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In today’s Ottawa Citizen, subsequent to the motion by Ottawa City Council this week, to ask Ontario for  more substantive role in siting wind power generation plants, is this letter from a  professional planner.

Cities should have a say

The city’s motion regarding windmill projects is to the point: it is only logical that municipalities and residents should be involved in the decision-making process relating to the location of wind power projects.

Windmills are significant structures that have a major impact on surrounding land uses. From a planning perspective, municipalities should have the authority to include the development of windmill projects in their Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw in order to minimize negative impacts and optimize the livability and sustainability of communities within the municipality. If it were any other type of development of a similar magnitude, there would be no question of this need.

Municipal governments and citizens absolutely need a voice on this issue.

May Gabbour, Ottawa

Registered professional planner

Ontario Professional Planners Institute