NORTH EAST – Developers hoping to build a commercial wind farm in North East Township will have to play by township rules.
WHAT HAPPENED: North East supervisors Monday approved Ordinance 2013-002, which amends the township zoning ordinance to regulate the construction and operation of wind-energy farms.
WHAT IT MEANS: Commercial wind farms in the township will be limited to the southern part of the township. Turbines must be set back from homes by a distance at least five times the turbine’s height, not counting its blades, and from neighboring property lines by 1.75 times its total height.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING: “I don’t think any reasonable thinking person would believe that putting 500-foot industrial turbines in a residential neighborhood won’t affect property values,” Jon Peters said.
“When you vote tonight it will almost be historic. It will affect the landscape of this township forever,” Matt Putman said.
“We’ve listened and not let any fast-talking people influence, at least as far as I’m concerned, my decision,” Supervisor Vernon Frye said. “This is the third draft of this ordinance, and I feel comfortable with it.”
WHAT’S NEXT: Putman and Neighbors for a Responsible North East are pushing for bigger setbacks and said Monday that they will submit a curative amendment asking for a hearing before the township Zoning Hearing Board. If setbacks aren’t changed, Putman said, he will consider legal action.
“I’m meeting with an attorney this week to look at options,” he said.
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