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Residents push to tighten wind turbine ordinance

Residents in DeKalb County packed a commissioners meeting to show they mean it when they say “not in my back yard.”

A wind ordinance is already in place in DeKalb County, but a standing-room only group of residents wants to tighten restrictions to keep wind turbines farther from their homes and properties.

The packed room greeted the DeKalb County commissioners as they heard proposals to amend their wind energy ordinance.

“We understand that these wind turbines go up on adjacent property, for example, that my property value’s going to decline anywhere from 20 to 40%. Time out. That’s a problem. We cannot have that occur to the majority of land owners in DeKalb County,” says Carrie Raver, a concerned DeKalb County resident.

Raver and her attorney presented petitions signed by more than one thousand fellow DeKalb County residents.

Instead of a windmill being 15O00 feet from a residence, people want windmills more than 2600 feet from a property line to protect the neighbor who didn’t agree to lease land to a wind company.

The group also wants each turbine to be evaluated on a case by case basis, with noise and shadow flicker studies done when the company applies to install a windmill, and once it’s in place.

In addition, they want height and density restrictions, as well as de-icing components in place and a plan to decommission each turbine, since its lifespan is only 20 to 25 years.

The president of the DeKalb County commissioners knew going in that the ordinance would need some tweaking.

“He brought up a lot of good points. We like the ideas, some of them. Some of them are already in our ordinance, so that’s one of the things we need to work on,” Don Grogg says.

The county commissioners hope to present some modified form of the wind ordinance to the plan commission before the end of the year or early next year.