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Douglas Stockman ©2001 Douglas Stockman

fter we identified the nine-acre piece of ground that we wanted for our dream home, we

started to look into the feasibility of putting a wind generator on it (see page 10). The nearest neighbor to the north was 300 feet (91 m) away behind a tree line. In all other directions, houses were at least 1,000 feet (305 m) away. It seemed like a reasonable place to locate a wind turbine.

Before placing an offer on the land, we met with the building and planning representative of the local township. We informed him of our plans to erect a wind turbine for energy generation. The planning representative said that the town already had requirements for wind turbines in their regulations. Our plan met those regulations, so there should be no problem. He anticipated that we could even skip going before the town planning board because our plan already met the regulations of the town. We did not know it at the time, but the representative was very wrong.

Irrational Fears

The land was purchased and our odyssey began. We did not know our neighbors, but the officials anticipated no problems. So we did not meet with neighbors to discuss our plans. Because we changed the location of the house from an approved site, the town had to place placards on the land announcing our proposed change. The wind turbine was mentioned in the town notice. People’s hackles were raised, and multiple complaints about the plan were received. An open planning board meeting was then mandatory.

The view looking south, away from the author’s home,

shows the houses of neighbors who opposed the wind turbine.

The deer pictured in the middle of the field don’t mind the wind generator.

22 Home Power #86 • December 2001 / January 2002

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