The Bovina Town Planning Board is expected to vote Tuesday on an amendment for the town that would ban commercial and residential wind turbines.
The board will first have a public hearing to discuss the amendment, said Town Councilman Charles McIntosh. That hearing is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in the town hall.
McIntosh said small turbines _ about 120 feet tall _ are allowed if they pass a site-plan review. He said there haven’t been plans proposing turbines in the town.
“I believe this is a historic event for Bovina,” said Tom Craveiro, co-director of the Alliance for Bovina, which opposes commercial wind farms. “Bovina will probably be the fourth or fifth town in upstate New York to ban commercial wind turbines.”
Craveiro said town councilmen haven’t shared their viewpoints on the amendment, but citizens have. He said he feels the councilmen will listen “to the voice of the people.”
Bovina is one of several towns in Delaware County that is coming up on a deadline on a wind-turbine moratorium. Meredith’s is set to expire next month, said Town Supervisor Frank Bachler. He said the Town Planning Board has spent a great deal of time working on a wind ordinance.
“We would allow no wind turbines in the town of Meredith,” Bachler said of the potential ordinance.
Bachler said some differing opinions are on setbacks and shadow flicker. A setback is the distance between the turbine and other buildings; shadow flicker is the shadow that the blades of the turbines create.
The Meredith Planning Board met Monday night to further discuss its wind ordinance.
“There are people who want to build wind turbines,” Planning Board Chairwoman Keitha Capouya said. “The town has to have an ordinance.”
Capouya said she expects the moratorium to be extended until the ordinance is in place. Town Board and Planning Board members need to meet before the ordinance can be completed and passed.
“There’s not enough time,” Capouya said. “I don’t know how you make all the pieces come together.”
Capouya said there are “different philosophies” between the Town Board and Planning Board. Those differences need to be worked out before an ordinance is put in place, she said Thursday.
Capouya said it isn’t the job of the Planning Board to ban wind turbines in the town.
“The people should have a say in what happens in the community,” Capouya said.
It is the board’s responsibility to make decisions to preserve the health and safety of the town, Capouya said. That’s where research, data and decisions come in.
“This is a complex issue,” Capouya said. “We’re talking politics. We’re talking international corporations. We’re talking a lot of things.”
She continued, “We need to protect our citizens. We’re the only ones here to do it.”
By Amy L. Ashbridge
9 March 2007
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