BOURNE – The Bourne Board of Health has retained legal counsel to help write turbine- related regulations that might be used to review the controversial Ingersoll/Lorusso wind farm proposal off Scenic Highway, Bournedale.
Board chairwoman Kathy Peterson said Town Counsel Robert Troy has recommended that his associate, attorney Brian Wall, work with the committee on regulations.
She said Wall likely would be paid hourly from the town’s legal affairs account. The board does not have that line item in its budget.
Peterson hopes turbine regulations related to public health and environmental aspects of commercial wind structures can be drafted in January, approved by her board and be in place by February.
The New Generation Wind proposal of Ingersoll and Lorusso is still before the Cape Cod Commission awaiting a decision from that agency’s voting membership.
The plan in 2010 generated rounds of opposition from subdivision residents and home-building interests in neighborhoods surrounding the proposed seven turbines, which would reach nearly 500 feet into the air and dominate both the immediate landscape and surrounding Bourne vistas.
If the Commission approves the project, the Bourne Planning Board review would follow, with some members saying they would rely on the science involved in turbines to base their decision.
Peterson, however, says the Commission lacks the tools to mitigate issues such as turbine noise and that the very science into the structures’ impacts is either inconclusive or full of competing findings.
“We’ve determined there are public health and environmental issues involved with this (Ingersoll) plan,” Peterson said. “That would allow us to review the project, and the regulations should be intact to help us.”
Selectmen have approved Wall’s work with the board of health.
Peterson acknowledged it could be intellectually difficult for the town to support wide-scale development of property for homebuilding with increased density on one hand when developers with deep pockets next door – in an unforgiving real estate market – advance wind turbine plans that meet site requirements but are not attractive to neighbors, some planners or selectmen.
Selectmen voted 3-0 with two abstentions to oppose the Ingersoll turbine plan because of its location. Board of health discussion continues Jan. 26.
The Ingersoll/Lorusso proposal represents the first land-based wind farm in Massachusetts.
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