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Meeting set on wind-turbine law draft  

A fourth and final joint meeting of the Meredith Town Board and Meredith Planning Board will be held at 6 p.m. Monday to finalize changes to proposed wind-power regulations, Supervisor Frank Bachler said Friday.

The two boards have disagreed in previous meetings on matters including the use of property setbacks for industrial turbines.

Bachler said the meeting would be held in the supervisor’s room at the Sen. Charles Cook County Office Building at 111 Main St. in Delhi.

“We have made some changes and we are still open to changes, but this will probably be the last meeting before the public hearing,” Bachler said.

A public hearing on the proposed regulations will be scheduled at the June 12 Meredith Town Board meeting, he said.

The Town Board rejected the Meredith Planning Board’s proposed wind-power regulations at a joint meeting April 23, Keitha Copouya, Planning Board chairwoman, said Friday.

Bachler said the board directed Rosemary Nichols, town attorney, and Nicole Franzese, county planning director, to remove proposed setbacks from the regulations and replace them with performance standards for wind companies.

At the May 14 joint board meeting, Nichols went through the 33-page draft ordinance, outlining changes from the previous draft submitted by the Planning Board, Bachler said.

Bob Rosen, Alliance for Meredith spokesman, said that by throwing out the Planning Board’s proposed ordinance, the Town Board “disregarded the yearlong research done by the Planning Board.”

Copouya said the Planning Board thoroughly researched industrial-scale turbines 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.

The concerns are usually dealt with by using setbacks from properties and homes, Capouya said. The proposed setbacks were 2,500 feet from homes and 1,600 feet from property lines, she said.

Copouya said the new draft is based on a template provided by the county Planning Department, which is based on the town of Clinton’s ordinance. She added that the attorney who represents Invenergy in Stamford drafted Clinton’s ordinance.

Rosen said the Town Board’s actions are against the principles in the comprehensive plan that emphasize preserving the rural quality of life in Meredith.

“We are willing to explore the possibility of wind power, but we need to do it in a way that isn’t so devastating,” Rosen said.

Rosen said if the draft ordinance becomes law, it will be among the least-protective wind ordinances in the United States.

Krystine Hilton-Hadley, Alliance for Meredith spokeswoman, said people who have not voiced their opinion on industrial wind “need to show up and make themselves heard.”

She 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. Meredith’s moratorium on wind power projects expires July 11.

By Patricia Breakey

Delhi News Bureau

The Daily Star

2 June 2007

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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