Library filed under Zoning/Planning from Massachusetts
By a single vote, Peru residents at Saturday’s annual town meeting approved a zoning bylaw that bars major developers of wind energy from the town. The vote -- 105-52 -- exactly met the two-thirds-plus-one majority required.
Two years after banning “large-scale” commercial wind farms and putting on-hold any building of small on-premise turbines, Tuesday’s town meeting voters approved what Planning Board Chairman Matt Marchese called an “onerous” small scale wind bylaw.
Turbines have been out the headlines for a couple of years now but there still on the minds of state officials and the Department of Public Utilities has been inquiring into the best practices for land based wind turbines since Oct. 31. They held a hearing at Cape Cod Community College last Thursday (Feb. 4), to seek input on the guidance they hope to provide local officials.
As for the DPU taking control, Karns worries about putting permitting under their control because of the department's "formal" nature. Karns said the DPU typically permits large energy plants or pipelines and opposing a process in that arena could become expensive for small municipalities or advocacy groups.
Lilli-Ann Green, of Wellfleet, a member of Wind Wise-Massachusetts, wrote in an email that the group, which opposes the state's wind-energy policies, had asked for the extension to allow enough time for residents and experts to comment on the potential siting guidelines. The best practices developed through the process will not be regulations but would be offered to towns to use in existing reviews of wind-energy projects, according to state officials.
David Paliotti, an attorney representing Algonquin Heights, which is within 600 feet of the proposed turbine, said the turbine would cause his client's property value to plummet, could cause serious health problems and would also be an eyesore. Kerry Kearney, who serves on the town's Energy Committee, said the proposal is "the worst wind turbine site in the state."
With wind turbine proposals popping up all over town, several of them abutting residential areas, many neighbors and town officials have been clamoring for more stringent bylaws pertaining to the location of these behemoths and how high they should be allowed to soar.
"I think what we're seeing throughout the region, throughout the state, and actually throughout New England is that people are looking at the experiences of other people who live near wind turbines and are saying 'we don't want that in our community'," said Tillinghast.
Wind turbine proposals haven’t had the warmest reception in Plymouth, and this one is no exception. Attorney David Paliotti, who represents Algonquin Heights, the residential area closest to the proposed turbine, contends that it will exceed the sound limit guidelines, cause health problems, blight the landscape, and cause property values to nosedive. The Stop & Shop turbine would be located approximately 600 feet from the Algonquin Heights apartment complex.
Neil P. Andersen of Blacksmith Shop Road filed the appeal in November, asking the zoning board to overturn Building Commissioner Eladio R. Gore's ruling that Wind 1 did not present a nuisance by virtue of excessive noise-a ruling issued in response to a complaint by Mr. Andersen.
"Residents and abutters have little to no opportunity to have their voices heard in objections or their questions answered," Ms. Chase said. "Despite the numerous procedural errors that have occurred, the town continues to blindly allow this ill-sited project to deleteriously impact the public health, safety and welfare of the people who have made their home on Bearsden Road for years."
At the opening night of annual town meeting, voters approved a bylaw that dramatically reduces the size of wind turbines allowed in town. The planning board presented the revised turbine siting bylaw Monday night, about five months after a similar bylaw was rejected at fall's town meeting.
Kingston’s Wind Overlay District Bylaw requires turbine developers “to provide a form of surety at a date certain….to cover the cost of decommissioning in the event the town must remove the facility.” That certain date, and the size of the surety bond, will be decided by the Kingston Planning Board.
Speaking as if with one voice, 96 special town meeting voters quickly and unanimously approved the Planning Board's zoning bylaw amendment banning "industrial scale" wind turbines from being built within town borders.
Reilly, who lives less than a quarter mile from the KWI Turbine on Leland Road, has been one of a plethora of residents claiming ill-health effects stemming from shadow flicker and infrasound generated by the KWI Turbine. Yesterday, Reilly filed a zoning complaint against the KWI Turbine with Kingston Zoning Enforcement Officer Paul Armstrong.
The legality of Kingston's wind turbines stands in question today as KingstonJounral.com uncovers evidence to suggest that all four of Kingston's industrial-sized wind turbines may be out of compliance with existing town bylaws.
If passed, the bill would establish two funds using money from the current Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust Fund. One fund would set aside $15 million for residents, businesses and towns that incurred losses such as negative health effects and property loss.
A regulation being considered by Bourne, Falmouth, Scituate and Kingston would lower that level to six decibels for wind turbines. A draft regulation being considered by three of those towns would also include regulations to account for the "whooshing" nature of turbine sound, as well as regulations for infrasound, or sound that is inaudible to humans.
After reviewing the Planning Board's latest draft of a bylaw that would halve the size and quadruple the setbacks for future turbine projects, Espindola is advocating that the town first deal with complaints it has received regarding the existing turbines.
Far from offering residents any real protection, this latest proposal will have the likely outcome of inviting smaller turbines, in larger numbers, that can still be legally sited in very close proximity to residents. Current zoning bylaws in Fairhaven permit citing turbines in every type of zone as a so-called municipal project.