HARVARD – A Myrick Lane resident wants to construct a wind turbine on his farm, but his permit request was denied by zoning officer Gabriel Vellante.
Now, the resident has filed an administrative appeal, and the Zoning Board of Appeals has asked the Board of Selectmen for input.
Vellante denied the permit because he said he doesn’t believe the wind turbine is an “allowed use” under the town’s bylaws.
Selectman William Marinelli agrees.
“In our bylaws, if it’s not expressly permitted, it’s forbidden,” he said.
If the turbine is for on-site agricultural use, Selectman Timothy Clark said it shouldn’t be rejected out of hand and might be considered an “accessory use.” Spotlighting the town’s “right-to-farm” bylaw, he said the Agricultural Committee’s take on the matter is important.
“This could benefit farm operations,” he said, and the town might be able to find “legal navigations” to allow it.
“The challenge is it’s new technology” with no guidelines to address it, said selectmen Chairman Lucy Wallace.
A key point to know, however, would be whether the owner has on-site storage for the energy the turbine would produce. Absent that, the assumption is the owner plans to sell the turbine’s power to the grid, said Marinelli.
“I don’t think the use is agricultural,” he said.
The zoning board asked for the selectmen’s input by Oct. 15, but Wallace said it isn’t likely they’ll reach consensus by then. “We can submit comments as individuals,” she said.
By M.E. Jones
5 October 2007
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