The Planning Board will hold a public hearing tomorrow night on a proposed zoning amendment to allow the siting of wind turbines in the city.
While the city is interested in taking the lead in harnessing wind power as a clean and renewable energy source, there is a regulatory barrier preventing that. Because the use of wind turbines and windmills for the generation of electricity are not explicitly mentioned in the city’s zoning ordinance, they are not a permitted use.
Under the proposed zoning amendment, such facilities would be allowed through a special permit process before the Planning Board.
The City Council Land Use Committee recently approved a resolution, calling the proposal a “viable ordinance” and recommended the council trigger the public hearing process by referring it to the Planning Board.
The Planning Board is responsible for holding the first round of public hearings on the zoning amendment. It would then make a recommendation to the City Council, which would hold another round of hearings on it. The entire public hearing process could take four to six months.
The Planning Board meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. in the Saxe Room at the Worcester Public Library.
By Nick Kotsopoulos
City Hall Notebook
17 April 2007
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