Writer hopes for moratorium on Avalon Park wind project

wind_turbine_lgI read with interest, the article of July 24th, 2013 in the Maple Leaf “Local Debate on Wind Turbines”. For those homeowners in an area where there are Wind Turbines being erected or plans to do so, it has been a great frustration and concern.
Of the four property owners in the Avalon Park, Port Ryerse area, it seems that the Faulkner’s were the last to sign on. I guess if you have to look at the turbines in your backyard anyway and you have 165 acres of land, you might as well go for it. Their property is beautiful and they claim that they want it to be self-sustaining and to be able to leave it to their grandchildren.
This beautiful area of land on Lake Erie may become an industrial wasteland, as for the next twenty years; it is financially controlled and financially manipulated land, unless they can break their lease. Mr. Faulkner stated in his interview that Boralex Inc. of Montreal would remove the turbines when the time comes. Does he really believe that this company will be around in twenty years?
In 2003, Norfolk County undertook a “Ground Water Study” in Avalon Park and it was determined that this whole area is comprised of “Glacial Till”. Due to that study, construction of any more cottages in that area was halted at that time. Those existing properties had to be stabilized with Rip Rap (large bales of rock with wire mesh).
The cliff at the east end of Port Ryerse is approximately 100 feet high and there are occasional cave-ins of soil. In one instance several years ago, a large cave-in of “Three Acres of soil” slipped into Lake Erie. As a concerned Environmentalist, Ms. Nora Brown of Port Ryerse went with a deputation to Norfolk Council and her report was printed in our local paper in April 2013. It would seem that our council chose to ignore their own Environmental study in allowing these turbines to be erected.
When we first moved to Port Dover, I asked someone why New Lakeshore Road was named. Was there and old Lakeshore Road? Yes there was and now it is in Lake Erie. There are remnants of Old Lakeshore Road in the Vaughan Survey at Kenneth Avenue east of Port Dover. Thus, due to natural erosion of shifting soils and water over the years, the land has slipped away into the lake. Home and cottage owners are reinforcing their lake front properties. What will these massive vertical ton structures combined with the thousands of tons of concrete for support, deep in the ground, plus wind velocity and vibration, hidden water aquifers’ do to an already unstable land base?
Actually, we as citizens and taxpayers have all been controlled and manipulated by Mr. McGuinty’s gag order to leasing landowners and possibly the county. Pieces of legislation were removed that would permit a property owner any legal right to appeal. We lost our democratic right to be informed of what was happening in our neighbourhoods. Adjoining and abutting property owners have always received written notice from the county, for example, the proposed construction of a condominium or a change in the zoning bylaws from farming to commercial or residential to commercial. There is something not right about this.
As a property owner, if I wanted to build a shed in my backyard, it must be less than 100 feet square. If larger, I need to purchase a permit from the county. If my neighbour’s dog barks annoyingly, I can call the By-law officer. If I am a property owner, who has spent my hard earned wages and retirement funds on property near these Wind Turbines, I am helpless to save my home and my entitlement to comforts. It seems as though this Gag Order started with the Provincial government presently in power down through the local governments.
Mr. McGuinty promised through his Minister of Energy that these projects would attract about $3,000,000,000.00 in private investments and keep the province on track to create 50,000 New Green Energy Jobs by the end of 2012. This number was never close to being attainable. Any new jobs created by wind turbines, will be temporary construction work and the bill to Ontarians will be enormous.
In pursuing this avenue to try to provide sustainable hydro-electric power, it could cost property owners by 2015; possibly 46% more than what we paid two years ago for our monthly hydro usage.
There have been many appeals and meetings to our county. Our local council knows how we feel and seem not to be able to help. They have allowed us our voice, but the deed was done, contracts signed and money changed hands.
Hopefully, there still might be consideration for a moratorium for the Port Ryerse, Avalon Park area, due to the extreme instability of the soil base.

Wretha Demone
Port Dover

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