Well, the Board of Supervisors heard more objections to the proposed wind turbine project both at the public hearing on the 21st and again last Tuesday. Sadly, they don’t seem to be listening. They keep telling us how hard they worked on the ordinance they passed over our objections last September. They say they spent nine months crafting the toughest ordinance in Iowa, but in half an hour I found more rigorous examples online. Rather than invite public comment to truly represent us, they seem to have listened only to the wind companies. In fact, when the zoning board recommended a half-mile setback, the wind representatives said it was a deal breaker, so the board reduced it to 1500 feet! This was all done without our knowledge. The first we heard of it was at the informational meeting they held last August, by which time the ordinance was written and public hearings were a mere formality.
Residents of the four affected townships have clearly shown that they do not want this by refusing to sign the wind company’s contract (only 13% of those who live here have signed), but all we hear is that the absentee landowners have a right to do what they want on/with their property. This is true, but only until what they do goes beyond their property line. Believe me, the effects of the turbines will go, literally, miles beyond. Therefore, I ask, why does their right to use their property as they wish negate my rights? My right to good health, to peace and quiet, to a clear night sky, to wildlife, and on and on. The ONLY justification for this project so far has been money.
We opponents have brought significant information to the board to support our concerns, but they don’t hear us. In town, there are nuisance laws to protect neighbors from each other if people don’t voluntarily respect each other. Even a dog that barks too loudly is a public nuisance that you can do something about, but I have NO RIGHT AT ALL to do anything about how my life will change if these turbines are put up. My neighbor, who has a beautiful property she did not sign up, will have fifteen turbines within a mile to a mile and a half around her home, two of them mere inches from the 1500-foot setback. One of the primary movers of this, who happily signed up his land, has NO turbines for miles in any direction! Is this right? He will reap all the rewards and she will have all the headaches, literally, and she will have absolutely no recourse.
I understand that many people are uncomfortable with conflict; so am I, but if we don’t fight for ourselves, who will? Those of you who live in Emmetsburg will have a 3-mile buffer zone because of the airport, so perhaps you don’t care, but you should. This is only the first step, and if it passes, our beautiful county will be inundated with gigantic turbines. Our countryside will be destroyed. Everywhere you go, they are all you will see. Our homes and lives will never be the same. If you think this is wrong, please inform your supervisor before it is too late. Remember, we are just the first target.
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