Articles filed under Impact on Landscape from New York
Residents who support the Jordanville Wind Project in the towns of Warren and Stark were faced with another obstacle last week in the building of a wind farm. The New York State Preservation League has announced that the Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville is being placed on the "Seven To Save" list. ...Being placed on this list means the windmills will not be able to be built without review of the negative impact they could have on the monastery and an agreement between the two parties.
The sky above this rolling Mohawk Valley farmland is a battleground between golden onion-shaped domes of the nation's largest Russian Orthodox monastery and sweeping wind turbine towers intended to harvest clean power. On Friday, a statewide historic preservation group sided with Holy Trinity Monastery of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, where monks fear a proposed wind farm a mile away will disturb contemplative religious life. "The monastery is of extraordinary historic, religious and cultural significance, but it is currently threatened," said Jay DiLorenzo, President of the Preservation League of New York State. The group named the monastery as one of its seven historic sites statewide in need of protection.
In Enfield, developer John Rancich has proposed building 10-12 wind mills on Connecticut Hill. The wind farm proposal is controversial, to say the least. About 50 people packed a public hearing recently about a town proposal to limit where wind farms can be placed in relation to the nearest road. The hearing came amid allegations of previously secret meetings that violated the state's open meetings law. Rancich contends the "setback proposal," as it is known in Enfield, will wipe out his plans for a wind farm. All of this tension makes you wonder if a wind farm is worth it. We have neighbor fighting neighbor and governments under stress to regulate something they are not familiar with. The end result is the building of large structures that could, if placed in the wrong spot, disrupt our county's landscape. That said, we aren't opposed to wind farms. We just want them placed in the right locations.
Photos simulating turbine blades that soar above the treetops and church steeples here are giving residents an uneasy feeling. PPM Atlanta Renewable is proposing the 62-turbine Horse Creek Wind Farm in the towns of Clayton and Orleans, and is distributing photos depicting what the turbines will look ... Patricia Booras-Miller, vice president of Environmentally Concerned Citizens Organization of Jefferson County ...argued that the pictures were "made aesthetically pleasing" and that, when comparing the simulated towers to the trees, silos and utility poles, it's apparent the turbines' true height is not represented accurately. Though the 407-foot turbines are actually "10 times the height of a utility pole," they appear in the photos "to be only slightly higher," Mrs. Booras-Miller wrote in an e-mail Wednesday. "The views do not appear to be to scale and therefore not realistic.
As Cohocton wind turbines are being built skyward, local projects are still on the road to final approval. The Steuben County Industrial Development Agency will discuss projects in Cohocton and Howard at its next board meeting, Dec. 20, according to Executive Director Jim Sherron. The board will mull over the final project resolution on the 51-turbine Cohocton and Dutch Hill projects at the meeting, and Sherron believes the board will put it to a vote. ...One project that has been quiet lately is the proposed Airtricity project in Hartsville and Hornellsville. According to Sherron and Airtricity Project Manager Bob Sherwin, the project is currently stalled.
Does the Town of Enfield have the right to construct an industrial site that will harm a neighboring municipality? Who will defend the rights of Hector and Catharine residents to clean water and an unpolluted lake? These are issues that must be confronted now, before the pollution occurs. Enfield, Catharine and Hector must address these issues immediately and put in place wind farm statutes and regulations that respect each other's lives, borders and rights as neighbors. We all can appreciate the need for cleaner energy. However, we do not have the right to expose our neighboring municipalities to the drainage, runoff pollution and threat to water tables (not to mention the health effects of the noise and shadow-flicker) that will accompany Enfield's industrial wind farm.
A project is in the works that will dramatically change the face of Gore Mountain in the Adirondacks. A mining company that's been around since the 19th century, wants 21st century technology to make it a power producer. These days trees are tallest along the Adirondack landscape, but two years from now wind turbines could be towering over them on Gore. ...Barton has to get the approval of the state's Adirondack Park Agency, which won't be easy. It has a history of opposing tall structures, like cell phone towers. ... Another obstacle will be the Adirondack Council, a private non-profit environmental organization. While the towers aren't near any homes, the council does not like the idea of ten, 280 foot tall wind generators towering over the landscape.
John Rancich's proposed wind farm and set-back requirements have become issues of public interest at several town board and planning board meetings ...The wind debate in Enfield has primarily centered on the distance wind towers are set back from property lines. "I don't think it's proper to have windmills right on property lines," Fisher said. "I think there should be sufficient set backs for safety reasons."
