The Town Board gave preliminary approval to a draft ordinance that would regulate the installation of large windmills to generate electricity in the town.
The ordinance is similar to one proposed by Rockland but includes elements of other model ordinances, including one already in effect in Dodge County.
Under the town of Wrightstown ordinance, one conditional use permit would be issued for all of the windmills an applicant wanted to construct in the town. However, each windmill would require a separate building permit, giving the town the power to make sure that each windmill would be appropriate to its location.
The ordinance limits wind farms to the eastern half of the town – bordered on the east, north and south by the town lines and on the west by the ledge formed by the Niagara Escarpment just east of the borough of Greenleaf.
A key element of the ordinance is establishing setbacks from inhabited buildings, protecting them should any windmill topple.
Town Chairman Bill Verbeten urged a fast track for approval of the ordinance. “I think we should get it done soon because there are people who are signing contracts,” Verbeten said.
Forward Energy is the only firm proposing wind farms in the town at this point.
The Town Board gave preliminary approval to the ordinance and ordered a public hearing and final approval at a special Board meeting at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 30 at the Town Hall.
— Ed Byrne is editor of the Wrightstown Post-Gazette.
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