Chatsworth won’t issue permits for wind towers

Mayor Bob Pringle

By Jon Radojkovic, Owen Sound Sun Times

Chatsworth council will not issue any building permits for the construction of wind towers within the boundary of the municipality following a meeting of council Wednesday.

“We want to promote the health, safety and well being of our residents,” said mayor Bob Pringle.

The unanimous vote followed a lengthy debate on what was the best method to stop or delay wind turbine construction. Council considered issuing a moratorium but that would, at the longest, last two years. “It’s not a bad idea but it doesn’t last,” Pringle said. The municipality is also part of the Wind Turbine Committee, which includes a number of Grey and Bruce municipalities.

Council realizes that not issuing any building permits for the construction of wind turbines might end them up before the Building Code Commission, which oversees issues related to building code infractions. Or they may end up in provincial court. But they are gambling on buying time and delaying any building applications, by Oct. 6, when the next provincial election will take place.

Council is hoping the Conservative Party of Ontario wins, led by Tim Hudak, who promised to allow municipalities to decide whether they wanted wind towers.

The present day governing Liberals passed the Green Energy Act, which takes the decision-making power away from municipal governments in land-use planning issues, which includes wind towers. So far, there have been no wind towers built in the municipality of Chatsworth.

Council listed eight reasons in its motion to not issue any permits. Among them were decreased property values, not ensuring proper environmental assessments and supporting Dr. Hazel Lynn’s call for further research and increased setbacks.

As well, future decommissioning costs, when the wind towers are not used anymore, was discussed.

“A lot of the owners (of wind tower projects) live outside the country and if they didn’t pay for the cost of tearing these things down then it would probably fall on the municipality and it’s associated costs, to do so,” said Coun. Scott Mackey. Council suggested that businesses that wanted to build the towers, put up a $100,000 bond for each tower, so that there would be money in a fund if and when they had to be taken down.

7 thoughts on “Chatsworth won’t issue permits for wind towers

  1. congratulations on your stand ! My neighbours and i have just began our stand against GEA. Two meetings with Recurrrent Energy this week were a farce. It is hard to where to start! Their plan is to place solar energy “farms”practically on top of us.One is 30 to 40 feet from where my husband and I had picked to build our retirement log home. we are in Drummond/north elmsley township in eastern Ontario. Any advice is welcome.

  2. Great news to hear of another community with courage.
    What we NEED is a community that is not only not afraid of what the provincial government might do if they refuse industrial wind turbines, but who would actually sue the province to get their planning rights back.

  3. Kudos to you all! Delighted to read of your gutsy stand to protect your residents.

  4. Thank you Mayor Pringle and council for your stand on this insane issue. Know there are now about two million rural Ontario residents who stand with you in opposition to the growing wind turbine problems. We need other councils to take note and fight for our freedom to decide at local levels as we believed was our democratic right before Dalton McGuinty and his gang relieved us of it. Their time is coming to be relieved of their jobs. We need to hang on and delay the progress of wind turbine blanketing of Ontario until the fall of the Government in October.

  5. My congratulations go out to Mayor Bob Pringle and his council for their intelligent handling of the IWT situation in Chatsworth. All other municipalities should take note …

  6. Bravo! Huron East councellors need to read what you have done to protect your constituents who voted you in just a few months ago.

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