Municipal officials riding a tour bus this week along Route 39 toward the town of Eagle first spotted several 300-feet-high wind turbines at a distance of about two miles away. A tour of the Bliss wind turbine park, sponsored by the Southern Tier West Regional Planning and Development Board, was set up to provide town officials in Cattaraugus County a variety of aspects on wind turbines. Proposals for wind turbine farms have been reviewed locally in communities that include the towns of Allegany and Carrollton as well as across the state line in Potter County. ..."This is my view now," he said pointing to the large wind turbines looming high above the tree lines. "This looks like the ‘War of the Worlds' out here, I mean I previously had a pristine, gorgeous view. "I can see 13 of these (wind towers) out here, and they say ‘your property value is going to increase' but do you think that's going to increase my property value," he asked.
The majority of the Gaines Wind Advisory Committee said at Wednesday's meeting that they don't believe wind energy is in the best interest of the Town of Gaines. ...Concerned Gaines residents filled the town hall to capacity Wednesday evening as they listened to prepared statements from each of the committee members listing worries about noise, costs, property values, vibration effects and the impact on wildlife. Of the eight-member board, two said they would be in favor of the 400-foot wind turbines. The remaining, including alternate Ted Swierznski sitting in for Royce Klatt, voiced opposition to the towers, while acknowledging their research is incomplete. "Federal and state subsidies are the only reason wind energy is taking a foothold in this country," said advisory member Marilynn Miller.
Megan McElligott and Jason Gotte feel as though nobody is considering the possible negative impact of Airtricity’s plans to construct 55 to 80 wind turbines in the towns of Gaines and Albion within the next few years. To educate others about the environmental and economic impacts of the 400-foot towers, the couple will host an informational meeting Saturday at the Quality Work Life hall in Albion. Speaker Jerry Borkholder from the Wind Tower Committee in Hamlin, who is considered a local expert on wind energy issues, will address the topic and answer questions. “I’ve been on the Internet reading everything and anything I can and I’m really very concerned,” said McElligott, a home health care aide. “I don’t think this is the future. If this is the future, we’re going to have a lot of problems.”
Each time I've visited the Maple Ridge Wind Farm I've become more depressed about wind energy development. I could never seem to reconcile the professed benefits of these projects with their obvious adverse impacts. But today I learned the most valuable reason to oppose this industry. The Maple Ridge project site is 12 miles long by 3 miles wide. Up and down the roads we went today and I viewed this industrial power facility once again. In viewing the entire expanse of impacted area I couldn't help but notice that there was no sense of a living community - no routine life. No people walking their dogs, no hikers, no bicyclers, no children laughing and playing (school was out), no clothes hanging out to dry, no school buses, no dogs barking, and very few birds, no one on their four wheelers on their own lands enjoying the open air. There were no roadside stands selling pumpkins. The serenity of rural community life that we all know and love here in northern Jefferson County was strangely absent. In its stead, we saw massive machines everywhere we looked, on both sides of the road. This was Bill Moore's world and PPM literally owned it all.
A controversial proposed site for the placement of a wind farm in Enfield is the focus of public concern and debate. The issue in Enfield is not "green local energy." The primary issue is the responsible location and safe placement of commercial windmills (400 feet tall) and wind farms.
So I sit on my front porch wondering what this countryside will look like in the years to come. Will red lights that top off towers be across the horizon? Will there be a distinction at all between country and city? Will the stars forever disappear? Or will we all end up in darkness?
... despite opposition, the big windmills are becoming a reality. In Wyoming County, in particular, it could be possible within the next decade to look from most of the major hills to the next ones and see wind turbines.
Gordon Yancey of Martinsburg, N.Y., (about 55 miles northeast of Syracuse) ...owns Flat Rock Inn on Tug Hill, where 195 nearby windmills spin in the breeze, make noise, throw ice from the blades in winter and drive away the snowmobile and ATV riders who are his main customers. The 400-foot-high towers don't attract tourists, but instead lure rubberneckers, Yancey says. "They drive up the road, look at that these things, get out of their cars and take some pictures and then drive away." Yancey says. "They don't stay and spend their money here." Curious people may find the windmills interesting the first time they see them, Yancey says. "But by the second and third time, they realize how truly ugly and distasteful they are...
Major players in the Jordanville Wind Farm controversy were left confused and disappointed following last week's decision by the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) to approve the proposal with stipulations. Landowners, taxpayers and members of the Friends of Renewable Energy (FORE) were outraged with the decision to cut 19 turbines from the proposal, and also voiced concerns with the wording of the decision.
...All this, and the promise of quick money, effectively silences all voices of reason in the debate that will bring the most drastic change some communities will ever experience. Why? Because wind companies know that their shining green (dollars) exterior is simply a facade which quickly unravels upon critical examination.
Some residents are furious that the landscape that they have known and loved will soon be gone. "The skies are beautiful. You'll get the northern lights and you don't have all these flashing lights around. And now with the substation going in, the light off that at night, I'm going to need curtains in the house!" said LaClair
As a veteran of the wind turbine war over East Hill in Cherry Valley, I have advice for residents of Fulton and Richmondville.