New Draft Wind Ordinance Has Some Updated Sections, Will Move Forward With Vote on Monday

By Benjamin Cox on July 20, 2019 at 9:53am

Morgan County’s new draft wind ordinance was released to the public on Friday. The vote for the ordinance has been announced for Monday. The vote may put an end to the long debate on how wind turbines will be installed in the county. WLDS/WEAI highlights some of the changes from the current wind ordinance and the original wind ordinance that was released on May 1st.

Page 8 Section D Point 4 has added a requirement to install Aircraft Detection Lighting to ensure that turbine lights do not have to blink continually from dusk until dawn.

Page 9 Section H that deals with setbacks from homes with turbine installation still says setbacks will come from a home’s foundation. The setback will move from 1000 feet in the original ordinance to 1650 feet from the foundation. Many Morgan County residents have pushed for setbacks to be from property lines.

Pages 10-11 Section J Points 3-5 dealing with road use agreements has added some protections to local highways during all phases to ensure that roads are maintained during the construction, operation, and decommission of wind turbines. The decommission phase has added repair requirements in particular.

Page 14 Section M has added some language for protections of avian and wildlife impact for bird and bat migration patterns in the area during certain periods of the year.

Page 16 has added shutdown during periods of icing via a manual or auto shutdown. Some language on loss of communication abilities by homeowners has also been added to help residents mitigate the problem.

Most other language within the ordinance has remained the same. The Morgan County Commissioners meeting will take place at 9AM on the second floor of the Courthouse. The commissioners have asked for public participants in the meeting to adhere to all rules of order during the meeting. If many people would like to speak during the public comment session, there may be a time limit imposed on length of comments.