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Commercial Wind Power Facilities Law of 2010 of the Town of Rensselaerville

A local law that amends the Town of Rensselaerville Zoning Law by prohibiting the siting, installation and operation of commercial wind power facilities in the Town of Rensselaerville.

The purpose and intent of this law is to clearly establish that commercial wind power facilities as defined herein shall not be allowed in any zoning district or on any land in the Town of Rensselaerville.

The Town Board of the Town of Rensselaerville as the rationale for this Local Law hereby finds that the installation and operation of commercial wind power facilities, as defined herein, in the Town of Rensselaerville will have a detrimental effect on the Town of Rensselaerville, its land values, environment and rural character with minimal or no corresponding benefit to the Town and its residents as well as limited, if any, and highly questionable benefit to society and the environment at large. This finding is based on the detailed study and report authored by the Town of Rensselaerville Wind Power Committee entitled, “Wind Power Committee Recommendations Report for Industrial Wind Power [1],” and dated, July, 2010 (hereinafter referred to as the “Report”). Said Report has been adopted and accepted by the Town Board as the official policy document on commercial or industrial wind power for the Town of Rensselaerville and is hereby incorporated by reference in this Law.

As set forth in the above-referenced Report, the installation and operation of industrial or commercial sized wind power facilities is incompatible with the Town of Rensselaerville Comprehensive Plan in that the nature, size and intrusiveness of such use will have a detrimental effect on the Town’s unique rural character the protection of which is the predominant policy set forth in the Comprehensive Plan. In addition, there are significant concerns and support in studies, referenced in the Report, that these types of facilities may cause detrimental impacts on health, the environment and safety as well as negatively affecting real estate values (which would have a tax revenue impact) within a fairly wide proximity to these facilities. Finally, as is demonstrated in the Report, Albany County and particularly the Town of Rensselaerville, does not have the sustained high level of wind speed to make this commercial/industrial wind power generation viable for consistent energy production that would make a material difference in overall “clean” power generation. As such, upon balance, the detrimental impact on community character, residential quality of life, environmental and health considerations that would be experienced locally both short and long term as a result of the operation of these facilities is disproportionally large and far outweighs the minimal benefit of additional “clean” electricity that such facilities may produce in the Town of Rensselaerville. …

Article II of the Town of Rensselaerville Zoning Law (Local Law No. 1 of 1991) (as amended from time to time) is hereby amended to include the following term and definition:

COMMERCIAL WIND POWER FACILITY: Any single or multiple wind turbines, equipment and or facilities designed for the generation of electrical power for connection to the power grid and/or sale of electrical power and includes any such turbine or facility with a generating capacity of more than one hundred kilowatts (100kW)

Article IV, Section 1 of the Town of Rensselaerville Zoning law is hereby amended to add the use “Wind Power Facility, Commercial” to the use table under the category of General Uses and inserting “Wind Power Facility, Commercial” under each zoning district indicating that said use is prohibited in all zoning districts of the Town of Rensselaerville.

Download original document: “Commercial Wind Power Facilities Law of 2010 [2]