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Letter: Cohocton not dealing with leaseholder noise complaints

The town board sent an open letter to the media Monday afternoon outlining its intentions on monitoring noise generated by the 50 wind turbines erected in the town in 2008 following complaints by residents and leaseholders involved with the project. ...Under the town's wind law, the letter states, there is a distinction between participating landowners - like Graham, who has several turbines on his property - and non-participating landowners. ..."Participating landowners are viewed under the Town's local laws as, in essence, First Wind's co-applicants."

Cohocton, N.Y. - The Town of Cohocton announced Monday it will no longer be dealing with any noise complaints generated by residents who lease property with wind energy developer First Wind.

The town board sent an open letter to the media Monday afternoon outlining its intentions on monitoring noise generated by the 50 wind turbines erected in the town in 2008 following complaints by residents and leaseholders involved with the project.

"Over the past few weeks, a resident of the Town of Cohocton, Hal Graham, has been lodging complaints with First Wind, the owner of the Town of Cohocton's two wind farms, members of the Town Board, other State and local elected officials, and the Town's Code Enforcement Officer concerning noise levels at his home," the letter states.

Under the town's wind law, the letter states, there is a distinction between participating landowners - like Graham, who has several turbines on his property - and non-participating landowners.

"The town wanted to allow those persons in the town signing leases or setback waivers to make their own decisions about the use of their land, without constraining any particular... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Cohocton, N.Y. - The Town of Cohocton announced Monday it will no longer be dealing with any noise complaints generated by residents who lease property with wind energy developer First Wind.

The town board sent an open letter to the media Monday afternoon outlining its intentions on monitoring noise generated by the 50 wind turbines erected in the town in 2008 following complaints by residents and leaseholders involved with the project.

"Over the past few weeks, a resident of the Town of Cohocton, Hal Graham, has been lodging complaints with First Wind, the owner of the Town of Cohocton's two wind farms, members of the Town Board, other State and local elected officials, and the Town's Code Enforcement Officer concerning noise levels at his home," the letter states.

Under the town's wind law, the letter states, there is a distinction between participating landowners - like Graham, who has several turbines on his property - and non-participating landowners.

"The town wanted to allow those persons in the town signing leases or setback waivers to make their own decisions about the use of their land, without constraining any particular landowners' ability to negotiate with First Wind," the letter states. "Participating landowners are viewed under the Town's local laws as, in essence, First Wind's co-applicants."

The board heard complaints on noise generated from the 50 turbines on top of Pine, Lent, Dutch and Brown hills around Cohocton at its Feb. 23 meeting. At the meeting, Graham - a Lent Hill resident - addressed the board and asked if there was anything the town could do about the turbines on his property.

"They (First Wind) told us we wouldn't hear anything at 900 feet," he said at the meeting. "The noise is so great that my windows are vibrating."

The letter Monday said it will not be dealing with Graham's problems.

"While we are hopeful that First Wind will be responsive to Hal's concerns and the concerns of any other ‘participating' landowners, the Town will not compromise its ability to address legitimate complaints received from the owners of ‘non-participating' parcels by taking on a ‘participating' parcel owner's problems," the letter states, continuing to explain that the town's laws on wind noise do not apply to participating landowners and they must file their complaints with First Wind.

Non-participating residents' complaints will receive the town's attention, though.

The current procedure for complaints is to call a toll-free number belonging to First Wind, which rings into the office located on Main Street in Cohocton. From there, First Wind officials will schedule a time for the town's and the company's wind turbine noise consultants to test the property and determine if there are violations of the wind law.

"If First Wind does not adequately respond to your complaint, then follow up with the Town's Code Enforcement Officer," the letter states.

Calls to Cohocton town Supervisor Jack Zigenfus, who sent the letter to The Evening Tribune, and Graham were not immediately returned.


Source: http://www.eveningtribune.c...

APR 1 2009
https://www.windaction.org/posts/19660-letter-cohocton-not-dealing-with-leaseholder-noise-complaints
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