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Supervisor requests wind law revisions  

CHAUMONT – Pleas from Lyme landowners have pushed town Supervisor Scott G. Aubertine to seek reduced setback requirements for the proposed zoning law amendment.

Mr. Aubertine asked Town Council and Planning Board members to consider his alternative proposal during a work session on the proposed zoning law amendment Tuesday night.

He said he had heard from several landowners who wanted turbines on their land, but fell within the proposed 4,500-foot setback from Lake Ontario, the Chaumont River, the village of Chaumont and the hamlet of Three Mile Bay.

On March 25, he submitted a proposal to Planning Board and Town Council members to change some of the proposed setbacks.

The changes include lessening the setback from the village’s limits to 3,000 feet and from seasonal roads to 600 feet. For other locations, such as along Route 12E from Chaumont to County Route 57, he proposes lengthening the setback to 2,500 feet.

“There are some residents out there that would really like some turbines and they won’t be able to have them,” he said. Then, he named several people.

Planning Board member Paul D. Norton said that during the time Lyme officials used a townwide survey to determine the setbacks, “We didn’t attach names. Once you find names for who can and can’t have the turbines, you get emotional.”

Planning Board chairwoman Anne M. Harris said, “The minimum aspect of the setback is 21/2 times the height, and that’s for safety, and the 4,500 feet came from our survey.”

Mr. Aubertine said he would post an explanation of his proposal on his Web site, scott aubertine.zoomshare.com.

The boards took only two actions on the proposed setbacks, not addressing Mr. Aubertine’s proposal. They eliminated a clause that added a redundant setback by calling for turbines to be placed 21/2 times their height away from the edge of the Wind Overlay District, the area where turbines are allowed. The 4,500-foot setbacks from Lake Ontario, Chaumont River, Three Mile Bay and Chaumont are the district’s boundaries. The boards also eliminated the phrase “public land where people gather” from a 2,500-foot setback requirement. They had sought to protect playing fields, which are inside the village’s boundaries.

Other changes included:

# Adding “vegetation” to the section calling for wildlife impact assessments.

# Making color an aspect to be approved by the Town Council.

# Changing a provision so that neighboring property owners will submit a request for fencing around a turbine to the Town Council, who will determine necessity and type.

# Making seasonal roads off-limits to developers during the winter unless they have suitable equipment.

# Clarifying a clause limiting the time frame for site work so it should begin within two years of receiving the permit and allowing for additional one-year extensions.

# Clarifying a clause so that visual impact simulations will be made from strategic places in the town “in consultation with the Zoning Board.”

The boards will have another work session on the amendment at 6:30 p.m. April 17 at the Three Mile Bay Fire Hall.

By Nancy Madsen
Times Staff Writer

Watertown Daily Times

2 April 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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