Three months more: Move will give seasonal residents a chance to obtain information, share opinions
The Lyme Town Council voted unanimously to extend the town’s moratorium on industrial wind development for a third time at a special meeting Thursday night.
During the meeting, the council members briefly discussed a protest petition submitted by a group that opposes the proposed zoning law amendment for wind energy facilities. The petition claims it will require a supermajority of the council’s votes to pass the zoning law amendment for wind power systems.
“The amendment will need four votes if it is a legal, proper petition,” town Attorney Mark G. Gebo said.
The petition is based on Town Law Article 16, Section 265, on changing zoning laws. The section has several requirements for accepting such a petition, but it primarily requires that if a petition contains signatures of the owners of 20 percent of the land affected by the proposed change, the change must be passed by a 75 percent majority of the council.
The town must verify that the petition does follow those requirements before acting on it.
On the moratorium, about eight members of the public spoke up during a public hearing before the decision, all in support of continuing the moratorium.
Dawn M. Monk, Three Mile Bay, said the council members should all look over the answers from the survey the Planning Board ran last summer and “hopefully, come back to the table,” she said. “It appears the board has an agenda of its own and will not listen to any dissenting opinion.”
Deanne L. Scanlon suggested the moratorium be extended three months. “Most seasonal residents come in July,” she said.
Elaine S. Bowers agreed. “The nonresident taxpayers need a chance to hear all the information, too,” she said.
The council first created the moratorium in April 2007 and extended it in November and January. Now, the moratorium will last until July 31.
Supervisor Scott G. Aubertine said the extension will allow the council to have more time to consider everyone’s opinions.
“We want to make sure we do what’s best for the whole town,” he said. “We need to make sure we’ve looked into every possible avenue and have done our homework.”
He encouraged the council members to look through the survey answers.
After the special meeting, the council and Planning Board had a third and final work session on the zoning law amendment.
Along with minor changes that created continuity throughout the law, the officials took out a provision requiring an industrial wind developer to turn over wind data from anemometer towers.
Councilman G. Norman Schreib said, “We’re going to ask them to submit a report. Once it’s in our hands, we can ask for more data to back it up.”
The Town Council will next consider the zoning law amendment in part two of the state environmental quality review process. The council will hold a special meeting at 6:30 p.m. May 6 at the town office.
By Nancy Madsen
Times Staff Writer
18 April 2008
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