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Commissioners give staff 60 days to work on wind energy ordinance

Presented with several questions from a Dayton resident and a few of their own, the Lyon County Commissioners decided last Thursday to give Lyon County Chief Building Official Nick Malarchik 60 days to work on a proposed wind energy ordinance.

Malarchik was directed to bring the proposed ordinance back to the board for consideration at the Commissioners’ first meeting of May.

The ordinance issue came about when Dayton resident Charlie Harris requested county permission to build a windmill about five feet from his property line.

With no county ordinance, Malarchik said he has been using the guideline that any wind energy system must be as far back from the property line as its height, so it cannot fall onto a neighbor’s property.

Malarchik said his idea was to craft some regulations relating to the height, noise levels and safety of wind energy conversion systems.

Malarchik said Harris had several suggestions and comments about the proposed ordinance. Harris offered his services pro bono to help craft a regulation.

Commissioner Chuck Roberts suggested Malarchik take the time to craft a new ordinance to be proposed that included some of the questions Harris brought up, and also some raised by Commissioners, before the Board were to vote on it.

Robert said he was concerned about noise. After Malarchik said he has been using 55 decibels at the property line as the unofficial regulation, Roberts said he had concerns about how much noise should be allowed.

“Fifty-five decibels isn’t much, but it is when you are a neighbor,” he said.

However, Robert also said he doesn’t want the county to make an ordinance too restrictive.

“I don’t want to design an obstacle we don’t need,” he said.

Lyon County resident Jim Dunlap said the county should draft an ordinance at all.

“Where do you get the power to tell people what they can do to improve their property,” Dunlap said.