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Black Creek has ordinance on wind power

Most municipalities in the Hazleton area don’t regulate wind farms or wind turbines, including Butler Township, where Jack Shelly installed a wind turbine on his garage roof.

In Black Creek Township, however, an ordinance requires people to obtain the zoning board’s approval before they put up a wind turbine or windmill.

They must buy a permit for $250 plus $3 per foot based on the device’s height. The rules require owners to have at least 4 acres of ground and to put the turbine at least 200 feet from the property line, according to information supplied by Donald Karpowich, Black Creek Township’s solicitor.

If installing more than one turbine, a property owner in Black Creek must follow more stringent regulations for a wind farm. Those requirements cover access roads, parking for employees and a $1 million insurance policy. For wind farms, the minimum plot size rises to 10 acres and the setback to 1,000 feet from buildings, natural resources or historic sites.

“In the case of a stand-alone wind mill mounted on a roof of a structure, the applicant could seek variances from the requirements while appearing before the zoning board,” Karpowich said in an email.