Group concerned about Adams County wind ordinance
Tue, 02 Mar 2010 03:44:46 GMT —
A group of rural Adams County residents have reservations about new wind farms going up near their own backyards.
You'll recall two groups, Global Winds Harvest and Acciona, plan to build 100 wind turbines between Clayton and Golden.
That was made possible in January when the Adams County Board passed a resolution to approve wind energy conversion regulations.
But a group of property owners have several questions and concerns about those plans.
They've even drafted five proposed amendments to the Adams County wind ordinance to help protect residents, children and the environment.
Jeff Rasche and his wife own Windsong Acres. They rennovated their historic barn and scale house outside of Camp Point, creating a haven for Shelly's art studio, not to mention a peaceful country get-away for wedding rehearsals, business retreats and other special events. But the thought of large wind turbines going up all around them threatens their peaceful country setting.
Rasche said, " I was reassured that the company wasn't planning to build within a mile of this place, but I felt like no one should have to feel what we felt. I don't think anyone should have to wake up one day and see the construction equipment coming down the road and realize their lifetime investment is suddenly surrounded by wind turbines, and they weren't even consulted."
Rasche isn't alone. Karen Nichols retired in a quiet country setting just outside of Camp Point where she boards horses at Evergreen Farm.
Nichols said, "In my advertisements, I say it's a storybook setting for people who want to board their horses, and I'm concerned that might change."
But this group says it's not just about Rasche's and Nichols' businesses. They say you can hear the loud noise created by the large wind turbines.....not to mention what's known as "shadow flicker." The group is concerned this shadow flicker could cause epileptic seizures in kids and adults who suffer from the disorder.....not to mention what the sounds and sites could do to their animals. KHQA viewed a YouTube video of a wind farm in Wisconsin to witness some of the effects.
Nichols said, "I'm concerned about health issues, environment and safety."
These people say they're not against wind turbines and their economic benefit, but they think more planning and research need to be done before moving too quickly. They've come up with five amendments to the Adams County Wind Ordinance -- one of those is increasing the setback distance to 2000 feet between non-participants and wind turbines that are taller than 300 feet in height.
Rasche said, "They are known to throw ice. A piece of ice flying through the air and hitting you would not be a good day."
The group has sent a letter to the Adams County Board in hopes that their concerns will be heard.
It is important to note that KHQA spoke with Adams County Board Chairman Mike McLaughlin before speaking with the group of residents we just heard.
Therefore, we weren't able to ask about the residents' specific concerns.
But we did ask him about the wind ordinance and the outlook for these wind turbines in Adams County.
McLaughlin said, "The ordinance we adopted was pretty much a universal one that's been adopted all throughout the country. Not everyone is in favor of it, but there's a majority of the farmers in the country that are very interested in it because of the income and the amount of tax revenue it will bring in is phenomenal. "
A group has created a Web site with a plethora of information on it about their concerns and reservations about the proposed wind farms. You can find it http://www.adamscountywind.com/