There is only small to moderate potential adverse effect.
Those were the words used Wednesday night that helped seal the approval of Windhorse Power LLC’s request for a conditional-use permit to build a wind-turbine facility.
The repeated phrase was used by both the Town of Beekmantown Zoning Board of Appeals and their consultants to the State Environmental Quality Review application, Saratoga Associates.
Environmental impact, air quality, wildlife, aesthetics, transportation, noise and open spaces for the more than 700-acre facility were discussed. Matters of historical heritage and health impacts were evaluated by Saratoga Associates as having no potential for adverse effects.
Windhorse Power was given their permit to build up to 13 wind turbines standing at no more than 80 meters at the hub of the turbine development.
The conditions to the firm were long and numerous, affirming that they are now committed to constructing what they had proposed and no more.
“Any change whatsoever is a new deal,” Zoning Board Chairperson Janice Marchut-Conrad said.
Earlier this year the Clinton County Planning Board decided against granting Windhorse Power’s application, requiring that the Zoning Board achieve a majority plus one vote from their five-member board.
The Beekmantown Zoning Board unanimously accepted the recommendations from Saratoga Associates, who were hired to independently examine Windhorse’s proposal. The Zoning Board considered Windhorse an essential service – giving them the only conditional way into this residentially zoned area.
“Obviously, we’re immensely pleased,” Windhorse partner John Warshow said after the decision. “They (the board) did a lot of work, a really thorough job.”
The Beekmantown High School Auditorium was quiet during the meeting, which was in stark contrast to prior public board meetings that have included loud outcries and conversations from the audience in opposition to the project.
Some residents mentioned before Wednesday’s meeting that they will be appealing the decision.
“We all know what the decision is going to be,” said Bill Hutton. “I guess the only thing to do is prepare for court.”
By: Lucas Blaise
February 01, 2007
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