It is the height of arrogance for those in Paulding County to presume to know what the economic development opportunities are for a county other than their own (“Wind farms gave counties a boost,” letter from Peggy Emerson, Monday). What is perceived by Paulding County as a benefit could just as easily be devastating to another county. Local jurisdictions should have the authority to zone for their own areas.
It is also false to suggest that Ohio’s industrial wind turbine setbacks are among the most stringent in the country. The wind industry has told half the tale. The unspoken other half is that Ohio’s setbacks are staggeringly shorter than many other areas in Indiana, Michigan and elsewhere. The difference is that in these states, the local community is empowered to zone according to its own best interests.
What Emerson is really saying is that the county wishes to impose its will to the detriment of others. That implies that is does not trust its own citizens to act in the best interest of Paulding County.
Poorly sited industrial wind turbines have a proven impact on property values. In some instances, financial institutions may be reluctant to make second mortgage loans on such properties. Insurers may impose higher premiums on neighboring properties that lie within the zone exposed to blade and ice throw, as well as noise emissions.
Industrial power plants that enjoy a yearly blade failure rate of 3,800 incidents have no business being situated within 1,000 feet or less of a neighboring property line. Paulding County, especially, should appreciate this fact after the blade failure accident at the Timber Road II project. A township trustee testified in 2012 that he personally measured a blade part one foot by one foot in size that had traveled 1,158 feet from the tower.
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