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Hearing Tuesday will decide future of Goshen wind turbine

While several Goshen residents spoke in favor of the application, others felt that the Optiwind design and placement is bad for the neighborhood. Elaine Frost resides on Beach Street near the proposed tower, and owns 150 acres of land adjacent to the Sewer District property. Frost is not convinced that the data submitted by Optiwind consultants is accurate, and she has joined with other residents to hire an attorney to help them oppose the plan. "I call them the Not Quite True Crew," Frost said of the experts and the reports that they submitted. "I believe that the appraisers were given specific information and visualization points that favored the applicant. They were inaccurate and selective."

GOSHEN - The public hearing on the application by Optiwind of Torrington to construct a wind turbine in Goshen will resume Tuesday at 7 p.m. Close to 100 residents attended the first hearing in January, to hear company representatives and experts testify in support of the project. Optiwind presented evidence and testimony that addressed the concerns that the Planning and Zoning Commission expressed when they denied an earlier application to erect the turbine on land owned by the Woodridge Lake Sewer District. The current application is for the same location.

Optiwind's vice president David Hurwitt and attorney Peter Herbst informed commissioners of the steps that the company had taken to accumulate the new information that they were submitting in support of the application. Three independent real estate appraisers were hired to compare the value of homes built near utility structures, and to determine whether or not the presence of wind turbines or power lines had any significant effect upon the neighborhood in which they were built.

"The reports showed that there is no reason to expect an adverse impact on the value of surrounding property." Hurwitt said during a... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

GOSHEN - The public hearing on the application by Optiwind of Torrington to construct a wind turbine in Goshen will resume Tuesday at 7 p.m. Close to 100 residents attended the first hearing in January, to hear company representatives and experts testify in support of the project. Optiwind presented evidence and testimony that addressed the concerns that the Planning and Zoning Commission expressed when they denied an earlier application to erect the turbine on land owned by the Woodridge Lake Sewer District. The current application is for the same location.

Optiwind's vice president David Hurwitt and attorney Peter Herbst informed commissioners of the steps that the company had taken to accumulate the new information that they were submitting in support of the application. Three independent real estate appraisers were hired to compare the value of homes built near utility structures, and to determine whether or not the presence of wind turbines or power lines had any significant effect upon the neighborhood in which they were built.

"The reports showed that there is no reason to expect an adverse impact on the value of surrounding property." Hurwitt said during a recent interview. "The studies were thorough, detailed, and complete, using the best data available."

In addition to land values, Arthur Oles, a municipal planner, stated that it was his opinion that the selected site for the turbine would shroud it from view by most of the neighbors. In addition, the fact that it would be located on land owned by the sewage treatment plant, adjacent to an existing cell phone tower, led him to the opinion that future development in the area would not be affected by the presence of the turbine.

"The turbine proposal is less significant than taking the original 114 acres of wooded or farmland, and constructing a sewage treatment plant." Hurwitt said. "This isn't going to do anything to fundamentally change the character of the neighborhood."

While several Goshen residents spoke in favor of the application, others felt that the Optiwind design and placement is bad for the neighborhood. Elaine Frost resides on Beach Street near the proposed tower, and owns 150 acres of land adjacent to the Sewer District property. Frost is not convinced that the data submitted by Optiwind consultants is accurate, and she has joined with other residents to hire an attorney to help them oppose the plan.

"I call them the Not Quite True Crew," Frost said of the experts and the reports that they submitted. "I believe that the appraisers were given specific information and visualization points that favored the applicant. They were inaccurate and selective."

Frost, who moved to Beach Street in 1994, said that the power lines and sewer treatment plant were more justified than Optiwind's proposal, but have presented their own problems.

"The power lines were needed for the benefit of a large amount of people, and were therefore necessary." Frost said. "The treatment plant should have had very little impact on the character of the area. Now, it is operating with insufficient capacity, with pump trucks entering and leaving the property. There is the possibility that future expansion could likewise affect our neighborhood."

Frost is actively trying to prevent similar applications from being submitted in Goshen. She has proposed an amendment to zoning regulations that would prohibit utility-scale turbines altogether, and restrict residential turbines to a height of 80 feet. Optiwind's wind harvester would reach 200 feet and would supply electricity to operate the treatment plant. Frost is also on the hearing agenda for Tuesday evening, seeking an 18-month moratorium on wind turbine applications. She believes that information that is being developed by the state regarding wind turbines may be essential in evaluating future applications, and that Goshen should wait until the data is available before allowing further turbine applications.

Despite the objections, Hurwitt is convinced that his turbine will benefit the environment, the community of Goshen, and his customer, the Woodridge Lake Sewer District.

"Those in opposition have every right to be heard on our application. I respect that." Hurwitt said. "Some opponents have speculated about possible problems and concerns that are not supported by facts. We want to be good neighbors. We even moved the turbine from the recommended location on the property to a lower site that makes it less visible to people. We believe that we've answered the concerns of the commission and that the turbine conforms to the regulations. I am hopeful and optimistic."


Source: http://www.registercitizen....

FEB 23 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/19220-hearing-tuesday-will-decide-future-of-goshen-wind-turbine
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