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A first in Summit County

August 09, 2011

Cuyahoga Falls -- City Council will vote July 25 on legislation to issue a conditional use permit for what would be the first wind turbine in Summit County. The city's Planning Commission approved the same permit July 19.

Julius Zorn Inc., also known as Juzo Manufacturing, plans to erect a 141.25-foot-tall wind turbine on the site of its compression stocking factory on Zorn Drive in the northern part of the city.

David Seal, chairman of the Planning Commission, said that Juzo's wind turbine will be the first one in Summit County.

"You are blazing a trail," Seal told Annerose Zorn, president of the company, and her son, Walter, production manager. Seal thanked them for their "investment, vision [and] foresight."

"We have worked with many companies but none so far have had the commitment coupled with the sincerity that they have," David Mallie, president of the EDC Group (Electrical Design Consultants) and project manager for the Juzo wind turbine project. "This installation will be a great thing for Cuyahoga Falls, Summit County, and even more so it will assist in Ohio's quest of sustaining its presence as a long-term supplier to the wind industry."

Don Geitz and Associates, the architect for the project, applied for the conditional zoning request.

Planning Director Fred Guerra said the wind turbine will be visible from State Road, among other areas.

"It's going to be over the tree tops," Guerra told members of the Planning Commission. "There's no doubt about it, you're going to see it."

Guerra said the plans meet all city code requirements. The proposed wind turbine does not exceed 150 feet. Setbacks are well beyond the minimum requirements, he said.

The wind turbine, which will be two blades on a single-pole (monopole) tower, was built by Gaia-Wind, a Danish company with 20 years experience, Guerra said. The turbine will not be lighted, according to one of the engineers hired by Juzo to install it, because it won't meet the minimum 200-feet height requirement set by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Mrs. Zorn said that when the wind turbine is up and running, she plans to contact area schools and open up her property to field trips where students of all grade levels can see the wind turbine, solar panels and other sustainable features in and around the plant.

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