BREWSTER – Voters showed their favor of open space and green energy during the final 45 minutes of the fall town meeting.
They passed a bylaw that outlines regulations for wind turbines in town Monday night. And, they voted unanimously to spend $630,000 of the town’s Community Preservation Fund money for a 10-acre open space parcel in the Stony Brook Valley.
Before Monday night, wind turbines were not permitted under the town bylaws. The new bylaw will, among other things, require a building permit for turbines up to 75 feet and a special permit from the planning board for turbines 75 to 130 feet tall. Turbines taller than 130 feet can only be built in certain designated areas of town.
Three residents had already applied for building permits for residential turbines and were waiting for the town meeting vote, said Assistant Town Administrator Jillian Douglass.
The approval also makes room for the town to pursue a municipal turbine that theoretically could take care of all of the town’s roughly $200,000 in municipal electrical needs. A draft report in August by the town’s consultant, Black & Veatch, identified three suitable sites in town for a turbine.
The Stony Brook Valley purchase voters approved is south of Route 6A near the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History. The museum, along with the Brewster Conservation Trust and a state self-help grant, will make up the rest of the $1.2 million purchase price.
The owner of land next to the parcel has agreed to donate a permanent conservation restriction on 30 acres, and the museum, the town and the conservation trust previously set aside a total of 70 acres in the area.
The land is considered critical to the protection of the Stony Brook herring run to the south, and to protecting Paine’s Creek and Cape Cod Bay from septic system discharge in the area.
Voters also indefinitely postponed an article that would have placed restrictions on earth-moving businesses in town. The planning board and water commissioners said the move was necessary to protect groundwater. After some debate, voters agreed that the article needed more work before they would pass it.
By Robin Lord
7 November 2007
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