BROADVIEW HEIGHTS, Ohio – City Council, after months of study, will likely make just one change to the city’s wind-turbine regulations.
Under existing code, no more than 45 decibels of noise can reach a neighboring residence from a wind turbine. The amendment would stop those 45 decibels at the residential property line instead of the house.
Councilwoman Jennifer Mahnic said the amendment would create quieter conditions for residents living next to wind turbines.
However, council will likely scrap other proposed changes to the wind-turbine code after finding that Broadview Heights’ regulations are stricter than those of other cities, Mahnic said.
The issue was discussed Monday night during a council work session.
Mahnic said the city contains no wind turbines yet. However, council’s Energy Committee, which Mahnic chairs, decided to review municipal code after seeing wind turbines constructed in other communities.
For example, Parma has at least one wind turbine in a residential zone. Mahnic noticed it in November and was concerned how wind turbines here might disturb or endanger residents living near them.
The committee considered:
— increasing the minimum setback between wind turbines and residential lots or houses.
However, Building Official Roger Westfall argued against that measure. He said the city’s existing setback requirement – that a wind turbine must stand at least 100 feet from a residential property line and at least 300 feet from a dwelling – are more stringent than those of other cities.
Also, Broadview Heights limits a wind turbine’s height at 60 feet and requires a minimum 3-acre lot for a wind turbine.
— reducing the maximum decibel level between a wind turbine and a residence or residential lot from 45 decibels to 35 decibels.
Westfall said a reduction wasn’t necessary. He said a running refrigerator produces 50 decibels and an electric toothbrush produces between 50-60 decibels.
It was Westfall who recommended keeping the 45-decibel limit and moving the limit from the residence to the residential property line.
— limiting the styles of wind turbines allowed in the city. Mahnic said the committee eventually voted against a limit because wind-turbine styles and designs are constantly changing.
The committee also examined whether Ohio Revised Code addresses wind turbines. Westfall said ORC only regulates wind turbine farms.
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