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First application filed for industrial zone wind turbine

HARWICH – The day after town meeting approved a zoning amendment allowing placement of wind energy systems in commercial and industrial zones, the planning department received its first application.

While the bylaw has yet to receive the official sanction of the state Attorney General’s Office, applicant Gerald Bojanowski of Depot Development, LLC, owner of property in the industrial zone in North Harwich at 500 Depot St., wants to get the process underway.

Bojanowski was one of the facilitators of the zoning amendment allowing for wind turbines in the industrial zone. Earlier this year sought a variance to allow a turbine on his property, but the appeals board said they did not want to legislate such uses through the variance process. Instead they urged Bojanowski to withdraw his application and seek a zoning amendment in the special town meeting.

Voters two weeks ago overwhelmingly supported amendments to allow wind turbines in both industrial and commercial zones. The town, in last year’s town meeting, approved the use of such systems in residential zones. A permit for a wind turbine has been issued to Bill and Tina Maloney on Hard Way in Pleasant Lake. That structure is scheduled to be raised within the next month.

The proposal filed with the planning board seeks to install a 20 kilowatt wind energy system with the tip of the upright rotor not exceeding 123 feet. The bylaw allows for up to 25 kilowatt systems with a maximum height of 150 feet. The provision does not allow for sale of electricity to the electric grid.

“In order to start the engineering process with NSTAR as well as apply for grant money and to place equipment orders (all of which will take several months) we are asking for approval of the special permit subject to the state Attorney General approving of this wind energy bylaw,” Bojanowski stated in his application.

“We understand that all monies and efforts expended will be at our sole risk. Considering the bylaw for wind energy systems in residential zones was approved by the Attorney General last year, we feel that this request is not inappropriate.”

Assistant town planner Elizabeth Hude said the applicant can move forward at his own risk, understanding that if the Attorney General’s Office does not approve the bylaw, the project will not be allowed. The planning board has set a public hearing on the application for Tuesday, June 12.

The applicant, in narrative accompanying the filing, said he does not feel the installation of the monopole tower and turbine will have any adverse affect on the neighborhood. He pointed out they are located in an industrial zone in North Harwich where personal wireless towers are permitted. Within a short distance there are two large, greater-than-200 feet, towers in the town of Dennis.

Bojanowski also said the type of generator proposed would be within the 35 to 40 decibel range and would meet Harwich regulations regarding noise.

by William F. Galvin