Merrillville BZA approves wind turbine request

2013-04-06T17:42:00Z 2013-04-06T19:53:14Z Merrillville BZA approves wind turbine requestChas Reilly chas.reilly@nwi.com, (219) 662-5324 nwitimes.com

MERRILLVILLE | The town's Board of Zoning Appeals is supporting a proposed wind turbine at an electrical union's Merrillville headquarters although some Hobart residents have concerns about the project.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 697 wants to build the turbine at its facility near 73rd Avenue and Mississippi Street.

The BZA last week approved multiple zoning requests for the turbine, including a height variance allowing the structure to exceed the maximum height of 120 feet for an accessory structure, said Dorinda Gregor, Merrillville zoning director.

The wind turbine would be about 160 feet tall from its base to the highest point of its propeller.

The structure would be built near the Hobart border. Some Hobart residents near the site attended the BZA meeting and indicated they are concerned the turbine could affect their property values and produce noise, Gregor said.

When the project was proposed to town officials in February, Jeff Ban, of DVG Inc., said the wind turbine won't cause aesthetic issues and it won't diminish values of adjacent properties.

Because it will be built near Interstate 65, the small amount of noise produced by the structure would be drowned out by noise created on the interstate, Ban said at that time.

The primary purpose for the turbine is to provide union members with on-site training opportunities with the renewable energy source.

The turbine also would produce power for the IBEW facility and the NIPSCO power supply grid, according to the town.

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