Industrial wind turbine setbacks have been a hot topic for several years. Developers have uttered words like “overly burdensome,” “effective moratorium” and “unreasonable” when describing Ohio’s current setbacks.
Here is the reality. My family’s home lies within a currently proposed IWT project and the yard where my children play will have 20 600-foot wind turbines placed within a 1.5-mile radius. The pro-wind lobby would have you believe this is impossible with Ohio’s current setbacks. But the truth is they are merely pushing their own agenda.
Under current Ohio law, landowners and developers are afforded an opportunity to negotiate and sign a “setback easement” aka “good neighbor agreement” allowing developers to place IWTs closer to people’s properties than the law specifies. During this process landowners have a chance to weigh the cost versus benefit to them. Typically, these agreements pay landowners $500-$2,000 per year. To date both the Seneca and Republic Wind projects in Seneca County have acquired nearly 90% of the necessary setback waivers to build their projects under current setback law.
The real issue here is that the wind industry does not want to work with people who must live less than 1,125 feet from a 600-foot wind turbine, but would rather convince our elected officials in Columbus to grant them uncompensated easements and take away our right to live peaceably on our own property. Such a use of force would give more rights to the outsider wind industry than their own Ohio residents.
Chris Aichholz, Bloomville