Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from Massachusetts
The smart money knew the fix was in two years ago when word started circulating that construction mogul Jay Cashman would move to erect a 120-unit wind farm in Buzzards Bay. ...Apparently Cashman is making things right for his wind farm proposal, too. House Speaker Sal DiMasi has not just admitted but declared that he and Jay Cashman are close personal friends as are their wives. Unable to leave well enough alone, the speaker goes on to say that his personal relationship with Cashman has nothing to do with a nasty little piece of stealth legislation he tucked into an energy bill last week. This stealth amendment would allow construction of alternative energy facilities -- read "wind farms" -- in state ocean sanctuaries where such construction has been strictly forbidden until now.
The surprise that one week before Thanksgiving Massachusetts Speaker of the House Sal DiMasi had thrown a last-minute Mickey into a state energy bill was no surprise at all…just business as usual. Well… maybe not so usual. The obvious beneficiary of this maneuver to allow development of “alternative energy” projects within previously protected state ocean sanctuaries is one Jay Cashman, multi-millionaire construction tycoon and close personal friend of the speaker. Cashman has announced his plans to desecrate Buzzards Bay in the name of renewable profits.
Cape Wind Associates today asked a state energy panel to overrule a decision by the Cape Cod Commission that blocked a plan to build a 130-turbine wind farm in Nantucket Sound. Cape Wind asked the state to green-light the project and approve all state and local permits needed for constructing the turbines. In a sweeping, 32-page petition, the developer of the wind farm proposed off the Cape and Islands seeks a "composite certificate" that would overturn a decision by the Cape Cod Commission and grant all other required permits.
...a 350-foot wind turbine may be too much of a good thing for Mountain Hill Road residents. ...The planning board made its decision Monday night, despite stiff opposition from neighborhood residents who packed town hall to protest the plan. ‘‘It's not that we're against wind energy, but the drop zone for one of the turbines would be within 85 to 200 feet of our neighbors,'' Mountain Hill Road resident William Gould said. ‘‘These things are monstrous, and they are right on top of our neighborhood. The impact would be devastating. ‘‘The bylaw says five acres and wind is enough for a turbine. If this is approved, what neighborhood is next?''
The town's plan to erect a temporary wind gauge tower next to the reservoir - part of a project to see if wind power would be economical for Somerset - is on indefinite hold because four residents have gone to court to challenge the Zoning Board of Appeal's approval of the test tower. ...Joseph Fingliss ...said he wouldn't support anything that might lead to having a turbine on the Cordeiro site. "It will definitely be visible from my house as it would Mr. Stafford's and many other people in the residential neighborhood," he said. "It's only going to lead to the possibility of the actual turbine itself being installed there."
A public hearing ended in a yelling match Thursday night, after a two-hour discussion about a proposed zoning bylaw, which would allow developers to build wind turbines in Savoy by special permit. Resident Marshall Rosenthal, whose comments made him appear skeptical about the proposal, refused to stop raising his hand when town officials attempted to draw the meeting to a close. "I will not put my hand down until I'm recognized," Rosenthal said ...Emotions seemed to spike among a handful of the nearly 80 residents who attended the meeting. Most of those who spoke raised concerns that wind turbine construction would lead to a marred viewscape and a series of nuisances, such as noise and light pollution. ...During the meeting, two Planning Board members repeatedly reminded residents that the Planning Board would soon be submitting another bylaw proposal for the town's consideration - one with many more restrictions.
Developers of a long-delayed plan to build 130 wind turbines in Nantucket Sound say they will appeal the Thursday's vote of the Cape Cod Commission to deny a permit for the project, threatening to kill it. A commission subcommittee recommended the denial, saying Cape Wind Associates, the developer of the project, was unwilling to provide more time and information. But Cape Wind's executives said the company provided exhaustive amounts of information about the project, which has already cleared previous hurdles.
The commission and Cape Wind disagree over whether the Cape agency has jurisdiction over effects of the project that come from the portion in federal waters. The existence of those "non-jurisdictional" areas - the turbines themselves - seems to have influenced the commission's review of Cape Wind's transmission lines, Rosenzweig said. ...Once the state makes a determination that a project requires an environmental impact report it automatically triggers a commission review. The state approved an environmental review of the project in March.
After a speaker accused the Cape Cod Commission of being "captured by a few special interests with enough money to buy just about anything they want, including the government agency intended to protect us all," its members voted unanimously yesterday for a procedural denial of the portion of Cape Wind's project on land and in state waters. The denial is without prejudice, which means Cape Wind can resubmit its plans as a Development of Regional Impact at any time. The decision did not address the 130-wind turbine installation itself planned for federal waters in Nantucket Sound.
It'll be up to selectmen to decide about fighting the Zoning Board of Appeals' decision to kill a plan to install a windmill at Fairbanks Park. Assistant Town Administrator Nancy Baker told selectmen last night that the Park and Recreation Commission itself does not have the authority to bring a lawsuit. Commissioners voted Monday to appeal the Zoning Board's Oct. 4 denial of a permit for a 90-foot wind turbine, which would power the lights at Fairbanks Park. The appeal, Baker said, "would have to come from selectmen."
The Cape Cod Commission has voted to deny a plan to build 130 wind turbines in Nantucket Sound. A commission subcommittee recommended the denial, saying Cape Wind Associates was unwilling to provide more time and information. But the company said it provided exhaustive amounts of information about the project, which has already cleared previous hurdles.
The City Council will discuss rules governing wind energy at its Tuesday meeting, according to the council's agenda. Councilor at-large Jay Cruz Jr., along with two members of the city's Zoning Board of Appeals, have offered a petition that would amend the Fitchburg code to govern wind turbines. "Basically it's important to get something on the books pertaining to wind energy," said Matthew Straight, a ZBA member and former city councilor who is co-sponsoring the legislation.
The Cape Cod Commission - a regulatory agency formed to slow the dizzying pace of development of the Cape in the 1980s - is expected to deny Cape Wind Associates a permit this week, potentially delaying the nation's first offshore wind farm even further. A subcommittee recommended that the commission deny the permit due to insufficient information - a ruling that prompted howls from allies of Cape Wind Associates, which has been pitching its plans to the commission and other governmental agencies for six years.
Quincy is taking the first steps to address the growing possibility of wind power turbines built within city limits, following the announcement by a local construction company that it plans to build a wind turbine on its own property and use the energy itself. ...While the time is right for a city ordinance, said Dave Murphy, the city's chief of operations, it's not yet time to encourage large-scale development of wind power because the city doesn't have a site. The city has been measuring wind speed at the police station on Sea Street, and at a privately owned radio tower inland at Quarry Hills, to assess the feasibility for sites, Murphy said.
A race for windmills - or at least windmill bylaws - is on in Savoy. Landowner Harold Malloy and the town Planning Board both are proposing zoning bylaw changes that will provide guidelines for wind-powered turbine development - with the board's yet-to-be-completed proposal having far more stringent guidelines than Malloy's. ...Town Clerk Phinney said she was fairly certain that Malloy's proposal, if put to a vote, would fail. "As town clerk, I get a lot of feedback while in my office, and the general attitude is mostly against the Malloy amendment," she said. "I won't say it's 100 percent, but I'd say 2 to 1 - and mostly because people don't like things changed very much."
FAIRHAVEN — The Fairhaven wind project and developer CCI Energy seemed one step closer to securing turbines for their project after the Orleans Board of Water Commissioners decided against proceeding with its own wind project last week. But that one step is still tantalizingly far from the finishing line now that the Orleans Select Board voted Wednesday night to reopen the review process.
City Council is considering seeking a financial contribution from the city's biggest company in return for allowing it to alter the horizon with wind turbines tall enough to be visible almost everywhere on Cape Ann. The issue was raised by Councilor Jason Grow as councilors inched toward a vote Tuesday night on permitting Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates to build what would be the tallest turbines in the state. "I support (Grow) on this," said Peckham. "The city will have to live with (the turbines) every single day."
Yesterday at a Cape Cod Commission subcommittee meeting, Cape Wind officials agreed to allow the regional planning and regulatory agency two more weeks to reach a decision on the project. The extension gives the commission until Oct. 21 to make a determination on the project.
The Cape Cod Commission is being squeezed by those who want it to kill Cape Wind Associates' proposal to build 130 wind turbines in Nantucket Sound and those who don't want it to review the plan at all. "If you're ever going to be in a position to exert your authority and the authority you're charged with by the Legislature, I would say now is the time," said Charlie McLaughlin, a lawyer for the town of Barnstable, in testimony yesterday before a subcommittee reviewing the project.
Massachusetts were shelved temporarily yesterday after officials were informed a wind turbine in Oregon collapsed and took a life four days earlier. Conveying the news, Michael Faherty, the attorney for Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates, had to raise his voice over the noise of a helicopter hovering above Blackburn Industrial Park. The helicopter was brought in by Varian to show the council and community how high and visible the twin turbines would be. ... The towers would rise 328 feet from their bases with blade heights adding another 168 feet, for a total of 496 feet - roughly the height of a 30-story building.