Library filed under Zoning/Planning
Following on the heels of the Cape Cod Commission, which began an appeal process last week, the town of Barnstable has filed paperwork with the Supreme Judicial Court to challenge the Cape Wind proceedings. In a release issued Monday, the Cape Cod Commission confirmed its plans to appeal the comprehensive permit granted to Cape Wind Associates last month.
The town will begin its review today of a plan submitted by the state's largest wind power developer to build a 34-turbine, 51-megawatt wind-to-energy facility along Oakfield Hills. The Wind Energy Review Facility Committee will start reviewing First Wind of Massachusetts' application to build the $120 million facility at 6:30 p.m. at the Oakfield Community Center, Town Manager Dale Morris said. He strongly urged residents to attend.
As the state moves forward with proposed legislation for siting wind turbines, planning board officials in some hilltowns want a public hearing in western Massachusetts, where the mountains, open space and vast areas of state-owned land could be prime locations for commercial windmills. Last month, the Rowe, Heath and Hawley planning boards all sent letters to legislative co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications expressing concerns that the Wind Energy Siting Reform Act would 'significantly restrict Massachusetts communities' home rule authority.
Some might suggest council erred on the side of caution Monday night, by deferring wind turbine projects until provincial legislation is updated. But when council takes action to potentially protect the health of Chatham-Kent citizens, while also waiting to ensure future wind projects are up to provincial snuff, it is a wise move indeed.
More turbines could be spinning on the Tararua Ranges. NZ Windfarms has applied to expand the Te Rere Hau wind farm, asking for consent for another 56 turbines.
Wind energy was the main topic of discussion at the June 10 Ashford Town Board meeting. Gary Davidson from Horizon Wind Energy was on hand to clarify concerns from the council members. Davidson noted that Horizon's proposed project would be a 20 megawatt development consisting of between nine and 13 turbines located in the Dutch Hill ridge area, which would tie in to the transmission line on Ashford Hollow Road.
Boxford officials are investigating whether it makes sense for the town to install a wind turbine that could provide power for all of the town's operations. However, officials must first go through a number of steps to see if the town is eligible for state grant money and if Boxford, with fewer power needs than surrounding communities, would receive a net benefit.
Landowners should be more concerned about controlling the site plan of a wind tower than by how much money they'll get, a local attorney says. William Shay of Peoria was among those speaking during "Wind Energy 101, From a Landowner's Perspective."
The proposed New Ulm Wind Project in Nicollet County cleared another hurdle last week.The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission accepted the application of New Ulm Public Utilities to place five wind turbines in Lafayette Township.
A wind farm developer has reapplied for a permit to put up testing equipment after relocating a proposed site from Ira to Clarendon. ...VCWF spokesman Jeffrey Wennberg said consultants first identified the Suzie's Peak location during the winter. When they went back in the spring, they discovered it was close to a wetland.
A bill that would help determine where wind farms can be built in Wisconsin is sparking debate among people in Monroe County. Retired farmer Fernnell Becher says it's been an ongoing debate for years.
The debate got heated Monday as opponents of wind turbine projects urged the Town of Essex council to delay any more zoning approvals until the regulations from Ontario's new Green Energy Act kick in. Coun. Paul Innes got into a shouting match with one resident -- farmer Colette McLean -- and asked that she be thrown out. However, tempers calmed and McLean finished her pitch for a municipal delay.
Wind farm opponents got no reprieve from Woodford County on Tuesday, which voted to leave unchanged the ordinance that would increase the distance of wind turbines from adjoining structures. By an 8-6 vote, the Woodford County Board agreed with the county's Zoning Board of appeals not to increase the setbacks from the current 750 feet to 1,800 feet. To overturn the ZBA's recommendation would have required a super-majority vote.
Town council has given administration the go-ahead to proceed with the Official Plan Amendment (OPA) and Zoning Bylaw Amendment (ZBA) in relation to the wind farm proposed by genGrowth. However, they noted it is merely a starting point for discussion with more input and details to come. ...Councillor Bob Pillon, who has been vocal at previous meetings about health risks, was at least willing to explore the matter further. "Now they are in a position where council needs answers," said Pillon. "I have many questions, trust me."
Action on two wind farm proposals was deferred Monday by Chatham-Kent council because of new provincial legislation. The deferral action was recommended by consultant Tom Storey as a result of changes being considered by the province under the Green Energy and Green Economy Act. The council chambers was packed for the council planning session by supporters and opponents of wind farms.
Demonstrations will show the strength of feeling against the growth in the number and size of windfarms coming to Mid Wales and the massive turbines that will be brought through the centre of the town on their way to sites. Planning the demonstrations began on Wednesday night when the town council's planning and development committee opened its meeting to the public.
A retired GP has sparked a row in his picturesque Northumberland village by planning a £40,000 wind turbine in his back garden. Dr Steven Ford wants to erect the turbine - which would measure 17.8 metres from base to blade tip - in a field behind his home in Heugh House Lane, Haydon Bridge, a row of 20 properties in the countryside overlooking the Northumberland village.
The call for the Special Town Meeting was prompted by what many in town view as an opportunity to improve the existing wind turbine bylaw based on the lessons learned from the review of the Cohasset Heights Wind Turbine project. Everyone can agree that we know a lot more about wind power today than when the bylaw was originally crafted.
Tensions are rising between those who support wind turbines in the town and those who do not, with at least one threatening phone call made and several signs vandalized. "It just seems we're all caught up in this whirlwind," said Del C. Hamilton, a member of Concerned Residents of Hammond, a grass-roots organization opposed to wind turbines.
Bath town board members last week took the first step towards a moratorium on commercial wind farm developments, directing town attorney Jeffrey Squires to draw up a local law establishing a six-month ban on commercial wind turbines. The unanimous vote came one month after town Supervisor Fred Muller asked board members to consider a moratorium.