Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from Massachusetts

WindWise Fairhaven blows open door of closed session

FAIRHAVEN - An expected closed-door meeting between the selectmen and two wind consultants turned into a lengthy public forum Monday night after members of WindWise Fairhaven crashed the meeting. Selectmen wanted to meet with consultants George Aronson and Barry Sheingold in executive session to discuss the viability of a $7 million proposal to erect two turbines on rented town land near Little Bay, not far from homes and near the town's bike path. Land deal negotiations are allowed in executive session under the state's Open Meeting law. But about 30 people filled the meeting room and invited television cameras to the session, putting selectmen and the consultants on the spot. "We are not against wind power, but we have some concerns about the turbines and where they're going to go," said group member Kenneth Pottel. "We just think a lot of things need to be fleshed out."
28 Mar 2007

Cape town tilts toward erecting two windmills

Many Cape Cod residents do not want a giant offshore wind farm in the waters of Nantucket Sound. But Orleans is plowing ahead with separate plans to install two giant wind turbines in a small town forest to generate electricity for its water treatment and pumping stations - with enough energy left over to feed electricity into the regional power grid. The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, a quasi-government entity that promotes new energy technologies, has filed proposals with state environmental regulators to construct two 400-foot turbines on a town-owned hilltop within a forested watershed area. The agency is working closely with the Cape town of Orleans, which sees the project as potentially reducing its water-treatment electric bills by $100,000 or more a year.
26 Mar 2007

Fairhaven Group opposes windmill

FAIRHAVEN - The members of WindWise Fairhaven say they're not against wind power - they just don't want a windmill near their bike path. Members of the citizen's group and a selectman candidate voiced concerns about wind turbines to about 20 citizens at a meeting in the Fire Station last night. "I, too, am worried about global warming. I saw Al Gore's movie. But we need to look into this more. I have a lot of concerns," said selectman candidate Ann Ponichtera DeNardis. The group is concerned about the impact that two industrial turbines would have on the Little Bay Area.
26 Mar 2007

Windmill project still a go for now, but the clock ticks

HANCOCK - Building inspector William Palmer Jr. said Friday he will accommodate the developmental delays of the Berkshire Wind Project, but only to a point. Palmer said he has issued several permits and extensions to Distributed Generation Systems Inc. since 2000 for 10 planned wind turbines on Brodie Mountain. In that time, contractors have dug five turbine foundations, he said. The latest six-month extension technically expires on June 15, and the project has been halted by a legal suit from the nearby Snowy Owl resort, whose owner, Silverleaf Resorts Inc. claims that construction cut trees from a portion of its land and that some of the turbines would mar the "viewscape" of a planned time share development.
24 Mar 2007

Lease question could affect wind farm review

On March 29, the state might say "go" while the Cape Cod Commission says "no." Like many, the Commission awaits a decision from the state's Executive Office of Environmental Affairs as to whether Cape Wind Associates' final environmental impact report on a proposed wind farm in Nantucket Sound receives a certificate of adequacy. Such a certificate is needed to trigger review of the project by certain local agencies, including the Cape Cod Commission. But the commission is not sure whether, by law, it can begin its review process unless Cape Wind has demonstrated some control of the property. In this case, that would mean a lease agreement and/or easement from the Minerals Management Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of the Interior.
23 Mar 2007

Critics oppose quick state OK for Cape Wind FEIR

Possession, they say, is nine-tenths of the law. So who possesses Nantucket Sound? Most who spoke Monday at a Cape Cod Commission public meeting on Cape Wind Associates' Final Environmental Impact Report to the state said it's not the property of the company that claimed Horseshoe Shoal for its proposed 130-turbine wind park. Proponents of the project, on its way to costing a billion dollars, were outnumbered at the microphone but not in their zeal. For them, such wide-scope questions were well beyond the document on the table for review, given limits on the state and commission's jurisdiction.
20 Mar 2007

