into specific wind development projects. If an application meets the criteria laid out in the bylaw, the development may proceed by right. Residents are angry the test tower was erected without community input or knowledge.
The Municipality of the County of Kings passed its wind turbine bylaw regulating large-scale developments last year after a series of public meetings and consultations.
“The ironic part is that we did have a public input process,” Brothers said. “But when you do a public consultation process across the county, it’s hard to reach everyone.”
Council approved motions at a special meeting last week to spend up to $25,000 researching the health and environmental implications of large-scale wind turbines and to pass the petition on to the province with a letter advising of possible changes to the new bylaw.
“We are responding to the public’s concerns,” said Brothers. “We want them to know that we’re going to review the policy.”
Bret Miner, who lives about a kilometre from the test tower, said “the residents of Greenfield are concerned that large-scale wind turbines could be put in their neighbourhood without (any) public say at all.” In an interview, Miner said the community is not opposed to wind turbines per se, but more study needs to be done and communities need to have a say.
“There’s a lot of information that . . .
goes into compiling setbacks, along with medical studies, and we just want to be careful that everybody has that information.
“We’re very happy the county has committed to review the bylaw. . . . The residents in the area want to make sure the county gets some unbiased scientific information to support a bylaw.
“We’re going to keep pursuing the county to make sure the next bylaw meets what we would expect from a municipal government.”
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