In the lead article in Thursday’s paper, “Parcel owners act against Lyme,” and in a letter from Beth White on the same subject there is the implication that those of us who were involved in the drafting of a law governing the siting of industrial wind turbines in Lyme are against alternative energy. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
The majority of the residents in Lyme have simply expressed a preference for a zoning law so that the citizens of Lyme, and not the developer, determine what the town will look like in the future. The self-proclaimed pro-wind group comprises principally landowners who plan to profit from leasing proposed wind turbine sites on their land and favors the more lenient rules suggested by the developer.
Lyme’s recently adopted law is not “capricious and arbitrary,” as Dawn Munk claims. The law was drafted to take into account a survey of all of Lyme’s residents, accumulated knowledge of communities that have established wind turbine installations, and scientific data on the noise radiated by the turbines under differing atmospheric conditions.
After drafting by the Planning Board assisted by interested citizens, the law was intensively reviewed in three public hearings prior to its adoption, one a review before the Jefferson County Planning Board.
The residents of Lyme made it clear in the survey and the public hearings that their desire was to regulate the siting of the wind turbines in a manner that would not destroy Lyme’s established position as a prime summer lake resort and the peace and tranquility enjoyed by both year-round and summer residents.
The majority of our residents are simply not disposed to allow unregulated development on this proposed industrial scale to take place in Lyme. This does not make the residents “anti-wind,” or anti-alternative energy as Beth White seems to imply in her letter. The fact that we are facing extraordinary increases in the price of energy at this time does not make it sensible to leap at “green power” schemes offered by developers.
Rather it is more important than ever that we carefully evaluate alternative sources of energy to be sure that they will actually reduce our consumption of fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions, rather than simply enrich the developers at our expense.
Albert H. Bowers III
15 July 2008
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