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Proposal would allow wind towers  

Town committee seeks setbacks, standards for review

With the proposed affordable housing district apparently heading nowhere, the zoning subcommittee of the Barnstable Planning Board hopes to have better luck tilting at windmills.

A proposed zoning ordinance will be presented by the committee for town council consideration to allow windmills by special permit across town.

The only mention in current zoning, according to planning director Tom Broadrick, is as an accessory to a home. Other uses, such as accessory to businesses or non-profits, are not mentioned.

The idea is to create a set of setback standards and other regulations to handle windmill requests across town. County Garden on West Main Street in Hyannis is investigating installation of a wind generator, as is the Cape Cod Synagogue, according to the discussion at this week’s planning board meeting.

Subcommittee chairman Steve Shuman said the approach is unique because it offers a moveable setback based on the height of a proposed tower. The setback will be suggested at 2.5 times the height of the tower. For example, a 30-foot tower would need a 75-foot setback from all property lines, and a 100-foot tower would require 250 feet.

Shuman and Broadrick explained that this approach requires larger lots for wind generators, and would keep any rotating blade over the owner’s property. Other factors include sign-offs regarding flight paths and airspace.

The proposal could be presented to the town council in time for a first reading at the Oct. 19 meeting.

David Still is the editor of the Barnstable Patriot. He welcomes your feedback.


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