Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from New York
The Holland Board of Public Works has a few more hurdles to jump before it can start putting up wind turbines around town. The Zoning Board of Appeals will today review a request to install a meteorological tower at Windmill Island Gardens. In 12 to 18 months, the BPW could install a wind turbine. A proposal to install three residential-sized turbines on the roof of the Civic Center, 150 W. Eighth St., would require special permission from the city's planning commission.
The Evans Town Board has delayed discussion on three wind energy laws that would regulate both commercial and noncommercial facilities. ...Although the board received communications from the town Planning Board indicating strong support of the proposed laws, two residents voiced concerns over their language. ...Frank Hotchkiss of Waterman Road supported Henry, saying that ambiguity in the law's language could deter wind energy manufacturers from doing business in Evans.
In the lead article in Thursday's paper, "Parcel owners act against Lyme," and in a letter from Beth White on the same subject there is the implication that those of us who were involved in the drafting of a law governing the siting of industrial wind turbines in Lyme are against alternative energy. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The majority of the residents in Lyme have simply expressed a preference for a zoning law so that the citizens of Lyme, and not the developer, determine what the town will look like in the future.
At least two companies are interested in offshore wind development in New York's Great Lakes waters - BQ Energy, which developed Lackawanna's Steel Winds, and AWS Truewind. "I don't think it's inevitable, but I think it's very likely," said Bruce Bailey, AWS Truewind's president. There are significant obstacles and unknowns. ...Installing wind turbines in water can be at least twice as expensive because of the cost of mobilizing marine crews, the specialized nature of the installation equipment and the turbines and the need to move the power onshore, experts say. And that doesn't factor in what would be necessary to deal with the ice that often covers the eastern end of Lake Erie in winter.
The Lackawanna Planning Board Thursday approved site plans for the second phase of the Steel Winds turbine project along Route 5. The approval paves the way for 13 additional turbines to be erected on the property, on which 11 of the turbines would be located further inland, roughly midway between the Lake Erie shoreline and Route 5 on the old Bethlehem Steel site. The developer, Clipper Windpower, first broke ground in 2005 on the $40 million wind-energy project, erecting eight turbines along the lake shore after agreeing to pay the city $100,000 annually over the next 15 years.
According to information presented to the town board, the planning board will be submitting the cultural mitigation suggestions to the councilmen and Highway Superintendent Anthony Clark will be reviewing the road use agreement. The planning board also is working on the decommissioning and site restoration plan, to spell out what will be done when the lifespan of the turbines is complete.
The Enfield Town Board held off on a vote Wednesday on wind-farm developer John Rancich's proposed developer's agreement in order to send it back to the town attorney to get a stronger agreement. Town Supervisor Frank Podufalski said from what he's seen and heard, a local wind law and a developer's agreement are used during wind farm projects, so asking Guy Krogh, the town attorney, to strengthen the agreement would allow the town board to comfortably approve it down the road. Krogh expressed concerns over several portions of the agreement, most notably that the town has yet to adopt a local wind law.
The Shell WindEnergy group met with a group of Scipio landowners on Monday at the Auburn Masonic Temple to discuss issues on which they disagreed, according to Batman. "In the initial lease that Shell showed the landowners, all legal rights went to Shell. It was a big problem," he said. "Shell has economic concerns and proprietary technology that it's not willing to give away." Batman said that they now seem more willing to discuss the landowners' concerns. He said that there was sufficient information for the town to move ahead and consider forming an advisory group.
The Zoning Board of Appeals has unanimously granted Dr. Daniel Melamed an area variance to erect a 135-foot-tall wind turbine at his sheep and goat farm. The many neighbors who packed the Town Hall to voice their opposition to the wind turbine over the several-month-long public hearing were absent from the final session Tuesday night, July 8. The meeting lasted about 15 minutes. After the meeting, Dr. Melamed told The Independent that he was pleased by the ZBA decision. "Hopefully, the entire discussion has raised the consciousness of the county about wind power in general," he said.
Town officials introduced a new local law to regulate the construction of wind energy conversion systems in Hanover. At a recent Hanover Town Board meeting, a public hearing was held for an updated local law regulating WECS - to replace the former local law from 2006 - in anticipation of the upcoming Ball Hill Windpark joint project with the town of Villenova through Noble Power. ...Setback revisions require all commercial WECS to be 500 feet from the nearest property line, right-of-way, easement, power line, public road, as well as 500 feet from gas wells, and gas and electric distribution lines. They must be 1,000 feet from the nearest residential dwelling, school, church or historical structure existing at the time of application, and 100 feet from state-identified wetlands.
