The Peace River Regional District has decided not to create a new category of zoning specific to wind farms.
Instead, staff will research rules in place in other provinces regulating wind farms on private lands.
Current zoning bylaws do not have regulations for wind farms, Bruce Simard, the regional district’s general manager of development services, said.
“(We could) create a new type of zone… and consider adding some basic requirements in terms of setbacks and noise thresholds and these type of things,” Simard said at Thursday’s regional district meeting.
The issue revolves around creating a level of review for wind farm projects that were not large enough to trigger a provincial government environmental review.
Three wind projects proposed in March 2015 on private lands spurred the discussion, since wind farms are not allowed under current zoning regulations.
A wind farm project in Montney has been met with considerable opposition from local residents concerns about its impact on property values and aesthetics.
A large delegation from the community was on hand Thursday for the discussions before the board of directors.
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel,” Electoral Area E Director Dan Rose said, advocating for a case-by-case evaluation of projects.
Acting chair, Electoral Area C director Brad Sperling, agreed.
“To me, creating a zone means we are backing up an inch, “ he said.
“I don’t want to see these things all over the place… I think it should be site specific.”
Sperling added that he has “big problems” with the province using the region as the only area in the province for wind farms.
“This is a big province,” he noted.
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