New wind turbine bylaw approved, moratorium extension on development voted down
TRURO – Truro Police were called to assist with an unruly citizen at Colchester County Council after a man invited one of the councillors to step outside during discussion on extending a moratorium on wind turbine development.
The unidentified man had interrupted council discussion on a couple of previous occasions and his invitation to Councillor Lloyd Gibbs came following another outburst, when the councillor pushed his chair back and asked the man if he wanted to take his place at the council table.
“Do you want to take this seat?” Gibbs asked.
“Want to take it outside?” the man responded, at which point he was told to vacate council chambers by Mayor Bob Taylor.
The man refused to leave, despite being told police would be called if he did not. He then suggested the police would have to first identify themselves as Canadian citizens before he would comply.
He was then escorted from the packed chambers by solicitor Dennis James. Other municipal staff assisted in escorting the man from the building where he was ultimately spoken to by police.
The man was not arrested and no charges were laid.
In July, council placed a moratorium on all non-approved wind turbine applications within the county until a review of its existing bylaw had been completed by staff. At its last meeting, council had proposed a motion to extend the moratorium until the completion of a Health Canada study on the potential health effects of wind turbine noise to humans. That study is expected to take at least 14 months to complete.
“Want to take it outside?”
After lengthy discussion on the issue, the motion for an extended moratorium was ultimately defeated by a tied vote.
Taylor and councillors Tom Taggart, Doug MacInnes, Ron Cavanaugh, Mike Gregory and Bill Master voted against the extension. Councillors Wade Parker, Christine Blair, Geoff Stewart, Karen MacKenzie, Mike Cooper and Gibbs voted in favour of a continued moratorium.
Council later approved first reading of a new bylaw that increases the setback distance of an industrial wind turbine to the nearest residence of 1,000 metres (one km) from the previous distance of 700 metres. A maximum sound standard has also been set at 36 decibels as measured at existing dwellings.
Councillors MacKenzie, Blair and Gibbs, who argued for a setback distance of 2,000 metres, voted against the bylaw motion.
MacInnes described the new bylaw as “probably one of the toughest in Canada” because of the 36-decibel level.