By a vote of 3-0, the Town Board on Monday approved a one-year moratorium on wind farm development, giving a nine-member town committee time to research wind farms and make recommendations.
“This moratorium will give our committee time to thoroughly discuss the facts without the fear of a developer coming in tomorrow” asking for a project approval, said Supervisor Denny Roach.
One board member, Paul Rath, abstained. He is a landowner in Hamlin and has been approached by a wind power company. Another board member, David Rose, was out of town.
Developers haven’t yet asked the town to approve a wind farm. However, Massachusetts-based Competitive Power Ventures Inc. negotiated some land-lease agreements with property owners and built two 200-foot-tall meteorological towers in the town’s northwest quadrant late last year. The towers will collect wind speed and direction information for up to 18 months. That information will tell the company if Hamlin is a good spot for wind power.
Residents living there say they don’t want to look at a bunch of 400-foot-tall eyesores, don’t want the noise a wind farm would bring to their rural neighborhood and worry about the effect such a farm so close to Lake Ontario could have on migratory birds.
“I see a moratorium as one step in a long line of steps the town will take in regards to wind towers,” said Matt McDonald, a Cook Road resident.
More than 100 people attended the hearing and overwhelmingly urged the board to pass the moratorium.
Linda Morey of Moscow Road opposed the moratorium. “An individual has the right to request a property use in any way they see fit,” she said. “I don’t think it’s fair.”
The wind tower committee is expected to make its recommendations to the Town Board in December.
Meaghan M. McDermott
13 March 2007
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