After months of work, impassioned discussion and public input, the Ingersoll Township Planning Commission has a final wind turbine draft in place. Now, the next step is a formal public hearing, which will take place next Monday, Feb. 19, at the regularly scheduled planning commission meeting.
At 7 p.m., in the Ingersoll Township Hall, the seven members of the planning commission will hear comments from the public before deciding how to proceed.
Following the public hearing, the planning commission will consider the comments, make changes to the ordinance and send it on to the township board for consideration. Or, the commission could keep the ordinance and still continue working on it.
Anyone wishing to review the wind turbine draft may access it on the Ingersoll Township website at: http://www.ingersolltownship.com/; click on “Resources,” and then “Code of Ordinances.”
Work on the ordinance began at a public hearing on March 22, 2017. When the township board heard that wind turbines were a possibility, a decision was made to update the ordinance. A one-year moratorium was enacted on creating a wind ordinance.
Highlights from the draft of the ordinance have been outlined, with participating parcels defined as those that have signed leases with the wind developer, and non-participating parcels are those that have not signed a lease:
• Distance between a wind energy system and an inhabited structure – participating parcels – 1,400 feet; non-participating parcels – 2,000 feet from the property line.
• Distance from a wind energy system and the centerline of a public roadway – 1.5 times the overall height of the turbine.
• Height regulations for individual wind energy systems – limited to 499 feet above the existing grade.
• Sound levels – for participating parcels there is a sound regulation from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., at a sound level (Leq) of 50 dBA. The sound regulation for nighttime is 45 dBA. Leq is the average of the sound over a measurement of time, which is at 10-minute intervals; non-participating is 45 dBA from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and 35 dBA from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. The measurement is a hard and fast number called an Lmax. This means that the sound may never exceed that dBA at a home.
• Aircraft Detection Lighting Systems (ADLS) – to be used when the FAA requires illumination.
• Shadow Flicker – shadow flicker on participating parcels is limited to 30 hours per year. Shadow flicker on non-participating parcels is not allowed.
• Decommissioning plan – applicants must submit a decommissioning plan. Decommissioning happens when the wind turbines are ready to be torn down or are not being used. The township would require that the applicant pay any decommissioning costs. The applicant would be required to provide the financial security to be posted at the time of receiving a special use permit.
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