Library filed under Zoning/Planning from New York
The Town Board voted Monday to hold a public hearing on a proposed six-month moratorium on the installation of ground-placed solar panels in the town. ...“Basically, we have no law. We have nothing on the books,” Supervisor Robert B. Cliffe said. “We think that’s not really appropriate.”
The Clayton Joint Planning Board tabled a decision on whether to grant a permit for two meteorlogical test towers at its Apr. 7 meeting. An application for a third tower was also considered.
In response to the proposed Black Oak Wind Farm in Enfield introducing plans that include one wind turbine site in Newfield, the Newfield Town Council will vote at its next meeting on whether or not to place a 90-day moratorium on wind energy development in the town.
“If the wind companies can meet, or are willing to meet our requests, and can provide written proof of financial gain to the community, then I welcome a discussion,” he said. “One fact stands; this will and has repeatedly divided communities. Friendships have been lost, families torn, and for what gain? That’s the big question.”
"Your permit for this tower leads to an industrial wind development," he said. "We want to be very sure we have everything in our community set to the benefit of our community before we make any proceeding that goes toward this wind tower industrial development." Barton said the zoning board is going to take the time to be sure the Randolph code is going to protect the property owners around the wind towers, as well as the people who have them on their land.
“We just want to make sure everything is up to code and be prepared for taller wind turbines,” Mr. Rarick said, adding that he believes other towns affected by Iberdrola’s project should also approve moratoriums. He said the board plans to reach out to other towns, advising them to consider approving consistent wind regulations.
The Town of Randolph Zoning Board of Appeals unanimously denied a special use permit for Atlantic Wind LLC to install a 196-foot meteorological tower in the town. ...Six points affected the board’s decision. They were outlined by board member Paul Steward, who said there are several clauses in the Atlantic Wind contract that take away landowner rights and are in conflict with the “intent and purpose” of the Town of Randolph code.
Newfield will be holding a public hearing on Mar. 24 to get feedback on a proposed law that would create a 90-day moratorium on the permitting, construction and operation of Wind Energy Facilities in the town.
Under a proposed amendment to the town’s zoning law, the Wind Energy Facility Overlay District would be removed from the town’s southern end, where Iberdrola Renewables is planning its project. Turbines are currently permitted within the overlay district if they comply with permitting rules and the current wind law, but they’d be banned altogether if the proposed law and amendment are approved.
Simon anticipates the whole process to be completed in April, months ahead of when Apex Clean Energy plans to submit an application to a state siting board for a 201-megawatt wind energy network. Somerset, where two-thirds of the potential land is targeted for Apex’s intended network, has already completed a local law revision. Simon said Yates’ new law would be roughly the same to their neighbor’s, with some changes specific to Yates.
Norris said the law requires wind developers to pay for a baseline study of the health of residents who want to take part. Developers would have to pay reimbursements to property owners whose land values fall because of turbines within two miles, and sets rules for decommissioning unused windmills. Quarles said Apex still intends to file its final application, including specific turbine locations, this summer.
The developer of the Horse Creek wind project recently renewed and updated several land leases across towns of Clayton, Orleans, Brownville and Lyme, according to Jefferson County property records. Records show that Iberdrola Renewables has finalized 15 such lease agreements this year under the name of its subsidiary, Atlantic Wind LLC. Those agreements — all recorded by the county in February — re-establish lease agreements dating back to 2006.
Orleans County’s representative on an Article X siting board for the Lighthouse Wind project remains a mystery, but their locally-nominated colleague has been changed to someone well-versed in the battles over wind energy. Cathi Orr found out late last week she — and not Randall Atwater as previously reported — has been appointed by State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan as one of two locally-nominated members of the siting board.
However, residents of Enfield, where the wind farm is planned, objected, saying they have health and safety concerns that have not been addressed. Mimi Mehaffey, of Bostwick Road, said she lives in an earth-berm passive solar house. “Not a day goes by that I don’t wonder what more I could be doing to avert the doom of climate change,” she said. “[But] the health and safety issues with the wind farm are real. Slow down this process, and site the turbines correctly. Please allow the Enfield Town Board to work without interference.”
With Apex's reputation in other wind projects prompting thoughts of snake oil salesmen, the Town of Somerset is right to do its due diligence to protect the natural environment, residents' health, safety, welfare and property values, and the town's own comprehensive plan. ...The biggest insult is that out-of-state Apex LLC tried to intimidate the Somerset Town Board with a veiled suggestion of a lawsuit.
The original language resolved, "That the Tompkins County Legislature supports the development of the Black Oak Wind Farm Project without further delay." The "without further delay" was changed to "in a timely manner," to reaffirm that project was Enfield's decision and that the legislature was not trying to push the project forward without allowing the town time to do its due diligence.
Over 180 residents of Enfield have signed a petition asking the town to amend its laws regarding wind turbine noise levels, and to delay the project until these issues are addressed. “The residents who live where this project is being built are asking the Town of Enfield to pause long enough to review the law that was passed seven years ago.
The 54-page proposed law restricts any wind energy systems from being built in residential or business districts or within the boundaries of the town's local waterfront revitalization program. The revised law was created with the help of an ad hoc committee that included town officials and residents appointed by the town and Apex. ...Taylor Quarles, development manger for Apex Clean Energy, said the amended law is effectively a ban on wind energy in the town.
Two zoning amendments for the town of Somerset – including an updated wind energy conservation system law – were approved at Monday’s Niagara County Planning Board meeting.
Somerset Town Supervisor Daniel M. Engert’s proposed new law regulating wind power developments would require companies to pay property owners reimbursements if their property values fall because of the proximity of wind turbines. It also would require a company to pay for a baseline health study of town residents before the turbines go up, and limits the areas in which turbines could be built.