“In densely-populated municipalities like Kings County, are there other approaches to renewable energy which are better-suited, less intrusive & ‘greener’ than LSWTs (large-scale wind turbines)?” The question – which ought to be asked before rather than after a major wind farm is slated for development – is posed as one of many that concerned citizens in Kings County, Nova Scotia, have raised in the context of the move to rescind a municipal bylaw allowing as-of-right large-scale wind turbines. An ad hoc group of county residents have canvassed the issues relating to this regulatory reform in a pamphet (It’s About Respect – Wind Turbine Bylaws in Kings County) encouraging other residents to attend a public hearing on the matter on June 20.
The pampleteers continue: “Rescinding these bylaws does not mean that there will never be an opportunity for Large-Scale Wind Turbine development in Kings County. It simply means that no developments can proceed until new bylaws are debated and enacted by the Council. And unlike the original bylaws, any new LSWT-related bylaws will be developed and debated with the active participation of an awakened, informed and engaged public (italic added).” That would fit my definition of proactive, in contrast with the reactive position the county finds itself in by virtue of having passed an as-of-right bylaw before the answers to such key questions were settled.
In my Sunday column in The Chronicle Herald two weeks ago (column here; comment and clarification here and here) I raised the issue of local democracy and energy resources in a way that led some readers in Kings County to infer that I meant they were being “reactive” by wanting the bylaw struck down; my only purpose in invoking the example of Kings County was to contrast a proactive approach to regional energy development (so Cumberland County) with the consequences of a bylaw that inevitably provoked reaction when the chickens came home to roost.