The Holland City Council has no objections to the meteorological tower planned for Windmill Island Gardens. The council voted to send a letter to its zoning board of appeals to that effect. The board will meet later this month to discuss whether to allow the Holland Board of Public Works to erect the tower that would measure weather conditions.
After Enfield town attorney Guy Krogh expressed his concerns with wind farm developer John Rancich's developer's agreement, a second version of the agreement along with a property-value guarantee was submitted to the town two weeks ago. The developer's agreement is written up as if it's clarifying the first developer's agreement, and the housing-values guarantee lays out an offer for Rancich to sign purchasing offers at 110 percent of the market value, among other things. Krogh's opinion on the first developer's agreement was negative, and he described proposed payments to the town as a "bribe."
The board was slated to vote on the law last month but tabled it for further review, primarily based on a guideline that would have allowed a 10-decibel sound increase at a neighbor's property line. Some residents said that would be too loud. The new law calls for no more than an eight-decibel increase.
A proposal to regulate certain types of windmills has hit a nerve in one Onondaga County town. A week from Thursday, Spafford will hold a public hearing on the law aimed at private windmills, but it's ignited a much larger debate. It's easy to see how you could get swept up with the idea of harnessing the wind in Spafford; it's a pretty steady part of living in many areas of the town. ...The town has nothing on the books to deal with wind mills of any kind. The law under consideration is aimed more at smaller wind mills; with three applications for them in the last two months, the supervisor says they have to start somewhere to regulate wind mills.
The citizens organization that opposes large-scale wind power development brought an Article 78 suit in March 2007 against the ZBA, claiming it incorrectly classified industrial wind turbines as utilities. Judge Hugh A. Gilbert dismissed the petition in August, ruling the classification was correct under existing zoning law. The group appealed the decision in September to the state Appellate Division, Fourth Department, Rochester. It also made a motion to have three documents that were not part of the lower court's administrative record included in the record of appeal.
Enfield is not the only town dealing with the many details related to wind turbines. Recently the Town of Ithaca temporarily shelved a law that would allow residential-scale wind energy facilities. That delay was caused after residents requested that the board reduce the noise threshold for a wind turbine to 5 decibels. The town was originally considering a threshold of a 10-decibel limit. As Harvey told The Journal's Tim Ashmore: "Our planning board can coordinate with other planning boards as well. The Town of Ithaca is our neighbor. The Town of Newfield is our neighbor ... I would think that our planning board and all these other planning boards ought to get together and come up with one law."
On Tuesday night, seven property owners in one Steuben County town will find out if they will lose their land to a wind turbine project. That's according to our newspaper partner, the Leader. On Tuesday at 7 p.m., the Prattsburgh Town Board is scheduled to vote on whether to move ahead with eminent domain proceedings.
A joint meeting of the Town Council and Planning Board tonight will review the draft ordinance crafted by the wind power committee. The group, composed of community residents and alternative-energy experts, has created regulations for wind farms, including setbacks, heights and locations for turbines. The meeting, which starts at 7 p.m. in the Hammond Central School cafeteria, is open to the public. No public comment will be taken at the meeting. "I think we have a good document," said Crayton L. Buck, chairman of the town's wind power committee. "We have about 90 to 95 percent of what the county had in the ordinance. They wrote it and we crafted it to our community."
A lawsuit to stop wind development in Howard and remove town board member Bill Hatch will continue its way through court. According to court documents from the Appellate Division, Fourth Judicial Department of New York, the court chose not dismiss an Article 78 lawsuit Tuesday following a motion by Hatch. According to court documents provided by Arthur Giacalone, an attorney for petitioner Gerry Hedman, the court chose to continue hearing the case and will accept additional filings. Town board member Bill Hatch, who has a lease with wind developer EverPower Renewables, was unaware of the ruling when contacted this morning.
A final vote by the Prattsburgh Town Board on whether to move ahead with eminent domain proceedings is on hold for a week. The town board agreed Tuesday night to a proposal by town Councilman Steve Kula to try to iron out legal difficulties with two local school districts before voting on the eminent domain issue. The board will invite representatives from the Prattsburgh and Naples central schools, the Steuben County Industrial Development Agency, and the county to discuss their issues in executive session at 7 p.m. June 24 at the town hall.