NewEnergyNews: U. S. ZONING HAMPERS WIND

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  • MONDAY’S STUDY AT NewEnergyNews, April 19:
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    Monday, May 28, 2007

    U. S. ZONING HAMPERS WIND

    Deeds are the finest memorial: Stand up for wind at The Power of Wind.

    Wind power is stymied by zoning rules
    Paul J. Weber, May 25, 2007 (AP via Houston Chronicle)
    Aerovironment's Architectural Wind --you could power YOUR building with this. (click to enlarge)
    WHO
    Cities (zoning boards and neighborhood associations) and green-minded homeowners with backyard windmills.

    WHAT
    Growing interest in backyard turbines is creating conflicts over zoning and use permits.

    WHEN
    Ongoing struggles.
    WHERE
    Communities across the US

    WHY
    - Complaints against home turbines: unsightliness, possible flying blades, falling or crashing poles, noise.
    - Backyard windmills, can start at $12,000 and cut utility bills 10 to 50%. They are an $18 million-a-year US industry and could triple with permiting difficulties resolved.
    Variances, by definition, create further inequities.
    Don't let politics stop this (click to enlarge)
    QUOTES
    - Roy Butler, owner, Four Winds Renewable Energy: "Planning and zoning are the single biggest obstacle to wind energy in the United States…"
    - Gary Lisle, Dallas applicant for a backyard wind turbine: "The fact is, we're dealing with ignorance…"
    - Melissa, Texas, Mayor David Dorman: "If a developer came in tomorrow and said we have an idea for a green subdivision, I'd be all for it…"
    - Michael Bennett, general manager of the Bear Valley Springs homeowner association: "The No. 1 concern has been visual blight," Bennett said, "and No. 2, the noise level."
    - Rhode Island Renewable Energy owner Dave Anderson: "There's a lot of people who don't want to go through the hassle of fighting town hall…They say, 'We're not going to fight that fight.'"

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