County board votes against wind farm ordinance moratorium

By Kayleigh Rahn
Following months of discussion and research, the Douglas County Board during its meeting Wednesday, Sept. 19 voted against issuing a moratorium on the wind energy ordinance.

Tom Glenn abstained from the vote, while Bibby Appleby voted in favor of the moratorium. Though the moratorium was defeated by four votes against.

“I had to vote with my conscious,” Appleby said following the meeting. “I have more respect for the land that God gave us. God did not give us this land. He lent it to us to be good stewards of the land the animals that live on the land.”

EDP Renewables has worked for nearly a decade to establish the Broadlands Windfarm LLC; however, their effort has been met with opposition in recent months.

In June, rural Newman resident Paul Freebairn asked the board to consider the moratorium to allow time to rework portions of the wind ordinance as efforts by EDP Renewables to land a wind farm in the Newman area began to increase. The main concerns from residents include the required setback outlined in the ordinance. They’ve requested that the set back from a property line increase from 1 times the turbine tip height to 3 times the turbine tip height. Freebairn and others have sited shadow flicker, ice throw, effects of low-frequency noise, and disturbance to the prairie landscape as their major concerns against the turbines.

In the meantime, several townships within the county have formed zoning committees to enact zoning laws within their respective townships. Township representatives also requested a moratorium to have the needed to time to properly set the zoning ordinances.

During the Wednesday, Sept. 19 meeting, Arleigh Dunn, a Newman resident, spoke in favor of the wind farm citing his belief that progress is positive for the community.

“Today we have an opportunity to move this area forward and embrace modern progress,” Dunn said. He said he believes it should be left to the property owner what he or she would like to accomplish on his or her land.

The full story can be found in the Wednesday, Sept. 26 edition of The Tuscola Journal.

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