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Will Wind Turbines Dot Toledo’s Landscape Soon?

Competition with Cleveland Setting Sail
Lake Erie Wind Farm
Photo by: andjohan
The Toledo Plan Commission on Monday will consider some new zoning regulations affecting the construction of wind turbines across the city.
 
So does that mean more of the electric-producing turbines will dot Toledo’s landscape?
 
The Toledo Zoo installed a wind turbine to provide a natural source of electricity to power its ticket booths. A second wind turbine is planned on zoo property near Walbridge Park.
 
A Clay High School science teacher was instrumental in establishing a wind research facility near the school’s soccer field complex in Oregon. The first wind turbine was installed on a 45-foot pole in late 2008. Part of its purpose is to not only measure the wind energy produced, but to research how such turbines impact the bird and bat populations.
 
Bowling Green-based Green by Design installed both of those wind turbines. Another Ohio firm put up a similar wind turbine on the Owens Community College campus.
 
Such wind turbines are becoming commonplace at institutions such as those. The University of Toledo is considering doing something similar alongside its solar panel array on its alternative energy research campus at Scott Park.
 
Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur has referred to Northwest Ohio, especially along the Lake Erie shoreline, as “the Saudi Arabia of wind.” Politicians numerous times have described a mental picture of dozens of giant turbines forming a wind farm either on Lake Erie or near its shores.
 
But the proposed Toledo Plan Commission zoning regulations account for wind energy applications on residential, commercial, and industrial property, too. But is it practical for a local homeowner, small business, or factory to even consider such an expensive endeavor?
 
Michael Bardwell and his wife are considering the installation of a wind turbine outside their home on West State Line Road. Bardwell, the owner of Total Store Services, stated he’s done extensive research and even priced different models, because he wants to do what he can to save on electricity and help the environment.
 
The hangup so far is navigating the regulatory red tape, something Bardwell admitted has been the biggest problem to erecting a wind turbine so far. He even filed paperwork with the board of zoning appeals for a waiver. The new plan commission regulations may provide some guidance and even relief for Bardwell’s efforts.
 
But he was unaware of the new zoning standards, so actually seeing a wind turbine achieve vertical construction on his property may be several months away.
 
Perrysburg city officials approved similar zoning regulations nearly a year ago, after receiving about a half-dozen inquiries from residents.
 
 
Michael Bardwell and his wife are considering the installation of a wind turbine outside their home on West State Line Road. Bardwell, the owner of Total Store Services, stated he’s done extensive research and even priced different models, because he wants to do what he can to save on electricity and help the environment.
 
The hangup so far is navigating the regulatory red tape. Bardwell even filed paperwork with the board of zoning appeals for a waiver. The new plan commission regulations may provide some guidance and even relief for Bardwell’s efforts.
 
Wind farms don’t face the same type of zoning regulations, because courts have ruled them to be  considered public utilities. However, communities commonly set property restrictions on wind turbines for individual homes or businesses.

 

Photo by: andjohan