FREETOWN – Residents will get a chance to comment on a new wind turbine bylaw and zoning regulation revisions at a public hearing scheduled for 8 p.m. Jan. 22 at the elementary school.
“The public will have an important opportunity to come and look at the culmination of all this work,” Selectman Jean C. Fox said.
Officials took two years to complete the turbine bylaw and 33 pages of zoning bylaws. They plan to have the bylaws, including a zoning map, posted on the town’s Web site before the meeting.
According to Ms. Fox, zoning bylaws are necessary to avoid uncontrolled growth.
“We modified the bylaws so that they fit better with what we want for zoning. The consensus in town at this point is that we cannot continue with what we started in the 80s. You just cannot have unfettered growth,” Ms. Fox said.
She added that Payne’s Crossing, the retail complex that developers are seeking to build in Assonet, has “really opened people’s eyes” and caused them to think about zoning.
Selectmen Chairman Lawrence N. Ashley said that although he tends to support using alternative energy, there could be problems if people start building them without guidelines.
“We are concerned about putting wind turbines in backyards without any thought to neighbors. We are not saying no; we just want it done correctly and for it to be structurally sound. We don’t want a wind turbine falling into someone else’s yard,” he said.
Freetown was given a grant by the Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District to create the bylaws.
By Kim Ledoux
14 January 2008
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