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Wind Farm Issue To Return To Town Meeting In Lyman

LYMAN, N.H. -- The fight against corporate wind is blustering again in this town of about 500 residents.

Lyman native Brian Santy and fellow resident Sandi Moscicki submitted three petitioned articles for March's annual town meeting warrant to the town office Monday, hoping to make it clear that commercial wind towers are not welcome - or legal - in town.

The petitioned articles are identical to three that narrowly missed passage at the 2005 town meeting, and they come on the heels of news that a subsidiary of the international corporation UPC Wind is moving forward with plans to erect wind towers in Sheffield, Vt.

"We lost it by a few votes last year, so we're going to try again this year," said Santy, whose dairy farm sits at the base of Gardner Mountain, the site proposed by UPC last year for a wind study. "I don't want to see those wind towers behind my farm."

UPC Wind, an international wind energy corporation with U.S. headquarters in Newton, Mass., applied last year for a variance from Lyman's 35-foot height ordinance. That variance would have allowed the company to erect a 150-foot anemometer to measure wind speed, direction, and frequency on Gardner Mountain, which runs much of the length of Lyman, providing a backdrop to the town's fields, church steeples and old farmhouses.

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Lyman native Brian Santy and fellow resident Sandi Moscicki submitted three petitioned articles for March's annual town meeting warrant to the town office Monday, hoping to make it clear that commercial wind towers are not welcome - or legal - in town.

The petitioned articles are identical to three that narrowly missed passage at the 2005 town meeting, and they come on the heels of news that a subsidiary of the international corporation UPC Wind is moving forward with plans to erect wind towers in Sheffield, Vt.

"We lost it by a few votes last year, so we're going to try again this year," said Santy, whose dairy farm sits at the base of Gardner Mountain, the site proposed by UPC last year for a wind study. "I don't want to see those wind towers behind my farm."

UPC Wind, an international wind energy corporation with U.S. headquarters in Newton, Mass., applied last year for a variance from Lyman's 35-foot height ordinance. That variance would have allowed the company to erect a 150-foot anemometer to measure wind speed, direction, and frequency on Gardner Mountain, which runs much of the length of Lyman, providing a backdrop to the town's fields, church steeples and old farmhouses.

In the summer of 2004, the Zoning Board of Adjustment denied UPC's variance request. The company later withdrew its application, then reapplied last September. That application was also withdrawn, in January. The ZBA has indicated that UPC would also require a use variance for the anemometer, as there is no industrial activity allowed in the town's zoning ordinance.

Meanwhile, UPC has faced stiff opposition from Lyman residents. Many argue that the anemometer, which the company has said would be a temporary structure, would be the first step toward a full-fledged wind farm on Gardner Mountain. UPC officials said last year that their intent, should wind conditions prove adequate, would be to install up to 20 wind turbines measuring 320 feet. Because of their height, the towers would have to be lit at night.

Such a development, many residents argued, would negatively affect the town's rural character and pastoral scenery and would lead to a decrease in property values.

Santy said Monday that a wind farm on Gardner Mountain would also be visible from as far away as Sugar Hill and Franconia in New Hampshire and Peacham and Waterford in Vermont.

The first of the petitioned warrant articles submitted Monday would "define a tower, pole, or similar structure erected to facilitate scientific wind data gathering as an industrial use." The second article would "provide for a definition of temporary structures ... that expressly excludes structures erected or installed on a temporary basis to gather scientific wind data."

The third article would add a paragraph to the town's existing height ordinance to "protect the town from intrusive structures that visually pollute and upset Lyman's rural character."

While the wording has not changed from the articles petitioned onto the 2005 warrant, Santy and Moscicki said they believe the articles failed last March because voters were unclear of what a "yes" vote meant.

"A lot of people in Lyman said they were a little confused about how they were worded on the warrant," Moscicki said of the articles.
This time around, she said, she and Santy plan to educate voters about the implications of the articles before town meeting in March.
"We need to stop it before [the towers] are up," Santy said. "It's too late once they're up."

No one answered the phone Monday at UPC's St. Johnsbury, Vt., office.

Source: http://www.caledonianrecord...

DEC 13 2005
https://www.windaction.org/posts/683-wind-farm-issue-to-return-to-town-meeting-in-lyman
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