By Hilary Holmes, Special to the KINCARDINE NEWS
The Council of the Municipality of Kincardine agreed to support the Building and Planning Committees’ recommendation for local politicians to lobby the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and other municipal organizations with citizens’ concerns on wind farms at the upcoming AMO conference.
“I strongly recommend that it be the mayor that carry the stick on this matter,” stated Councillor Randy Roppel. Mayor Larry Kraemer acknowledged this responsibility and promised to represent concerned individuals in the best manner possible.
Originally, the Municipality was asked to review and support the Arran-Elderslie Wind Turbine By-law. The Building and Planning Committee discussed many aspects of this request, and did not support passing the by-law as it could put the Municipality in direct conflict with Provincial legislation and be subjected to court proceedings.
The appeal to support the statute was discussed at the Building and Planning meeting of May 3, 2010. The Committee opened the floor at this meeting and had a broad discussion with the public relating to wind turbines and the Green Energy and Green Economy Act. The public addressed worries of negative effects on health, landscape and environment, and voiced their desire to gain back municipal control.
An additional conversation was hosted by the Building and Planning Committee to discuss health concerns, flashing lights, and compound issues with the local nuclear industry. They referred to the Provincially mandated Green Energy Act, and wind efficiency at the June 4, 2010 meeting. The Committee then talked about politicians lobbying for citizens on the matter.
Members of the Committee spoke about the fact that the by-law is not considered applicable law for the issuance of building permits. The Ontario Building Code Act clearly outlines when a permit should be issued, and the by-law in question would conflict with that Act.
The Province of Ontario passed the Green Energy and Green Economy Act as law on May 14, 2009. The document offers a complete code for the approval of renewable energy projects such as wind turbines, and creates a regulatory system and appeal process to the Environmental Review Board.
By lobbying on behalf of citizens at the AMO gathering, the Municipality will avoid coming in direct conflict with the Province.