Local law number two.
That’s the zoning law that would allow windmills to come to Cohocton and the one that has town officials and residents in court. They’re debating whether the town board underwent the necessary environmental review before members passed the law.
“It looked at all the environmental issues it had to and that it ultimately issued a negative declaration stating the local law in and of itself would adversely affect the environment,” said Patrick McAllister, an attorney for the Town of Cohocton.
The review did not address the impact of the actual windmills. The town attorney says each wind farm will have a review when it’s proposed. The lawyer for a group opposed to windmills says that’s too late.
“By deferring the consideration of various issues to the date when a particular applicant wants to build windmills, when that applications is considered, didn’t follow the law properly,” said Richard Lippes, a lawyer for Cohocton Wind Watch.
Also at issue is whether the wind farm law goes against the town comprehensive plan, which protects the agricultural integrity of the community.
“We believe windmills were inconsistent with the town of Cohocton’s comprehensive plan,” Lippes said.
He says huge industrial structures do not promote an agricultural way of life. The town attorney says windmills complement a farming lifestyle.
“This can be a revenue source for the farmers, and as far as the footprint of these windmills, they don’t take up a lot of space so that you still have almost all of your agricultural land for use,” McAllister said.
The land that remains without windmills, at least for now.
By: Kat De Maria
9 May 2007
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