Residents who support the Jordanville Wind Project in the towns of Warren and Stark were faced with another obstacle last week in the building of a wind farm.
The New York State Preservation League has announced that the Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville is being placed on the “Seven To Save” list.
The list spotlights New York state historic properties that face challenges. It also draws attention to urban houses of worship that are in trouble, the threat of abandonment of municipally-owned landmark buildings, and the need to consider historic preservation in the face of development pressure. These seven places are in danger of disappearing because of lack of funding and financial incentives, insensitive public policies, general neglect, disinvestment and, in several cases, demolition.
The state placed the Jordanville monastery on the list by request of the deputy abbott who said the windmills will disrupt the sights and sounds of the 750-acres of land owned by the monastery.
Being placed on this list means the windmills will not be able to be built without review of the negative impact they could have on the monastery and an agreement between the two parties.
“It’s disappointing that some opponents of clean energy have abandoned honest argument and are now using underhanded tricks in order to block the development of clean energy in New York state,” said Carol Murphy, executive director of Alliance for Clean Energy New York. “There is simply no reason that the Holy Trinity Monastery cannot co-exist with a wind farm in the town of Jordanville for decades to come.”
“Clean energy projects can and should be developed in concert with the protection of New York’s landscape and historic structures. This project is good for Jordanville, good for Central New York, and good for New York state,” Murphy added.
“The Holy Trinity Monastery is of extraordinary historic, religious and cultural significance, but it is currently threatened by an industrial-scale wind energy project,” said Jay DiLorenzo, president of the Preservation League. “We are here not only to call for a thorough evaluation of the project’s negative impacts on the Monastery area, but to urge the adoption of statewide siting requirements for wind energy projects. Early identification, acknowledgment and protection of historic resources consistent with state and federal environmental review processes will level the playing field and protect the special character of historic communities and sites across the state.”
This setback comes just four months after the Jordanville project was scaled down due to effects the windmills could have on the Glimmerglass Historic District.
In September, the Department of Public Service reduced the number of turbines from 68 to 49 citing the turbines could have an “adverse impact” on the historic district.
It also comes after residents and landowners in the towns of Warren and Stark filed an Article 78 petition last year that stated the town of Warren Town Board, town of Stark Town Board, Jordanville Wind LLC and Community Energy Inc. did not follow the State Environmental Quality Review Act and the Open Meetings Law.
In December the residents won that case.
The ruling states that the towns did not do necessary tests on the land and impact of the windmills in the area. It also states that the towns failed to provide documents as requested by residents, which is in violation of the Freedom of Information Law and the board went into executive session without stating reasons that were approved to be going into executive session, according to the December ruling.
By Kim Dunne
Telegram Staff Writer
7 January 2008
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