Monday, January 11, 2010

Wind energy blows free of stringent local zoning

Among hundreds of bills passing the state Senate and Assembly today, during the final voting session of the New Jersey Legislature, was legislation to prevent municipalities from imposing unreasonable zoning limitations on wind energy turbines.

A-3740 (McKeon)/S-2528 (Smith) requires the Director of the Division of Codes and Standards in the Department of Community Affairs to promulgate a technical bulletin and model municipal ordinances for the construction of small wind energy systems, after holding one or more public hearings and soliciting comments from interested parties.

The legislation was opposed by the New Jersey State League of Municipalities which is the lobbying organization for local governments.

Senator Nicholas Sacco (D- North Bergen) argued on the floor today that Trenton should not impose such restrictions on local municipalities. He said that noise from wind turbines in a residential area could prove irritating to neighbors and also could result in lowered property values.

But the bill's Senate sponsor, Bob Smith (D-Middlesex), countered that the bill "just says you can't be can't prohibit windmills in all zones and you can't impose height and setback requirements that are unreasonable."

Smith's colleagues apparently agreed. They voted 28-4 to release the bill which had passed the Assembly earlier in the day by a narrower 49 to 24 margin.

Subscribe here to view all our YouTube videos

Repost this article