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Town eyes selective wind moratorium

While a new wind power development zoning law is in a holding pattern, the Town Council at its August meeting will consider a moratorium on all wind power development in the river and lake districts. On Thursday night, Supervisor Thomas K. Rienbeck suggested a yearlong moratorium "since we can't seem to come up with a suitable zoning law dealing with wind power."

CAPE VINCENT - While a new wind power development zoning law is in a holding pattern, the Town Council at its August meeting will consider a moratorium on all wind power development in the river and lake districts.

On Thursday night, Supervisor Thomas K. Rienbeck suggested a yearlong moratorium "since we can't seem to come up with a suitable zoning law dealing with wind power."

The other council members at the meeting agreed it was a good idea.

"We've said all along we didn't want them in the lake and river district," said Councilman Marty T. Mason.

Councilman Joseph H. Wood suggested the moratorium could expire in the event that a zoning law is passed.

Town resident Thomas M. Gormel asked why the rest of the town would not be covered.

"Currently, we have two projects under review in the ag district and we're not going to suspend those," Mr. Rienbeck said. "One is almost complete."

The proposed Cape Vincent Wind Farm would be in the southern part of the town's agricultural district and the proposed St. Lawrence Wind Farm is planned for the northern agricultural district.

Councilman Donald J. Mason agreed. "Those projects are too far along and it's not fair to the wind... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

CAPE VINCENT - While a new wind power development zoning law is in a holding pattern, the Town Council at its August meeting will consider a moratorium on all wind power development in the river and lake districts.

On Thursday night, Supervisor Thomas K. Rienbeck suggested a yearlong moratorium "since we can't seem to come up with a suitable zoning law dealing with wind power."

The other council members at the meeting agreed it was a good idea.

"We've said all along we didn't want them in the lake and river district," said Councilman Marty T. Mason.

Councilman Joseph H. Wood suggested the moratorium could expire in the event that a zoning law is passed.

Town resident Thomas M. Gormel asked why the rest of the town would not be covered.

"Currently, we have two projects under review in the ag district and we're not going to suspend those," Mr. Rienbeck said. "One is almost complete."

The proposed Cape Vincent Wind Farm would be in the southern part of the town's agricultural district and the proposed St. Lawrence Wind Farm is planned for the northern agricultural district.

Councilman Donald J. Mason agreed. "Those projects are too far along and it's not fair to the wind companies, to begin with, to suspend them now."

Town resident John L. Byrne asked where recommendations from the town's Wind Committee stood regarding the new wind power development zoning law. Mr. Rienbeck said the town's Albany-based law firm, Whiteman, Osterman & Hanna, is continuing to fine-tune the new law.

"We're trying to get it so that if we do enact it, that it will be able to stand up for any legal challenges, from either side," Mr. Rienbeck said. "And we've been criticized that we didn't have enough voting members on the board to enact a law, so I'm not sure about that now."

Town officials are hesitant to bring a new law up for a vote because they have faced criticism from the Wind Power Ethics Group charging that councilmen Marty Mason, Donald Mason and Mr. Wood have conflicts of interest due to leases on their property for turbines.

Mr. Rienbeck said other holdups on the law include developing an enforcement mechanism and establishing a set ambient noise level.

According to the committee's suggestions, the town would field complaints on noise and other compliance issues from residents. He said he wanted to avoid repeated, groundless nuisance calls.

"We would like to have an ambient noise level established," he said. "The wind farms have done their own sound studies and they paid the piper, and WPEG has done a sound study and they paid the piper, and the question is whose tune is right."

The council will hold a public hearing on the moratorium at 6 p.m. Aug. 13 at the town office.


Source: http://www.watertowndailyti...

JUL 10 2009
https://www.windaction.org/posts/21093-town-eyes-selective-wind-moratorium
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