First, I would like to say…

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First, I would like to say that I am generally pleased to see the Government taking steps to provide municipalities with the opportunity to approve the location of proposed renewable energy projects through zoning. That said, I would like to suggest some constructive changes to the proposed regulation;

I suggest that the proposed regulation should be changed to allow municipal zoning by-laws to
regulate major changes to existing renewable energy projects. Municipalities should be able to stipulate the maximum allowable energy output and physical dimensions of an already existing project in a zoning by-law. This would require a renewable energy developer, seeking to implement significant increases to the energy output of an existing project or significant physical changes (mass, height, location) to an existing project, to apply to amend these zoning provisions. Significant changes to existing renewable energy projects have the potential to create significant, negative effects on surrounding properties and on the broader community. Without limiting the ability of already approved renewable energy projects to continue to operate, this proposed change would allow municipalities to have a say when major changes are contemplated by renewable energy developers.

I also suggest that the Province should provide support and guidance to municipalities to assist in developing new zoning by-law provisions for industrial wind turbines. The Saugeen Shores official plan and zoning by-law are largely silent on renewable energy projects due to the fact that the municipality has not had regulatory control over these project for many years. The municipality will require time and assistance from the Province to develop effective and defensible zoning by-law provisions to control renewable energy projects. I would suggest that the Province delay approvals of any new renewable energy projects for at least one year under this regulation in order to allow municipalities time to develop appropriate zoning provisions.

Thank you for considering these comments.

Luke Charbonneau
Mayor, Town of Saugeen Shores