13 November 2017

Testimony on Proposed Regulation Changes for Wind Turbines in Cherry County

Comments read November 7, 2017 during public hearing held by the Cherry County Planning and Zoning Board. While reading this, additional comments were conveyed on the need for turbine facility owners to have greater responsibility to extinguish any wind turbine fire.

Although I am personally opposed to the placement of any wind turbines within Cherry county, some of the proposed changes to the county zoning regulations are steps in the right direction.

Notably deficient, however, is the review of impacts on land values due to wind turbines. This bare perspective is not thorough and in no way reflects what should be a comprehensive review of the topic. For one, there have not been enough comparisons and the details given are so sparse as to be misleading.

I am supportive of the proposed changes that will increase setbacks, including to a two mile distance from non-participant dwellings -- as needed as a bare minimum based upon experience of residents near turbine facilities in Holt county -- and a mile from the nearest nonparticipating property owner. Keeping turbine flicker off any county roads is also essential.

Also important is setting a 35 dba noise level for the nearest nonparticipating dwelling.

Addressing turbine fire concerns, the stance that the fire departments will only secure the area is reasonable. There does however need to be active involvement by the turbine owner to suppress any fire in the quickest manner possible. A turbine fire should not just be left to burn as this allows toxic fumes to spread and places a undue burden on the fire crew volunteers needed to monitor the site.

It is essential that the development of any wind turbine facility first and foremost respect the essential values appreciated by residents and that any facility not degrade the land and rural settings essential to the citizens of Cherry county as well as others which enjoy this country.