Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from New York
While satisfied with existing wind turbines, town officials are looking to better regulate any future wind projects, both large and small. "We just want to make sure they are done to manufacturers' specs," Lowville Town Supervisor Arleigh D. Rice said. The Town Council earlier this month held a public hearing on a proposed wind power zoning law but is awaiting review by the Lewis County Planning Board before adopting it, Mr. Rice said.
No action was taken on the proposed Enfield wind law Wednesday, but town officials did discuss revisions to the law. Town Supervisor Frank Podufalski read recommendations from the Tompkins County Planning Department to about 25 people in attendance that suggest a decrease in the allowance for noise, permit fees and increased setbacks from property lines and easements.
The Holland Town Board, in the initial stages of writing a law on wind farms in the town, may adopt a moratorium on such entities as early as next month. Wednesday, the board unanimously approved a public hearing for 8 p. m. Dec. 10 to impose a moratorium on wind farms until a local law regulating them has been adopted. Eleven months ago, the board organized a subcommittee to investigate the sometimes controversial source of power. Since then, the group has studied various town ordinances to create a law that will suit the town.
Windmills were put on hold in the town of Throop as the board voted unanimously to impose a six-month windmill moratorium at its Wednesday night meeting. No site plan approvals, building permits or certificates of compliance, variances, or requests for rezoning related to wind power generating facilities will be considered for six months after the moratorium law is filed with the state.
The setbacks in the proposed Enfield wind law are not large enough, according to a letter from the Tompkins County Planning Department to Town Supervisor Frank Podufalski, but following that advice could kill the wind farm proposal for a site near Connecticut Hill. The planning department recommends increased setbacks between property lines and the wind towers ...If the Enfield Town Board does not adopt the recommendations, it will need a supermajority, which means four votes on the five-member board, to pass the proposal into law.
It seems the proposed Enfield wind law - whether it passes or not - is going to leave some residents unhappy. ...Dissenters at the meeting complained the proposed law contains setbacks of 450 feet from structures, such as homes, and 100 feet from property lines. ...Town Supervisor Frank Podufalski said he appreciated the turnout, and said Enfield "has a golden opportunity to pass a law with the right restrictions."
Newly named New York Power Authority chief executive Richard Kessel is drawing up a 10-year plan that includes a wind farm "of significant size" off the Atlantic coast and a new sub-Atlantic power cable, he said Thursday. ...Kessel said he has already had a phone conversation with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg about the wind farm, which he envisions producing between 200 and 500 megawatts of power - potentially 150 turbines. A Bloomberg spokesman said the mayor and Kessel will meet on the topic in coming weeks.
State Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo has taken the lead at the state level to bring some oversight to the proliferating proposals for wind power developments across the state. Mr. Cuomo has drafted what is now a voluntary set of ethical guidelines for wind power companies and municipal officials in the wake of a corruption investigation in Franklin County, where wind companies are alleged to have improperly influenced local officials to get permission to build wind towers.
Members of the committee formed to produce a zoning amendment to deal with wind farms want specifics. During a meeting Thursday afternoon, the committee agreed to ask the acoustical engineering firm Cavanaugh Tocci Associates, Sudbury, Mass., to evaluate the noise-measuring methods in different laws. That firm panned Hessler Associates' ambient noise study in BP Alternative Energy's draft environmental impact statement for the Cape Vincent Wind Farm. "My request would be that these documents should be sent to Cavanaugh and Tocci for their review," said Richard Macsherry, Tibbetts Point.
At a special Town Council meeting Monday, a silenced crowd was sharply divided against the town board as it passed a law regulating the creation of wind energy farms. The law passed 3-0. James Pitcher and Russell Stewart did not vote because they have recused themselves from wind law meetings for conflicts of interest. Roughly 20 community members attended the meeting, which was not open to public comment.
The Farmersville Town Board voted Monday to place a moratorium on wind farm applications while changes are made to a 2007 law regulating wind-energy conversion facilities in the town. The updated law will require a host community agreement with a wind-energy developer prior to the town's approval of a wind farm, according to the town's wind-energy attorney, Eric Dadd.
A Vermont wind energy company is in the very early stages of developing a wind farm in Schenectady County. A site for a 79.2-megawatt wind farm is being studied in the towns of Rotterdam and Princetown by Reunion Power LLC of Manchester. Steve Eisenberg, Reunion's managing director, said the company has not yet acquired land for the project, although a meteorological tower has been erected to collect data.
The Tioga County Planning Board gave a positive recommendation Wednesday on a proposal from the town of Barton to place a 180 day moratorium on the installation of wind energy facilities within the town. The Town of Barton currently has deficient ordinances in place to regulate new wind energy facilities, the board said.
The members of the committee formed to produce a zoning amendment to deal with wind farms changed their minds about boundaries for the area in which turbines would be allowed. About three weeks ago, the committee tentatively agreed to set Route 6 as the western boundary for a wind overlay district. But Wednesday afternoon, the committee decided that the entire agricultural-residential district should allow turbines. That once again adds some land west of Route 6 and south of Bates Road. That land had five turbines planned for BP Alternative Energy's Cape Vincent Wind Farm.
The Hornellsville town board believes wind energy is the way to go. The board, joined by members of the town planning board, passed a resolution Tuesday night opening the town up for wind development. Bob Panter, chair of the Hornellsville town planning board, said town officials have been reviewing wind energy in general for several years. "We got a bus and the board members and some residents went to Tug Hill (a wind turbine development in Lewis County)," he said. "The town needed to be sort of experts on wind."
The Westfield Town Board adopted a Final Scoping Document for Babcock & Brown's proposed Ripley-Westfield wind turbine project at its October 1st meeting. The Final Scoping Document was prepared by the Town Board, as co-lead agency with the Ripley Town Board, in conjunction with consultants from Environmental Design & Research. The Ripley Town Board is expected to discuss the document at an upcoming meeting.
The long-awaited full report on the Horse Creek Wind Farm noise study will go public in a week, the town announced Wednesday. But the availability of the report was not enough to satisfy upset residents who stormed into the council meeting demanding that the town start formulating a local law to limit noise levels of wind turbines and establish setbacks. "We need to start clearing the air," said Patricia Booras-Miller, vice president of Environmentally Concerned Citizens Organization of Jefferson County.
The Town Board is taking the advice of its new lawyer and will introduce a one-year moratorium on wind farm proposals, pending changes to the town's Wind Energy Facilities law that was adopted last year to regulate permits. During a special board session Monday night, acting Town Supervisor Joe Brodka said the step is being taken to protect the town. He assured about a dozen property owners and residents in attendance that the move shouldn't cause Noble Environmental Power to abandon its plans for a project in the town.
Wind power in Tompkins County took another step toward becoming a reality with the completion of a wind law for Enfield. The Enfield Town Board is still months away from adopting the law, but a draft of it was reviewed by the board and its attorney, and is now in the hands of the Tompkins County Planning Department for additional scrutiny.
The boundary for the wind turbine overlay district is set tentatively as Route 6 to the west and the riverfront district to the north. The town's wind zoning amendment committee agreed to those boundaries at its meeting Thursday afternoon. ...The lakefront district is excluded under the Route 6 boundary, as is a section of agricultural district land west of Route 6. "There are people out there that would be affected," said Beth A. White, president of Voters for Wind.