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?

7 comments:

  1. The battle to repair our local government has clearly identified the "targets" that need to be removed.

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  2. Eldon, that would only work if Roanoke County citizens were able to vote for each supervisor, and not just the one that represents their district.

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  3. You can vote out 2 of the 5 on Nov. 8 of THIS year....Charlotte Moore (the leading pro-windmill person) should be replaced by Republican George Assaid, and Butch Church should be replaced by Republican David Drake.

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  4. Anon, I can't, I'm in Elswick's district, hence my point that until Roanoke County citizens can vote on all five reps, whether they represent their specific district or not, not much is going to change.

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  5. I think the wind farm will make Poor Mt look better. I know most people almost never see the part of the mountain where the turbines will go, but for those who are familiar with it, you know what I'm talking about. All those antennae are ugly. Wind turbines are pretty. Plus they provide lots of clean electricity every year. I read that each one of them is more powerful than a locomotive for over 10% of each year. That adds up to a lot of electricity! We use electricity up here, so let's stop being hypocritical childish and NIMBYs, and walking out of a meeting where we were elected AND PAID to be there. We use electricity, so we have a patriotic duty to embrace this wind farm.

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  6. Sadly, Anon 9-15-2011 represents an example of the level of ignorance in our society. I have also read a lot of claims of benefits from industrial wind turbines.
    The differnce is, I haven't swallowed them, hook, line and sinker. In fact, I performed a scientific analysis of a year's worth of wind data before forming an opinion on these ridgeline desecrating monsters.
    If we allow 15-18 of these on Poor Mountain, then there will be turbines along the entire length of the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia and more. And all of this will occur "faster than a apeeding bullet."

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  7. Eldon, that's what happened with the cell phone towers and the mountain tops...they set precedence.

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