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Planners and public get first look at proposed wind turbine

For complete coverage of the public hearing, check back in with middletown.patch.com Wednesday morning!

The public got its first say in the matter of a nearly 300-foot proposed wind turbine Tuesday night.

The Middletown Planning Board met Tuesday night to discuss plans that call for a wind power generator up to 294 feet tall to be built at 485 Paradise Road behind the St. George’s School, a hillside location overlooking Sachuest Point. Plans submitted by Luise Strauss indicate that the primary use would be for a farm at that property and that power also would be sold to its neighbor, St. George’s boarding school, as well as National Grid, the state’s main power and utility provider.

The public hearing was the first of several meetings moving forward in the project’s approval process. Since many planners are seeing the proposal tonight for the first time and much public input is expected, at least another meeting is expected to follow before the Planning Board issues an opinion. If the project clears that hurdle, it would move forward to the Zoning Board of Review for a special use permit.

Other items on the Planning Board meeting agenda tonight included:

* A review of potential amendments to town zoning laws regarding wind turbines and “viewshed & historic landscape protection.”
* An advisory opinion regarding a wireless telecommunications facility for a project proposed by the City of Newport Water Department and New Cingular Wireless, LLC, on Reservoir Road.
* A special use permit for the Picerne Company’s proposed clubhouse expansion at the East Bay Village apartments off West Main Road.