Page County Board of Supervisors decided 1,500 feet is far enough.
A month after two public hearings gathering comments and opinions about the county’s wind turbine ordinance, which setback distances were a common theme, supervisors agreed Tuesday, Jan. 14, they won’t change the distance.
“Sixteen-hundred feet setback is the most or companies won’t come in. It won’t work at 1,600,” said Supervisor Jon Herzberg to an audience of five residents.
Speculating wind turbines will be built in Page County, supervisors approved a list of rules and regulations in October regarding the construction and operation of the electric-generating towers that can stand as tall as 300 feet.
One detail is the tower must be 1.1 times the total height of the tower, or 1,500 feet, whatever is greater from the nearest structure.
“To change the ordinance for another 100 feet; I’m not comfortable,” said Supervisor Chuck Morris.
Those in attendance expressed their concern how a neighbor may be interested in having a tower on his property, but the tower be easily seen from their own place.
“Supervisors are looking out for big corporations whose money is going somewhere and landowners that don’t live here, that make their money other ways. They don’t give a rip about what’s going on here. I think you are looking out for them more than you are looking for those of us who have been in families for generations in this county and we’ve socially helped the county and we’ve financially helped the county. And you are selling us out,” said Jane Stimson.
Supervisor Chuck Morris said he respected Stimson’s opinion, but said the county only looking out for the wind turbine industry and those in favor of turbines “ludicrous.”
“What’s best for the taxpayers,” he said. “Whichever we land, we’ve got people pretty upset and we understand that. The people that are counting on that income for their farm operations, if we tell them that we are going to do something and you aren’t going to have that opportunity, they are going to be as mad or as upset at us as you are going to be if we allow it.”
Morris said he knows of people in support of wind turbines and added they are not public with their interest to avoid criticism.
Jean Ellison fears a landowner who does not want a turbine may be “overwhelmed” by surrounding neighbors who do want a turbine.
Supervisor Alan Armstrong was not in attendance but participated in the meeting through a telephone.