KURT RENTMEESTER, Door County Advocate, February 20, 2008
The Forestville Town Board became the latest municipality to enact a one-year moratorium for large wind turbines – and questioned whether Door County’s recently approved wind energy ordinance should take effect there.
“We don’t want the county to impose its wind ordinance on us because we want more information on it,” Forestville Town Chairman Edson Stevens said Monday, Feb. 18, at the regular board meeting.
According to the moratorium, wind turbines exceeding 170 feet cannot be built for one year in the town of Forestville.
Two weeks ago, the Gardner Town Board approved a one-year interim control ordinance for wind turbines of at least 170 feet.
Last April, the Clay Banks Town Board established a similar one-year moratorium after Community Wind Energy LLC proposed three turbines be built there.
The town board there also established a five-member committee to study the issue and create a stricter local ordinance to supersede the county measure.
Stevens and Supervisor Gerald Uecker said they voted for a moratorium in the town of Forestville because they have questions about noise levels and setbacks in residential areas. Supervisor Marilyn Uecker was not at the meeting.
However, resident Monica Nelson questioned the town board’s decision, after the Door County Board of Supervisors approved a revised wind energy ordinance two weeks ago.
The county board’s revisions were based on a detailed and unbiased study of wind energy made by the Door County’s Resource Planning Committee, she said.
“The county spent a year studying this ordinance,” ehe said. “Where are you going to get your information from? Are you going to get information from Clay Banks?”
But Stevens said the moratorium also would give the town a “safety belt” and allow residents to learn more about the issue.
“If people in the town really want windmills – and after all, it’s what the people want – I don’t see anything in this (one-year moratorium) ordinance that would keep that from happening,” Supervisor Gerald Uecker said.
Forestville town treasurer Dena Schmidt said she doesn’t want to see the issue remain on hold for a year. If energy derived from wind turbines offers economic benefits and tax relief to property owners, she said, it should be investigated.
Nelson, who also heads the town’s Plan Commission, said that group’s input should have been sought on the issue before going to the town board.
Stevens said he wants to hold some public informational meetings on the matter. But he said the town board needed to address the issue before the county’s ordinance goes into effect.
In other business, the board tabled resident Todd Weckler’s request to set up two house trailers side by side and connect them with a 4-foot addition to establish a single residence on Mill Road.
The board tabled action until March when it will have more information on what Weckler plans to do there.
The town’s mobile home ordinance allows occupants to obtain a building permit for one mobile home per parcel, Town Clerk Ruth Kerscher said. But the board may make an exception in this case because the two trailers would serve as a single residence.
The house trailers are among six that are located in the former mobile home park in the village of Forestville. Forestville Village President Tom Tostrup asked Weckler to remove all of the trailers this spring.
All six house trailers would be brought to Weckler’s 5-acre parcel on Mill Road.
While two would be remodeled as a single residence, workers would dismantle the remaining four between May and September and dispose of that wood, metal and other building materials.
The board also will give Jason Jorns a class A alcohol license permitting him to sell enclosed wine and provide samples at his farmer’s market-type store near Maplewood.
Jorns will be giving out wine samples when he opens Maplewaupee Market in May along state Highway 42 in an area north of the community of Maplewood.
Customers would not be permitted to consume alcoholic beverages on premises of a business with a class A liquor license.
However, Kerscher said a state official told her samples of wine can be given.
If alcoholic beverages are consumed on-site, Kerscher said the proprietor would be required to obtain a class B license. The town’s two class B licenses are being used.