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Board OKs wind turbine in Torrington

The Optiwind company cleared what was likely its biggest hurdle toward the eventual construction of a 199-foot wind turbine Wednesday night as the city's Planning and Zoning Commission granted it a special zoning exception. The proposal was unanimously approved with little discussion from the commission and no public comment.

TORRINGTON - The Optiwind company cleared what was likely its biggest hurdle toward the eventual construction of a 199-foot wind turbine Wednesday night as the city's Planning and Zoning Commission granted it a special zoning exception.

The proposal was unanimously approved with little discussion from the commission and no public comment. A public hearing was held June 10 with a majority of residents voicing their support for the plan.

The exception was needed because the turbine would be taller than standing zoning regulations allow in the area.

Optiwind will now construct a meteorological tower at the 725 Klug Hill Road site to gauge wind conditions there as they wait to obtain a building permit from the city.

"You just saw the ball go over the hill," said Optiwind vice president David Hurwitt, who credited the Torrington Planning and Zoning Commission for the relatively painless process thus far. "I think the process was clearly defined."

Earlier efforts by the company to build a turbine in neighboring Goshen failed as residents opposed the project.

The meteorological tower on Klug Hill Road will likely be put up within the next week, Hurwitt said.

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TORRINGTON - The Optiwind company cleared what was likely its biggest hurdle toward the eventual construction of a 199-foot wind turbine Wednesday night as the city's Planning and Zoning Commission granted it a special zoning exception.

The proposal was unanimously approved with little discussion from the commission and no public comment. A public hearing was held June 10 with a majority of residents voicing their support for the plan.

The exception was needed because the turbine would be taller than standing zoning regulations allow in the area.

Optiwind will now construct a meteorological tower at the 725 Klug Hill Road site to gauge wind conditions there as they wait to obtain a building permit from the city.

"You just saw the ball go over the hill," said Optiwind vice president David Hurwitt, who credited the Torrington Planning and Zoning Commission for the relatively painless process thus far. "I think the process was clearly defined."

Earlier efforts by the company to build a turbine in neighboring Goshen failed as residents opposed the project.

The meteorological tower on Klug Hill Road will likely be put up within the next week, Hurwitt said.

George "Butch" Klug, a dairy farmer who owns the 167-acre property where the turbine will likely be constructed and has supported the proposed plan, said he was pleased by the ruling. The turbine will likely help create jobs in the area in addition to easing energy costs at his farm, he said.

Discussion from the Planning and Zoning board was limited before a motion to approve the exception was made, with City Planner Martin Connor reading a memo he had written supporting the move.

"In my opinion, the... requirements have been met," he said.

Commission member Doris Murphy briefly expressed some concern over potential noise coming from the turbine, because Optiwind has not provided the city with data as to how loud it would actually be. But Chairman Richard Calkins said it shouldn't be a concern, citing tests done by students at top engineering college Clarkson University.

"It's never been tested full scale... but I'm comfortable with the results," he said.

In any case, the resident who would be most affected by noise from the turbine would be Klug, who originally approached Optiwind about building it, he said.

Connor laid out the conditions of the approval prior to the vote, stipulating that in the event that the turbine is ever abandoned or no longer in use, the city must be properly notified and the structure removed.


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

JUN 25 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/20820-board-oks-wind-turbine-in-torrington
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