The potential approval of a wind turbine on Kurt Karpavich’s Farm Circle property again provided an impassioned debate during the Planning & Zoning public hearing on Wednesday, January 16.
After much debate Mr. Karpavich was asked by P&Z Chair Dave Minnich if, “there was some means you might consider withdrawing this application?” With the prospect of a long court battle in the future, Mr. Karpavich responded, “it would be easy for me to cop out and let the judge decide the matter, and let you guys [P&Z] off the hook.”
Mr. Karpavich continued to say that he had sought consultation from former Town Attorney Franklin Pilicy and was advised to file a new application for the wind turbine under new regulations.
Mr. Karpavich described his battle to gain approval for the wind turbine as “a national issue.”
“It’s not just this meeting,” said Mr. Karpavich.
Mr. Karpavich initially agreed to withdraw his application, however, he later changed his mind and decided not to withdraw. The public hearing on the matter was closed and P&Z voted to table action on Mr. Karpavich’s application.
Prior to the aforementioned decision, Farm Circle residents continued to plead with the members of P&Z for a resolution to the issue which will not allow Mr. Karpavich to have a wind turbine on his property. Following a sitewalk of Mr. Karpavich’s property last month, members of P&Z still have yet to determine which area of Mr. Karpavich’s property is best suited for the wind turbine. P&Z has tried to find a resolution to the issue which suits both parties, including surrounding neighbors, who have expressed their opposition to the wind turbine under any circumstances.
The wind turbine regulations were approved last fall when details of wind turbine approval was set according to various factors including height variance and setback distance, as well as minimum acreage requirements according to the residential zone.
Joe Guerrera and his wife Kim live behind Mr. Karpavich, and claimed that if the windmill was allowed to be installed, the structure would be facing their front yard due to the fact that they live on an interior lot on Farm Circle. Consequently, Mr. Guerrera and his wife Kim have filed a lawsuit against Mr. Karpavich, claiming that the installment of the proposed wind turbine will decrease the value of their property by as much as $100,000.
Mr. Guerrera had a real estate appraiser, Douglas Lampert, present to explain the situation facing the Guerreras. Mr. Lampert said in real estate appraisal terms, the installment of the windmill on Mr. Karpavich’s property would be a form of “depreciation due to forces outside the control of the individual who owns the property.”
Mr. Lampert said the wind turbine “would affect this property by $100,000 minimum in damages.”
Mr. Guerrera expressed dismay at P&Z’s approval of wind turbine regulations, saying, “I trusted you to make the right decision and you have let everybody down.” Mr. Guerrera went on to say, “I worked my entire life to build that house.”
“The thought of the home being devalued breaks my heart,” said Mr. Guerrera.
Jackie Daddona, another resident of Farm Circle who has vehemently opposed the possibility of a wind turbine from the outset said, “these were all issues that we brought up to you [P&Z].”
“All of this could have been avoided if this process was done correctly,” Mrs. D’Addona said.
Edwin Durgy disagreed with the claims made by residents of Farm Circle, believing their arguments were “subjective” as they were based on the belief that the wind turbine would detract from the beauty and the harmony of the neighborhood. Mr. Durgy said he hoped “the commission can look past these appeals and move forward with what I believe is a really great step forward.”
The P&Z is expected to discuss Mr. Karpavich’s wind turbine application again at their next regular meeting Wednesday, February 6.
By Tom Burns
24 January 2008
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