Acushnet considers wind turbines

ACUSHNET - Loranger Power Co. has interested selectmen in the idea of capturing the wind as a way to generate revenue for the community and defray monthly electricity costs. Will Acushnet go green in energy circles? Christain Loranger said the Acushnet Valley Golf Course off Main Street - or the area adjacent to it - might prove suitable for a data recovery turbine and perhaps, in time, for three or four wind turbines measuring 200 feet tall.
19 Mar 2007

Cape Wind faces hurdle

When it comes to reviewing Cape Wind's final environmental impact report to the state, some voices speak louder than others. And one of those voices is the Cape Cod Commission. Barnstable County's regional planning agency is one of 17 federal, state and municipal agencies involved by statute in reviewing and issuing permits for the wind farm proposed for Nantucket Sound. This week, commission staff issued a report that is not only critical of what Cape Wind submitted in its 5,407-page environmental filing but recommends the state delay accepting it by requesting more information.
16 Mar 2007

Wind farm foe seeks alternative sites

The Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound has hired a company to explore sites for offshore wind farms. Yes, that's correct: the most vocal and visible opponent of a 130-turbine wind farm in Nantucket Sound is shelling out money to assess the viability of wind farms off the coast of Massachusetts and other states.
16 Mar 2007

Air Force wants 400′ turbine on Cape Cod

The Air Force Center for Environmental Excellence wants to build a 400-foot wind turbine in the southwestern corner of the Massachusetts Military Reservation on the Upper Cape. The AFCEE announced today that a public comment period will be open from March 19 to April 17. A public presentation of the plan will be held April 11 at 6 p.m. at the Bourne Best Western, 100 Trowbridge St. That location's not far from two of the area's existing turbines, one at Massachusetts Maritime Academy and the other at Upper Cape Regional Technical High School.
14 Mar 2007

Cape Wind report draws lines for battle

Cape Wind Associates - the company that wants to build a wind farm on Nantucket Sound - last month filed a 5,407-page report to provide state, county and municipal agencies with the information they need to consider the company's permit applications. Required by law under the state Environmental Protection Act, the so-called Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) is now under review by the state Executive Office of Environmental Affairs. Ian Bowles, the state environmental secretary, is due to make a final decision on whether to accept the report by March 29.
14 Mar 2007

Commission seeks comment on wind farm

The Cape Cod Commission will conduct a public meeting regarding a proposed wind farm in Nantucket Sound at 6:30 p.m. Monday, March 19 at Mattacheese Middle School, Higgins Crowell Road, West Yarmouth. The meeting is not a typical public hearing for the commission, said Margo Fenn, its executive director. It is intended to allow the public to comment on the final Environmental Impact Report recently filed by Cape Wind Associates, the would-be developer of 130 commercial wind turbines on Horseshoe Shoal, to the Massachusetts Environmental Protection Act Office. The commission will then consider the public comments as it prepares its own letter of comment for MEPA.
9 Mar 2007

More time sought for public comment

In the war over plans to build a wind farm on Nantucket Sound, a new battle has erupted. Joining the fray are individuals and groups who say they are undecided about the Cape Wind proposal to build 130 turbines over 24 square miles on the Sound. One issue unites them: They say the 30-day public comment period following the company’s filing of an environmental impact report with the state last month is not long enough. The public comment period ends the week after next, and on March 22 the state Executive Secretary of Environmental Affairs, Ian Bowles, will announce whether Cape Wind’s environmental impact report passed state muster. If it does, the document will become the information source for all state, county and municipal agencies that will consider Cape Wind applications to build the turbines, lay electric transmission cables from the Sound to the Cape and build a transmission plant in Yarmouth. While the report is not a permit to begin building the wind farm, its acceptance by the state ”triggers the official time clock for the Cape Cod Commission’s regional regulatory review of the Cape Wind proposal as a Development of Regional Impact,” according to commission executive director Margo Fenn.
7 Mar 2007

Two companies bid to build wind turbines

PRINCETON— As Municipal Light Department Manager Jonathan V. Fitch reviews proposals for 1.5-megawatt wind turbines, his two major concerns are timeliness and value. Mr. Fitch opened two bids Friday and expects to make a recommendation Wednesday to the Municipal Light Board on a proposal to pursue. Patriot Renewables of Quincy submitted a proposal for two General Electric turbines on 65-meter towers with a project cost of $7.8 million. Lumus Construction of Woburn proposed two Fuhrlander turbines on 70-meter towers, at a cost of $6.4 million. Both proposals meet the Light Department’s specifications.
5 Mar 2007

Zoning the wind; Worcester officials moving forward in timely fashion

City officials properly are moving forward to fashion an amendment to the zoning ordinance that would allow the siting of wind turbines in the city. The use of wind turbines and windmills is not addressed in the city’s zoning amendment. Under the proposal being considered, they would be allowed through a special permit process before the Planning Board. Last week the City Council Land Use Committee sent what it called a “viable ordinance” to the Planning Board. The board will set up a public hearing process. When the Planning Board hearings are completed, the City Council will hold hearings. While the two-step process may appear cumbersome, it will give residents time to air their views and will ensure that potential negative effects on neighborhoods are addressed upfront.
5 Mar 2007

Change of direction

EASTHAM — The planning board knocked the wind out of the energy committee Monday, voting to withdraw a proposed zoning bylaw for the construction of up to four 400-foot-tall wind turbines on 12 acres of town-owned land off Nauset Road. The energy committee had hoped to see the proposed bylaw on spring town meeting warrant, but after 2 1/2 hours of discussion and input from nearly 70 residents, most of whom live near the proposed site, the board agreed it did not know enough to move the bylaw forward.
3 Mar 2007

Gone with the wind, for now

EASTHAM — The town’s efforts to erect up to four 400-foot wind turbines in North Eastham were swept away by a mighty squall this week. At a public hearing held Monday by the planning board, more than 70 property owners successfully opposed bylaw that would have permitted the turbines’ construction on a town-owned, 12-acre site off Nauset Road. The planning board ultimately agreed to shelve the proposed bylaw regulating commercial turbines until the town had done at least another year’s worth of planning. However, members did vow to revise a residential turbine bylaw, in time for this spring’s Annual Town Meeting, that would regulate the conditions under which property owners could erect turbines. Overall, the atmosphere of the two-and-a-half-hour hearing was angry and accusatory on the public’s side, rife with allegations that the town — in particular, the ad hoc energy committee charged with developing a wind energy proposal — had not adequately studied potentially deleterious noise and environmental impacts that the commercial turbines would have on the abutting residential neighborhood.
3 Mar 2007

Tribe gets say on wind farm

Along with federal recognition comes a seat at the table for members of the Mashpee Wampanoag, who will have a voice in determining the future of a proposed wind farm in Nantucket Sound. Members of the tribal council have made their views clear: While emphasizing support for alternative and renewable energy projects, they oppose Cape Wind Associates’ plans to build 130 turbines on Nantucket Sound. They’ve asked that alternative sites be considered.
1 Mar 2007

Wind turbine debate ends in compromise

Although the “wind chill” factor continued Monday night in the debate over an appropriate height, in the end, selectmen decided to seek bids on three wind turbine heights — 80, 100 and 120 feet. The pursuit of wind turbines for Town Hall and the police station has broken into two camps with Selectman David Dionne listening to one expert, Lighthouse Electrical Contracting, and Rob Rebello and others relying on an unsolicited analysis by Paul Gay of Northeast Windpower Corp.
1 Mar 2007

Wind plan OK’d by panel

A proposed zoning amendment that would allow the siting of wind turbines in the city has received a green light to proceed through the public hearing process. The City Council Land Use Committee last night approved a resolution, calling the proposal a “viable ordinance” and recommended that the council trigger the public hearing process by referring it to the Planning Board.
1 Mar 2007
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