Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from Ohio
The longstanding debate over how much society is willing to sacrifice private property rights in order to erect mammoth, commercial-scale wind turbines has been energized — perhaps even electrified, if you will — by the Ohio Power Siting Board. In a surprise move, the OPSB unanimously agreed on June 24 that it will not allow the proposed 47-turbine Republic Wind Farm to be built in Seneca County. It's a surprise move not because there was fierce opposition — which there was — but because the siting board actually listened to it.
At the Madison County Fairgrounds over cups of ice cream from Miller's Olde Fashioned Ice Cream and packets of sunflower seeds, solar energy developers pitched residents on harvesting more than soybeans and corn on their fields.
In one of their final acts before recessing for the summer, state lawmakers early Tuesday morning sent Gov. Mike DeWine a bill handing county commissioners the decision on where wind and solar farms may be sited. ..."As a state legislator in northwest Ohio, I represent the counties with the most wind development in the state and understand that this bill is extremely important to those who live it every day," said Rep. Craig Riedel (R., Defiance). "My constituents and those throughout the state are asking for a voice."
In a rare move, the Ohio Power Siting Board unanimously rejected plans for a large, commercial-scale wind farm in northwest Ohio on Thursday. Citing well-organized public opposition from Seneca County residents and a long list of their elected officials, the OPSB said it will not allow the proposed Republic Wind Farm project to proceed. Once touted by its developer as a $92 million investment, Republic Wind was proposed primarily for Seneca County as well as one township in neighboring Sandusky County.
Sen. Bill Reineke (R., Tiffin), who sponsored the bill with Sen. Rob McColley (R., Napoleon), dismissed arguments that there is already local input in the decisions of the five-member Ohio Power Siting Board as to where such projects would be located. “I'm telling you that in Seneca County, my home county, we now have four to six projects in the queue,” Mr. Reineke said. “When you consider all the letters, the testimonies, the resolutions against these projects that have come from constituents, township trustees, commissioners, mayors, etc., it becomes clear that the current process has no regard for local input.
A decision appeared imminent on APEX Clean Energy's Republic Wind Farm in 2019, as the Ohio Power Siting Board held a series of hearings on the controversial wind energy project and heard heated testimony from residents and company officials. Instead, members of the Seneca Anti-Wind Union (SAWU), APEX officials and local residents still are waiting to see, almost two years later, if up to 50 wind turbines will be built in Seneca County and a small portion of Sandusky County.
The measure would allow voters living in townships to petition to place a referendum on the ballot to undo wind farm site approvals by the Ohio Power Siting Board. ...The committee’s chairman, Rep. Nino Vitale (R., Urbana), noted that, as an energy source, wind farms take up thousands of more acres. ...“Maybe that is where some of the tension occurs in terms of why is this coming up.”
“This bill is a result of many constituents reaching out to every single legislator on this stage here and asking them to do this because they’re seeing hundreds, in some case, of wind turbines around their dream homes they built,” said state Sen. Rob McColley, R-Napoleon, flanked by residents and other legislators from the region where the bulk of Ohio’s wind farms exist or have been proposed.
The new resolution states that the commissioners are “in support of public safety by requesting longer setbacks than current law allows.” It also continues to stress the importance of protecting the Seneca County Airport and addresses concerns with any wind turbines within one mile of any K-12 county schools, because it could cause risk or distraction.
Other parts of the proposed rules call for detailed reporting of wind farm “incidents” as soon as 30 minutes after discovery. The rules state that incidents “include, but are not limited to, events such as tower collapse, turbine failure, thrown blade or hub, collector or feeder line failure, damaging ice throw, nacelle fire, or injury to any person.”
With the resolution approved by the commission Thursday, any wind project linked to Sandusky County's 2012 alternative energy zone must resubmit an application with the state siting board.
Crystal Avenue residents have denounced the proposed wind turbines as an eyesore which would sink their property values and flicker shadows into their homes. They also have expressed concerns that the wind turbines would harm their health.
A lawsuit filed this week over Ohio’s wind turbine setbacks centers on whether landowners, developers and others had a chance to be heard before the stricter terms were adopted as part of an eleventh-hour budget bill amendment in 2014.
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- There soon may be more wind farms in Ohio.
A northeast Ohio Republican lawmaker has reintroduced a bill to decrease wind setbacks, which is the distance a turbine must be from a property line.
GREEN SPRINGS, Ohio — Ohio’s highly contentious debate over setback requirements for massive wind turbines is being played out in rural Seneca and Sandusky counties, where a company ready to invest $92 million vows to walk away unless the Ohio General Assembly comes up with rules much softer than those Gov. John Kasich signed into law in 2014.
No new wind farm applications have been filed with the Ohio Power Siting Board since. Mr. Hite said some projects already approved before the stricter rules took effect would like to take advantage of new technology developed in recent years, but they fear that changing the projects’ designs now would open them to the tighter restrictions.
Why should the setback be shorter than turbine manufacturers’ recommended safety setback of 1,300 feet? They recommend their own technicians not be within 1,300 feet of an operating turbine, but it’s all right for Ohio’s rural residents to be well within that when it is measured to our homes.