Sutton voters unanimously approved the passage of 10 warrant articles, including a new bylaw to allow the use of wind turbines in town, at Tuesday’s town meeting at the Simonian Center for Early Learning.
The bylaw will allow small wind turbines to be placed in all non-village districts by way of a special permit. The system to be put in place will also include a tower and associated control or conversion electronics, which has a “rated capacity of not more than 20 kilowatts” as stated in the warrant.
The bylaw was sponsored by the Planning Board, with a stated purpose to “promote the safe, effective and efficient use of small wind energy systems installed to reduce the on-site consumption of utility supplied electricity.”
Design and site requirements lay down several restrictions, including turbine sound generation to less than 70 decibels, height to less than 120 feet, and no disruption generated by electromagnetic interference.
The article passed without contention.
Such was also the case with the Right to Farm bylaw, which sought to reaffirm laws protecting the agricultural rights of the people of Sutton. The bylaw restated farming definitions and the town’s declaration to maintain the agricultural integrity that reflects Sutton.
The declaration does not advocate for the acquisition or interest in additional land.
The 40 residents at the town meeting also unanimously passed eight other articles, many of which were simple housekeeping items for various town boards.
The only article to receive opposition was the installation of automatic sprinkler systems for new or substantially altered housing with multiple dwelling units, defined as four or more.
The article was one of two citizen petitions on the warrant, sponsored by H. Jacob Nunnemacher, who said the sprinklers would be installed in addition to what the building codes already call for.
Despite a close vote, the article passed. The town must wait one full year, however, until the measure goes into effect.
The other citizen-sponsored item, which called for the purchasing of a new quint fire truck to replace the current 1977 fire apparatus, was withdrawn by Nunnemacher. If passed at town meeting, the request article would have still needed a Proposition 2 1/2 override vote to be funded.
A quint truck is equipped with a fire hose, pump, ground ladders, an aerial device and water tank. Sutton currently does not have any quint trucks in service.
The final two articles, both of which passed unanimously, accepted John Road and Deborah Drive as public ways. The measure removed certain liabilities the town could potentially encounter when dealing with the roads in the future.
With no serious contention on any of the articles from the residents in attendance, the meeting went by at a brisk pace of approximately 25 minutes.
By Josh Farnsworth,
The Millbury-Sutton Chronicle,
18 October 2007
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