Planners endorse wind energy facility regulations
The Gloucester Planning Commission held a public hearing about small wind energy facilities on June 2, in the colonial courthouse. Only one person from the audience spoke regarding the matter, which the commission voted to pass on with a favorable recommendation to supervisors for that board’s consideration.
Planner Tripp Little said that the proposed changes to the county’s zoning ordinance would add small wind energy facilities as a specifically defined accessory use, permitted in the C-1, C-2, PUD-1, RC-1, RC-2, SC-1 and SF-1 districts. Such structures would not be allowed in the B-1, B-2, B-3, B-4, HC-1, MF-1 and MH-1 districts.
The change provides for small wind energy facilities as permitted uses in the stated districts limiting the maximum height of such facilities. Little said the property line setbacks for these facilities are to be based on their height and zoning district, and can be 110 percent of system height or that required by the zoning district, whichever is greater.
County planners said the wind units will be prohibited in any required front yard, and only one unit will be permitted per parcel. During the public hearing, Bill Dodson, chairman of Gloucester’s Go Green Committee, suggested that a maximum of two units be allowed on a parcel so that the maximum allowable rated capacity of 25 kilowatts could be achieved if the first unit placed was smaller than that. Also, Dodson suggested special consideration be given to small wind turbines along local shorelines.