Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from Vermont

Residents frustrated by lack of Information, participation from developers of Holland wind project

The lack of information from developer David Blittersdorf, consultants or the farmers left residents, Holland property owners and wind opponents from neighboring towns including Albany, Craftsbury, Lowell and Newark to seek answers from each other and anti-wind experts. And it clearly led to a nearly unanimous straw vote by a show of hands in opposition to the project.
27 Jul 2016

Irasburg Wind: Test tower violation case intensifies

Wind energy developer David Blittersdorf is intensifying his fight to avoid being found in violation of state regulations and being penalized for having a wind test tower without a permit on his Kidder Hill property. ...This week, the Irasburg select board rejected an undisclosed offer by Blittersdorf that if accepted would have taken the town out of the hearings over the alleged violation.
2 Jul 2016

Irasburg talks break down over Blittersdorf’s wind test tower

The Vermont Department of Public Safety, the state’s consumer advocates, the town of Irasburg and the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources now want the state’s utility regulators on the Public Service Board to determine he violated rules in a summary judgment. On Thursday, the PSB hearing officer handling the case, George E. Young, set a schedule for motions and comments about the situation, which could lead to a decision about the investigation and whether it goes forward by late summer or early fall.
20 Jun 2016

Energy siting bill enters final stretch with wind noise provision under scrutiny

One remaining hurdle may involve different interpretations over whether specific language in the bill constitutes a moratorium on wind over the next year. As the bill is currently written, next year the Public Service Board will write specific rules on allowable sound decibels produced by wind turbines. The rules would be retroactive, going back to April 15 of this year.
5 May 2016

House approves energy siting bill

Bray said the bill sets the bar quite high for developers who seek to overturn siting decisions in regional and municipal plans. S.230 also directs the Public Service Board to develop standards for how much noise can come from wind energy generators. Finally, the bill would create a five-person Public Service Board working group to recommend changes that would make the PSB process easier for citizens to participate in.
27 Apr 2016

Energy siting bill passes with stricter wind provisions

The bill now states that on or before Sept. 15, 2017 the Public Service Board “shall adopt” specific sound standards for industrial wind turbines. These standards, once adopted, would apply to any project application submitted since April 15. “That provision is huge,” said state Rep. Michael Hebert, R-Vernon. “It addresses in a substantial way the concerns of the people here. They may finally get relief.”
22 Apr 2016

Short Sited

So despite all Anderson’s lofty talk of saving the world from global warming, these renewable energy projects have always been about the money. Throw up a bunch of renewable energy projects, hustle the tax credits and subsidies, and charge ratepayers exorbitant fees for intermittent power. Communities and mountains be damned.
3 Apr 2016

Senate votes to allow more local scrutiny of wind power

“The question here really is are we so distrustful of the Public Service Board — and for some in this room I'm sure the answer is yes — that the board can actually develop policies and behave in a way that does ensure people can have peaceful living if they happen to be located near a wind turbine,” Ashe said. In fact, the answer to that question was yes for the majority of the senators in the room, and the amendment passed.
2 Apr 2016

Good neighbors don't trespass

In granting Certificates of Public Good and their associated establishment and measurement of noise standards for wind turbines inside neighboring homes rather than at property lines, the Vermont Public Service Board (PSB) has essentially awarded wind developers an uncompensated nuisance noise, health, and safety easement across private property even though that neighboring parcel has not been leased to the wind developer. In effect, future development rights on thousands of acres of private property have been stripped from Vermont’s rural citizens.
2 Apr 2016

House member aims to expand requirements in energy siting bill

Rep. Marianna Gamache, R-Swanton, introduced five bills that would increase public notification requirements for proposed renewable energy projects and give communities the right to veto larger projects. ...“If you say it’ll help, I’ll go along with the program, as long as it’s something I don’t find offensive, and many people find industrial wind offensive.” 
30 Mar 2016

PSB member says solar rules will encourage input, better siting

Draft rules being unveiled Monday aim to improve the siting of solar projects by helping communities and residents give input and by creating financial incentives, according to a member of the Public Service Board. Margaret Cheney ...Well-placed solar arrays would earn the developer a higher rate from utilities for the electricity, known as a solar adder, Cheney said. Poorly located arrays would get what Cheney called a subtractor.
22 Feb 2016

Lawmakers discuss local control over renewable energy

Lawmakers concerned by a growing revolt against wind and solar projects are considering ways to give locals more control over the decision-making process. The Senate Energy Committee met Wednesday to examine the roles of the Public Service Board, regional planning commissions and municipalities regarding siting of renewable energy projects.
18 Feb 2016

Vermont’s energy siting struggle hits crescendo

On Wednesday, more than 100 protesters gathered at the Statehouse to demand local control for energy siting. Leading the demonstration were state Sen. John Rodgers, D-Essex/Orleans; Karen Horn, policy director for the Vermont League of Cities and Towns; and Don Chioffi, a member of the Rutland Selectboard. Together they argued the energy project siting process as it stands now oversteps the will of ratepayers.
21 Jan 2016
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