Opponents of large wind farm developments in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley delivered a strong message to municipal politicians Wednesday night.
About 200 people crammed into the Kings County council chambers in Kentville to express their views at a public hearing.
Three companies have said they’re interested in setting up wind farms in the county.
American epidemiologist Dr. Carl Phillips said the health effects from turbines can include sleep and mood disorders, and he argued it would be “unconscionable” to allow wind farms less than 1,600 metres from homes.
Baxters Harbour resident Rick Graham said there are about 700 homes in his neighborhood that are within 1,000 metres of proposed turbines on North Mountain.
However, businessman Gerry Fulton presented a dissenting voice, saying a wind farm would inject significant tax dollars into the county.
The public hearing was required after council gave first reading last month to a recommendation it prohibit all major wind projects while it reviews the proposed developments.
Second reading is expected in July, and the province must give approval.
The move comes in response to strong public opposition to proposed large-scale wind farms in the Greenfield area on South Mountain and a large swath of land from Arlington to West Black Rock Road on North Mountain.
Last year, the county approved a new wind turbine bylaw that would allow a developer to establish large-scale wind turbines within 700 metres of a home if they met municipal building permit requirements.
There was no limit on the size or number of structures and no opportunity for public input.
Residents became alarmed after learning of Scotian WindField’s proposed development on South Mountain, and a potentially huge wind farm on North Mountain proposed by Acciona Wind Energy Canada Inc., a subsidiary of a multinational firm in Spain.
Acciona’s plan calls for 20 to 30 turbines that range in height from 80 to 120 metres and have blade lengths of 50 to 60 metres.
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