Letter: Update county’s wind regulationsI applaud the efforts of Steve Groth and Paul Reese
By: Rick Conrad, Goodhue, The Republican Eagle
To the Editor:
I applaud the efforts of Steve Groth and Paul Reese to bring about meaningful change to the Goodhue County wind turbine ordinance (R-E, April 21).
Wind energy in Goodhue County is racing ahead at break neck speed.
Why? I believe it is because our current ordinance is not adequate to protect us from uncontrolled development and wind developers realize this.
It is good to see that the Goodhue County Planning Advisory Commission is starting to take this issue seriously.
The magnitude of what is being planned for the area is staggering. The National Wind project in Goodhue will be visible from most parts of the county.
Better regulation is needed. I liked many of the statements that members of the PAC made. I agree with Commissioner Dan Rechtzigel that any regulation should not refer to size, and that a turbine is a turbine.
I believe the setbacks should be scaled to the size of the turbine and the noise levels inflicted on residents of the area.
Also, no shadow flicker should be allowed. Shadow flicker can be avoided by proper siting and/or requiring turbines be shut down when flicker would occur.
But I do not agree that setbacks for safety reasons must apply equally to participants and non-participants alike. It should not be the role of the government to protect us from ourselves or our own stupidity. We are not children to be protected from ourselves. The government should only step in when one person or groups’ actions endangers others.
Even though the PAC appears to now be on the proper path I fear that they will never catch up with all that is at stake here in time. Wind development must be halted until we have the adequate regulations to deal with it fairly and properly. If we do not get it right this time around, we will get another chance in the future, about 57 years from now.
I believe a one-year moratorium is still needed. Contact your county commissioners and tell them what you think.