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Goshen Wind Plan Returns

A proposed wind turbine on the grounds of the Woodridge Lake sewage treatment plant on Brush Hill Road might get a second wind, as the application is scheduled to be resubmitted to the Planning and Zoning Commission Tuesday. The turbine is being proposed by Optiwind, a Torrington company that bills its wind-energy equipment as "smaller, cheaper and more aesthetically pleasing" than typical three- pronged turbines used on large wind farms in states like California and Texas.

A proposed wind turbine on the grounds of the Woodridge Lake sewage treatment plant on Brush Hill Road might get a second wind, as the application is scheduled to be resubmitted to the Planning and Zoning Commission Tuesday.

The turbine is being proposed by Optiwind, a Torrington company that bills its wind-energy equipment as "smaller, cheaper and more aesthetically pleasing" than typical three- pronged turbines used on large wind farms in states like California and Texas.

The one the company builds looks like a grain silo with fans on the sides. Goshen's land-use commission unanimously voted to deny a special exception permit for the project at its Oct. 28 meeting.

Optiwind's proposed turbine would be 200 feet tall and up to 90 feet wide. If approved, the company would sell energy to the Woodridge Lake Sewer District at a reduced rate. Woodridge Lake is a large residential development.

"We brought the turbine to below to 200 feet to avoid placing a light on the top, and it was designed from scratch to be a better neighbor," said David Hurwitt, vice president of marketing at Optiwind, said of a turbine that would be the first of its size in... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

A proposed wind turbine on the grounds of the Woodridge Lake sewage treatment plant on Brush Hill Road might get a second wind, as the application is scheduled to be resubmitted to the Planning and Zoning Commission Tuesday.

The turbine is being proposed by Optiwind, a Torrington company that bills its wind-energy equipment as "smaller, cheaper and more aesthetically pleasing" than typical three- pronged turbines used on large wind farms in states like California and Texas.

The one the company builds looks like a grain silo with fans on the sides. Goshen's land-use commission unanimously voted to deny a special exception permit for the project at its Oct. 28 meeting.

Optiwind's proposed turbine would be 200 feet tall and up to 90 feet wide. If approved, the company would sell energy to the Woodridge Lake Sewer District at a reduced rate. Woodridge Lake is a large residential development.

"We brought the turbine to below to 200 feet to avoid placing a light on the top, and it was designed from scratch to be a better neighbor," said David Hurwitt, vice president of marketing at Optiwind, said of a turbine that would be the first of its size in Connecticut.

The company recently appealed the Oct. 28 decision in Litchfield Superior Court, and is also resubmitting the application. The commission is scheduled to meet Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in town hall.

"Members of the Planning and Zoning Commission are elected to do a job, and it's not always an easy job or one that's appreciated," said Goshen First Selectman Robert P. Valentine. "We have a responsibility as selectmen to defend our boards and they decision they make. They did a good and detailed job in delivering their ruling."

After the commission receives the new application, it will schedule a hearing date.

Mr. Hurwitt said the company decided to resubmit the application because the project is the right thing for Goshen.

"The U.S. Department of Energy has a stated goal for America to generate 20 percent of its electricity from wind by the year 2030. People are going to get used to seeing wind turbines much like they have gotten used to seeing cell towers and telephone poles," he said, adding the company has also compiled more information for the commission about the benefits of wind turbines to aid it in making a decision.

The first application did meet the commission's regulations for height requirements, but in voting to deny the application, commission members cited concerns about the lack of data on the turbine's possible effects on the character of the neighborhood, future development and property values.
The Goshen proposal began with an analysis by Optiwind of wind maps that indicate the strength of wind. The Brush Hill Road site was selected because data showed that the site was a good one for a turbine, according to Mr. Hurwitt.

Optiwind currently employs 12 employees at its Torrington location, and Mr. Hurwitt estimated the company would be able to hire 50 people from the Torrington area over the next two years if the Goshen plan were approved.

According to the minutes from the commission's Oct. 28 meeting, a motion made by Stephen Cooney called for a denial because the application did not meet Article V, sections 521.d and 521.e of the Goshen Zoning Regulations.
Section 521.d states "that there will be no adverse effects upon existing and probable future character of the neighborhood or its property values" and Section 521.e states "that the proposed activity will not hinder the orderly and appropriate development of adjacent property."

"They will most likely try to provide additional information to the commission that was not available previously," said Martin Conner, Goshen zoning enforcement officer and town planner. "If their application gets approved, they will most likely drop their appeal."


Source: http://www.zwire.com/site/n...

NOV 26 2008
http://www.windaction.org/posts/18077-goshen-wind-plan-returns
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