Ohio's Hudson city will allow solar panels in its area but wind turbines failed to gain any momentum for approval by city council. Community Development Director Tom King came with a proposal on March 10, 2009 for removing impediments from the Land Development Code in order to promote alternative energy such as solar panels and wind turbines. Wind turbines are restricted by the city's height limit of 16 feet for accessory structures, but there is no legislation regarding solar panels.
King said that a few residents have asked about solar panels and wind turbines, and he wanted guidelines from council.
Hudson city would review requests for solar panels on a case-by-case basis, determining whether their appearance and placement were appropriate.
King said that Hudson city will propose a code change in a few months that would allow solar panels that are low and resemble the roof color.
The city would have to approve requests, but they would not be subject to review by the city’s architectural and historic board of review, King added.
Hudson will not propose any legislation for wind turbines yet, as per King, but will look at what other communities do and consider changes in the future.
Although most Hudson council members supported solar panels as long as they were on the backs of roofs, most council members were against allowing wind turbines, which could be taller than 100 feet, in Hudson.
The city code would require a 150-foot setback from all property lines and structures for a wind turbine’s 100-foot tower, King said. That would require a minimum of 2.75 acres.
The towers are not going in all yards, King said. That relieved my concerns, and I thought it was worthwhile to look at.
Council member Douglas Hasbrouck, who owns 125 acres, said if he put a tower on his property, others would say, What the heck are you doing?
Hasbrouck said that wind turbines are not economically practical in the area and have no place in Hudson.
Council member Kristina Roegner said Council should not be so quick to say no.
In Europe they have tons of windmills, Roegner said. I would like to investigate it further.
Council President David Basil said solar panels should be available to residents. But, he also objected to wind turbines.
Basil said that he would like the city’s planning commission to consider the changes to the land development code and have the public weigh in on the proposal.
The planning commission would make a recommendation to Hudson council.