CHAUMONT – Residents in Lyme will have the opportunity to express their views on wind farm development this month.
This week, the town Planning Board is sending surveys to all property owners asking where wind turbines should be sited.
People who live in the interior of the town are in favor of wind farm development, based on interviews conducted by the Times.
Jeff S. Duncan, a resident on County Route 179, hopes the Lyme Town Council will move forward with wind power development efficiently.
“I don’t think Lyme is too bad,” he said. “But just listen to what’s going on in Cape Vincent. It’s taking too long.”
Mr. Duncan said he lived in Cape Vincent until he moved last year.
His neighbor, Bonnie J. Detwiler, who has property on the Chaumont River, also believes the process should move forward.
“It seems to me there are wind farms being investigated everywhere in the country,” she said.
Mrs. Detwiler said issues such as noise and birds have been thoroughly investigated. She said she hopes the town will be ready to move forward when its six-month moratorium on wind farm development is over. Both residents said they do not have leases with a wind company.
BP Alternative Energy has proposed the Cape Vincent Wind Farm, which would cross over into the town of Lyme. The company has not released a map of turbine locations, but has released a proposed project area. It plans to put 30 to 60 turbines in Lyme and 60 to 80 in Cape Vincent.
While BP has applied for wind farm development in the town, it is not the only company interested in the area. Residents along County Route 125 say they have been approached by PPM Atlantic Renewable, the company proposing the 65-turbine Horse Creek Wind Farm in Clayton.
The Lyme Town Council enacted a six-month moratorium on wind farm development in April and hopes to establish zoning for turbines within that time frame.
The council is appealing to the commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Conservation to be lead agency for the environmental review on the portion of the Cape Vincent Wind Farm that falls in Lyme. The Cape Vincent Planning Board established itself as lead agency for the entire project last winter. Lyme officials, though, say wind farm development in Cape Vincent has been too rushed.
The town survey asks property owners if they favor turbine development and if it is important that transmission lines be buried. It asks respondents to indicate if turbines should be set back 1,500 feet, 3,000 feet, 4,500 feet or farther from waterfronts, the village of Chaumont and the hamlet of Three Mile Bay.
It also asks respondents what level of noise from wind turbines they would be willing to live with: tolerable, intrusive, very noticeable, objectionable and very objectionable to intolerable.
The survey includes a map of the town with six outlined areas. Property owners are asked to identify where they feel turbines should be permitted in the town.
“We’re trying to find out what people really want,” said Judy A. Tyndall, Planning Board secretary.
The surveys are due back to the town by Aug. 15.
The survey comes just weeks after the town held an informational meeting on wind farm development at Lyme Central School.
Residents heard from Paul G. Carr, a professor of environmental engineering at Cornell University, Ithaca, Kevin McAuliffe, an attorney who assisted in economic agreements made with Maple Ridge Wind Farm in Lewis County, and Keith D. Pitman, president and CEO of Empire State Wind Energy. Payments in lieu of taxes have not yet been discussed in the town of Lyme.
Donnalee K. Dodson, superintendent of the Lyme Central School District, said she learned a lot about the noise that turbines can produce.
While wind farm development would bring revenue into the school district, the superintendent said she believes there needs to be at least a 1,000-foot setback from schools to ensure turbines are not a distraction
By Kelly Vadney
Publication: Watertown Daily Times (Watertown, NY)
Publication Date: 08/04/2007
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