Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from Rhode Island
The town council passed a 6-month moratorium on wind energy projects this week, putting a temporary halt on related development until December 31, 2017. West Warwick Town Council Vice President John D’Amico proposed made the proposal, citing that it would be beneficial to implement until the town finishes revisions for its wind energy ordinance and updates to the Comprehensive Plan.
Saying that the town’s current laws do not adequately address the threat posed by the development of wind energy, the North Smithfield Town Council unanimously passed an emergency ordinance that places a moratorium on the creation of turbines Monday night.
The Planning Board gave its blessing to the proposal at an April 7 meeting, unanimously voting to recommend that the Zoning Board issue the permit. That’s when abutters were first made aware of the plan.
"We thought we would impose a moratorium while we study other ordinances and templates and models and what's happened in other places and draft something coherent," she said. Other Rhode Island municipalities have imposed such a moratorium in advance of legislation, including North Kingstown, which ended up with a large wind turbine it didn't want on privately owned land on Route 102.
Aimed at governing the installation of residential and commercial-scale wind turbines, the proposal comes almost a year after councilors passed a resolution temporarily halting any new applications for home-based wind turbines and directing city staff to develop a workable ordinance to govern the placement and size of turbines in the future.
Last night, Middletown town council passed an ordinance that would restrict the placement of turbines in Middletown. The motion passed 4-2, with councilor Edward Silveira absent and councilors Richard Cambra and Barbara VonVillas opposed
Councilor Ed Silveria said although he originally supported the proposal to allow wind turbines, he now realizes it's just a business that negatively impacts Middletown residents. "There is no reason that the rest of us should suffer," said Silveria. "Now we realize what's happened in Portsmouth. It doesn't make sense."
According to Andrew Teitz, South Kingstown town solicitor and an attorney for Wind Energy Development, South Kingstown has nothing to worry about. Under current regulation, both private and commercial developers seeking rights to construct a turbine of any height must gain approval with the town's zoning board.
When the Town Council was asked by former member Deborah Carney how long the ban was expected to be in place, Councilman Dan Slattery posited that the residential turbine ordinance should be ready in three months and an ordinance concerning commercial turbines should take no more than a year to write.
The opponents of a controversial proposal for two tall wind turbines, poking from the tree line near Route 295, were prepared to criticize the project Thursday night. But the Zoning Board of Review voted to wait at least 90 days to resume the public hearing on the proposal, citing the need to gather more information.
Windsor said that she suggested a moratorium earlier in the month to allow the Planning Commission time to adequately address the issue. Ultimately, the Council agreed that the commission needs to move as quickly as possible to address the issue as part of the Jamestown Comprehensive Community Plan.
Residents pushing for the amendments to be approved have voiced support on the grounds of visual impact, flicker, noise, fear of declining property values, and appropriate use of turbines on residential lands, while some opponents have voiced concern out of support in general for alternative energy and others have echoed the concerns of the Wind Turbine Committee.
The Island Energy Plan Committee was unable to produce a quorum at its Wednesday meeting. Nevertheless, members present informally discussed the development of the plan's first draft, which they hope to have completed by November.
"There would be few if any places in Middletown that would not be seen as scenic, historic or natural from a viewpoint," said Tarpgaard. "These broad terms could apply anywhere in Middletown and effectually it could become law that no wind turbines can be erected in Middletown."
A new wind farm off Block Island could jump-start Rhode Island's economy and make it a national leader for using renewable energy. Or it could be a risky venture that actually thwarts economic development by unnecessarily hiking local electric rates.
Governor Carcieri and the state's legislative leaders put more pressure Monday on the state's Public Utilities Commission to approve a power-purchase agreement to pave the way for a $205-million wind farm to serve Block Island ...The commission remains committed to announcing a decision on Aug. 11, just within the deadline mandated by the General Assembly.
Palmerston North City Council has agreed to the next stage of its wind farm development which could see up to 58 wind turbines on the Turitea Reserve.
Neighborhood opponents of a proposed zone change at the transfer station, which could facilitate a municipally owned wind turbine, came out in force against the proposal Wednesday evening. The emotionally charged meeting ended without a decision, as a shaken and battered Town Council rescheduled the matter for its next meeting on December 7. ...Marguerite Donnelly attempted to mediate during the lengthy hearing. Donnelly said at first she was elated by the idea of a turbine at the transfer station, but the concerns of the neighbors were hard to dismiss because "it's so personal for so many.
The Planning Board voted to send two recommendations to the Town Council Monday in regard to a zoning change at the transfer station. In its first vote the board recommended a special use permit process for any development in the proposed zone, which could include a wind turbine. In its second vote, the board crafted a recommendation that pointed out concerns about the proposed zone's compatibility with the town's Comprehensive Plan.
Is it right for the Town Council of New Shoreham to change the terms of a gift of land to the town, 31 years after the gift was made? This is the thrust of the public hearing on October 5, in reference to the windmill project proposed for the Transfer Station site. ...Numerous groups have bonded together to preserve more that 40 percent of this island. For those of you who enjoy these preserved areas, please realize that this kind of "spot zoning" sets a precedent that can put all of these, now public, areas in great danger. For those of you who may be thinking of donating land or are working toward the preservation and conservation of an area for a specific use - think hard - your dreams are in danger!