Cohasset – As of early Thursday morning, the Planning Board will no longer be accepting public comment or more information on the Trustees of Reservations’ wind turbine proposal on top of Turkey Hill.
The third session of public hearings held on Wednesday night began at 9p.m. and finished at 12:45 a.m. with a majority vote to close the public hearing portion of the process.
A large contingent from Hingham – mostly from the Turkey Hill neighborhood – came out to voice their concerns on the project. Noise, shadow flicker, visual impact were all questioned and discussed at length.
The town’s noise consultant Jim Barnes of Acentech confirmed he was satisfied the noise generated by the turbine would be within the town’s zoning bylaw and state regulations for noise.
Yet, residents were concerned the topography of the area would further propagate the noise of the turbine.
“Sound is different where I live. I’m very worried I’m going to be hearing this turbine all day long,” said Hingham resident Julie Dale of 40 Turkey Hill Lane. She said she could hear a Hingham High football game (over a half-mile away), the commuter rail train and even the Hull II wind turbine on occasion.
“No one is saying there will be no impact, no sound, but what we are trying to determine is does it meet the guidelines in the bylaw,” said Al Moore, planning board chair. “We’ve got experts and we’re trying to come up with informed opinions.”
The Trustees are proposing an 80-meter (262-foot, 410-feet, including the height of the blades), 1.8-megawatt turbine by Vestas is the targeted machine. The potential turbine site is surrounded by open space and would be sited south of the existing cell towers.
The proposed site for the turbine, including setbacks, is entirely in Cohasset, but Hingham residents could potentially be more impacted by the turbine than Cohasset residents. The closest Cohasset residence is the Golden Living Center off Route 3A.
Also a concern for Hingham residents is the delivery of the massive turbine. Any plans to transport materials via Leavitt Street and Turkey Hill Lane would require review by Hingham’s permitting boards.
Hingham residents and the Hingham Board of Selectmen requested the Cohasset Planning Board postpone closing the hearing to allow for more time for review of the technical data and to address Hingham residents’ concerns. Many of the Turkey Hill residents said at the public hearing on Dec. 8 that they had only recently found out about the project.
The Planning Board will deliberate on the application and potentially make a decision on Wednesday, Jan. 12 at 8p.m.
This is the second time a wind turbine project has been before the Cohasset Planning Board. The board denied a two-turbine proposal by a private developer located off Route 3A near Hingham Lumber earlier this year.
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