Baltimore Co. Council to allow permits for wind speed indicators

The Baltimore County Council voted unanimously to issue permits for wind-speed indicators, boosting efforts by some community organizations and residents who are interested in installing electricity-generating wind turbines.

Wind turbines have been opposed by residents who argue they're too noisy, spoil scenic views and lower property values. The council withdrew a proposal for a pilot wind power program in August because of community opposition.

Supporters said they believe issuing temporary permits for wind-speed indicators, known as anemometers, would help determine whether turbines are feasible. Anemometers collect data on wind conditions to determine the most active seasons and areas.

The legislation was sponsored by council members Vince Gardina, T. Bryan McIntire and John Olszewski Sr. Under the proposal, a device could remain on a property for up to one year from the date it starts collecting data. The total height of the anemometer could not exceed 100 feet, and the setback distance from the property line must be equal to its height.

Typical measuring devices are fairly small, some less than a foot across, consisting of three or more cup-shaped blades that spin in the breeze.

raven.hill@baltsun.com

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