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Lawsuit keeps home windmill in the doldrums

Meanwhile, Burgess and a group of citizens - all of them supporters of alternative energy sources - have worked with planning board vice chairman Taylor White to craft a bylaw that clearly defines the use of residential wind turbines. Windmills are allowed under current zoning laws, but not much is said about them beyond that. In fact, Burgess was initially turned down by the zoning board because he filed his special permit request under the wrong provision of the bylaws. The proposed regulations seek to end the confusion and put clear parameters on residential windmills, White said. The new bylaw would dictate setback requirements, height restrictions at 150 feet - 180 feet if evidence is shown to warrant a taller turbine - and define how town officials can deal with someone who abandons a tower, among other provisions, White said. The proposal was modeled after bylaws recently approved by town meeting voters in Bourne, as well as other Cape communities.

SANDWICH - The two wind turbines Kevin Burgess purchased online more than a year ago are still boxed and sitting inside a shed.

Burgess won unanimous zoning board approval one year ago to erect the two 30-foot, 1 kilowatt windmills behind his 7 Bishops Path house. But his next-door neighbors, the LeBeaus, sued, objecting to the appearance and potential noise. The case remains stalled in Barnstable Superior Court.

"We could use them today," Burgess said last week of the turbines. "It's windy out there."

Meanwhile, Burgess and a group of citizens - all of them supporters of alternative energy sources - have worked with planning board vice chairman Taylor White to craft a bylaw that clearly defines the use of residential wind turbines.

Windmills are allowed under current zoning laws, but not much is said about them beyond that. In fact, Burgess was initially turned down by the zoning board because he filed his special permit request under the wrong provision of the bylaws.

The proposed regulations seek to end the confusion and put clear parameters on residential windmills, White said. The new bylaw would dictate setback requirements, height restrictions at 150 feet - 180... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

SANDWICH - The two wind turbines Kevin Burgess purchased online more than a year ago are still boxed and sitting inside a shed.

Burgess won unanimous zoning board approval one year ago to erect the two 30-foot, 1 kilowatt windmills behind his 7 Bishops Path house. But his next-door neighbors, the LeBeaus, sued, objecting to the appearance and potential noise. The case remains stalled in Barnstable Superior Court.

"We could use them today," Burgess said last week of the turbines. "It's windy out there."

Meanwhile, Burgess and a group of citizens - all of them supporters of alternative energy sources - have worked with planning board vice chairman Taylor White to craft a bylaw that clearly defines the use of residential wind turbines.

Windmills are allowed under current zoning laws, but not much is said about them beyond that. In fact, Burgess was initially turned down by the zoning board because he filed his special permit request under the wrong provision of the bylaws.

The proposed regulations seek to end the confusion and put clear parameters on residential windmills, White said. The new bylaw would dictate setback requirements, height restrictions at 150 feet - 180 feet if evidence is shown to warrant a taller turbine - and define how town officials can deal with someone who abandons a tower, among other provisions, White said.

The proposal was modeled after bylaws recently approved by town meeting voters in Bourne, as well as other Cape communities.

The wind bylaw would address what officials believe will be an inevitable surge in requests for backyard turbines as energy prices soar and interest in alternative power sources intensifies.

"We want to make sure there are some standards in place," White said.

The public had its first chance to weigh in on the issue at an informal hearing last Monday night. At that time, about a half-dozen residents and some town officials made suggestions to tweak the proposed bylaw.

One suggestion the planning board will consider for the future is to make a wind turbine a shared use for a cluster development, White said. The idea was proposed by assistant town engineer Samuel Jensen, but it doesn't fit with what the subcommittee is trying to accomplish. "We'll look at putting it as an amendment to our cluster zoning bylaw," White said.

According to White, there was some discussion about setting a limit on the number of turbines in a neighborhood, but no one on the subcommittee thought that was necessary.

Unless the price of a residential turbine - currently $10,000 to $15,000 - comes down, "we don't think a lot of people are going to put them up," he said.

In late July or early August, the bylaw will be presented to the full planning board for the first time. It will require a public hearing and, ultimately, town meeting approval to become part of the local regulations.

Regardless, it won't help Burgess, who is still waiting for his day in court. "I'm still eager to get them up," he said.

George Brennan can be reached at gbrennan@capecodonline.com.

 

Proposed residential wind turbine rules
Number of turbines: One per lot, up to 10 kilowatts.


Height restriction: 150 feet. Towers proposed within Route 130 safety zone (near the military base) require FAA approval.
Fall zones must be within the boundaries of a private property.
Abandonment provisions.
Building inspector must investigate noise complaints.

 

Source: draft bylaw



Source: http://www.capecodonline.co...

JUN 14 2007
https://www.windaction.org/posts/9465-lawsuit-keeps-home-windmill-in-the-doldrums
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