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Magnolia proposes wind ordinance

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GINA R. HEINE
April 7, 2008
— A proposed wind ordinance that would keep wind turbines a half-mile from any home could be up for its first vote Thursday in Magnolia Township.

The planning and zoning board will have a public hearing and discuss and possibly act on the draft ordinance at its 7 p.m. meeting Thursday night at the town hall.


The board decided to use the draft ordinance put together by the Town of Union Wind Study Committee, which spent five months researching wind energy, said Gordon Klitzman, Magnolia planning and zoning member.


“We thought that was probably a better idea (than the state’s model draft ordinance),” he said. “Otherwise, we were kind of going by what the state said, but they didn’t have any facts to back it up.”


Magnolia’s 25-page draft ordinance is nearly identical to Union’s draft. Restrictions include placing a turbine at least one-half mile from homes, businesses, churches and other inhabited structures, and at least 1,000 feet from the nearest property line.


The committee saw great turnout at wind “workshops” held nearly every month since last summer to gather information and citizen input about wind energy, said committee member Steve Earleywine. Anywhere from 15 to 70 people attended each meeting, he said.


“We looked at a lot of the issues (and) had great participation with other townships,” he said.


Members of the Town of Union Wind Study Committee also presented their findings to Magnolia officials, along with their draft ordinance, on which Magnolia ultimately decided.


“It was really the only ordinance that was strongly supported by research, and that was one of the big things our citizens were asking for—something backed by sound scientific data,” Earleywine said.


The town’s lawyer is reviewing the ordinance, he said.


EcoEnergy is proposing a 100 MW wind farm in Magnolia that would include 67 turbines.


If you go

The Town of Magnolia Planning and Zoning Committee will discuss and possibly act on a proposed wind ordinance at its 7 p.m. meeting Thursday at the Magnolia Town Hall, 14729 W. County A, Evansville.


A copy of the draft ordinance is available at www.gazettextra.


com/wind.


It also can be viewed at the Eager Free Public Library, 39 W. Main St., Evansville, the Brodhead Memorial Public Library, 902 W. 2nd Ave., Brodhead, or at the home of clerk/treasurer Graceann Toberman by calling (608) 876-6771.


Click here to view the draft wind ordinance.

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