The Somerset County commissioners are to be commended for efforts made to plan for the future of the Flight 93 Corridor.
The planning consultants made several recommendations that may lead to the creation of a pathway to the national memorial that will be well suited for this area of Somerset County. The consultants specifically stated that their goals for development included the conservation of farmland and natural areas and the preservation of scenic views and vistas. The consultants specifically mentioned the placement of road signs and the masking of cell towers as two examples of creating a positive viewscape. The planned development could result in aesthetically pleasing buildings and commercial sites and an area that would be a destination for tourists from all over the nation.
Unfortunately, the proposals for over 350 wind turbines (see http://alleghenywindwatch.blogspot.com/) spread throughout the adjoining areas to the Flight 93 Corridor makes such planning absurd. Current plans call for the erection of large numbers of 388 foot wind turbines on the ridges of the Allegheny Mountain and adjacent land areas. Each wind tower would require the clearing of a 400 foot circle for each tower and the construction of huge cement and steel supported foundation. Tourists will not experience the grand views currently found along Route 30, but rather will be greeted by a large number of industrial wind turbine sites. Why recommend the masking of cell towers and the lowering of signs when the wind turbines will dominate the area?
Wind turbines can be properly sited following the guidelines published by the Federal Fish and Wildlife Service or from regulations from the European Union.
Let us not forget that we are sacrificing precious forest, rural areas and adjoining home values for an industry that cannot make a profit without huge tax subsidies, is 30 percent efficient in Pennsylvania and will not decrease our dependence on foreign oil or provide significant amount of steady electricity at a reasonable price (without subsidies and tax breaks).
Once these areas are desecrated, it will be many years before any semblance of our natural areas and scenic vistas are restored.
Dr. Terence M. Doran
Vice-President Folmont Property Owners Association Centeral City area
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