The Meredith Town Board rejected the Meredith Planning Board’s proposed wind-power regulations at a joint meeting April 23, Keitha Copouya, Meredith Planning Board chairwoman, said Tuesday.
The boards gave the task of drafting revised regulations to the town attorney and the Delaware County planning director, Copouya said.
“They want the regulations rewritten with no setbacks,” Copouya said. “Everywhere in the world, experts have decided that bigger setbacks are needed, but in Meredith they don’t want any setbacks. The whole thing is really bizarre.”
Capouya said the planning board has spent a year researching industrial-scale turbines. Research focused on wind power in Europe and found the biggest concerns are noise, shadow flicker from the moving blade, and the distance that ice or pieces of the blades can be thrown from the blades, she said, and concerns are dealt with using setbacks from properties and homes.
Meredith Town Supervisor Frank Bachler said the board directed Rosemary Nichols, town attorney, and Nicole Franzese, county planning director, to remove the setbacks from the regulations and replace them with performance standards for wind companies. The proposed regulations are to be presented at the next joint meeting of the town and planning boards at the Delaware County office building in Delhi at 6 p.m. May 14, he said.
Bachler said performance standards would force the developers to address noise levels, shadow flicker and adverse visual aspects.
But Copouya said performance standards are written by wind energy companies to set guidelines for the operation of the turbines. Capouya said the proposed setbacks were 2,500 feet from homes and 1,600 feet from property lines.
Krystine Hilton-Hadley, Alliance for Meredith spokeswoman, said the town board is not considering the research the Planning Board has done.
“We need an ordinance that works for everybody, and that is what Keitha produced,” Hilton-Hadley said Tuesday. She said she has searched for examples of wind ordinances based on performance standards without success.
“Meredith is setting a precedent by writing regulations that don’t protect the health and safety of the residents,” she said. “The only protection is an ordinance that makes the companies adhere to standards, including setbacks.”
Hilton-Hadley said the group has gathered the signatures of more than 800 residents and taxpayers who want to ban large turbines but support smaller ones for individual or farm use.
In March, the Meredith Town Board approved a three-month extension of its yearlong moratorium on industrial-scale wind turbines that was to expire in April, Bachler said.
By Patricia Breakey
Delhi News Bureau
2 May 2007
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding