Strengthens provisions that were misconstrued by wind developers
On September 17, 2012, the Town of Newark amended its town plan. The town held a special town meeting and voters passed a resolution to advise the Selectboard to approve the new town plan. The vote was 169 to 59 in favor of the resolution-a margin of almost three to one. The Newark Selectboard met immediately to carry out the wishes of voters and approved the town plan unanimously.
The new town plan identifies specific ridgelines, highlands, and bodies of water as having particular scenic, wildlife, and recreational value. The plan asserts that large-scale industrial and commercial development is inappropriate in the town. The plan states that no commercial or industrial development should take place at elevations greater than 1700 feet. The plan states that no commercial or industrial structures should exceed 125 feet in height. The new town plan specifically addresses industrial wind turbines and electric transmission infrastructure and declares that they are inappropriate in the town.
Kim Fried, Chairman of the Newark Planning Commission said, "Our old town plan took a pretty clear position against the industrialization of the town. Developers misrepresented the intent of the old town plan and claimed that it supported industrial wind turbines. The developers insisted that they understood our town plan better than we did and dismissed the objections of the Selectboard, the Planning Commission, and the citizens of Newark. We were left with no choice but to strengthen the Newark Town Plan so that it would be impossible to misconstrue it."
Mike Channon, Chairman of the Newark Selectboard said, "The industrial wind developers who have targeted our town claim that they ‘take pride in being good neighbors and active, responsible community members.' We urge the developers to read our town plan and do the responsible thing: withdraw their application to construct a MET tower in Newark.
"Governor Shumlin has stated that he would instruct the Commissioner of the Department of Public Service to inform the Public Service Board that his administration would not support construction of industrial wind turbines in towns that do not want them. We have notified the Governor that Newark wants neither turbines nor the MET towers that are precursors to turbines."