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Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Who is Roanoke County "Protecting?"
Just as I predicted in this post a couple of weeks ago, the Board of Supervisors voted for the wind energy ordinance. Actually, they voted to make the original ordinance less restrictive regarding setback requirements!
Any amendment Ed Elswick, whose district these behemoths will be the first (but not last) place to wind up in, put forth hoping to protect the citizens of Roanoke was voted 4-1 against. When he saw the writing on the wall, and realized his was a futile effort, he got up and left the meeting. Although this Roanoke Times article says he "stormed out" I disagree with that description. I thought he blew out of there in in disgust.
When Elswick tried to get the other supervisors to lower the decibel levels allowed, they disregarded him. Once again, discussion was held on how on their visit to a wind farm, they noticed how "quiet" the turbine was when they stood underneath it. Well, duh. I've seen enough wind turbine videos on YouTube to know the sound projects out. Also, how long did they stand there on their visit? A half-hour, one hour, two hours? Was it in the dead of night when nature is silent? If they wanted to get a real feel for what it's like living near a wind turbine they should have set up camp for at least 24 hours at the setback requirement location.
Butch Church said the new ordinance provides protection for the people. You call that protection? Maybe for the wind companies, but certainly not for the residents on Poor Mountain.
What happens if the wind energy company goes belly up like that solar energy company we gave over a half billion dollars to did, after only one year? What happens if the wind energy company does not stick to the ordinance and the sound levels are too high, etc. When I heard Roanoke County's attorney describe the steps they had taken in the past when someone was not in compliance with County code, it made me laugh. Dealing with a wind turbine violation will be a far cry from dealing with a house that's been built a couple of feet too far.
And please...these are not windmills! So stop calling them that...Sheesh. The Board of Supervisors can't get that right, how can we expect them to get an ordinance right?