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Please halt development of wind turbines in our town

I am writing to express my sincere opposition, as well as my spouse’s, to the proposed wind turbine at Stamp Farm, as well as the other large-scale wind turbines that are being proposed for open space use in our community.

While we are as interested as others are in identifying sources of renewable energy, we are very concerned about the appropriateness in both size and placement of the technology that is being proposed in three residential neighborhoods, at least one of which (the Stamp Farm proposal) is outside of the state’s urban corridor and in a location the town has actively sought to keep rural and protected through the transfer of development rights and many millions of dollars.

It is hard to imagine how having a 427-foot, noise producing, sun shadow flicker-creating wind turbine will help to maintain the Route 2 agricultural corridor as a tourist destination. Moreover, it is equally hard to understand why someone would want to move to the surrounding neighborhoods (including possibly a new village center) if these are put into place, creating a scenario that would only reduce income to the town.

Our town’s zoning and planning requirements have not matured to the point that we can be sure that large wind turbines will exist as safe and good neighbors inside our community. Because our current zoning laws do not implement similar reasonable and prudent restrictions for setbacks as other communities have, it leaves the issues of blade breakage, ice tossing, noise levels and sun-shadows in the hands of the project developers and their vested interests. Failure to enact requirements for safe distance setbacks not only endangers the lives of those living in the surrounding neighborhoods, but those driving by to look at the structure. Another concern is the lack of proof that these turbines will not cause any adverse health effects on those living in the surrounding areas, which is not only a concern for current residents, but also for potential tourists.
The town needs to decide if it wants to allow vertical development of any kind to continue unchecked, allowing a Trump Tower-height structure to be built in a bedroom community, or put regulations into effect that protect the nature of the community. More to the point, it absolutely must put into effect regulations that will ensure the public’s safety in regards to wind turbines.

An example would be the simple requirement of a setback minimum of 10 times the rotor diameter. To have a freestanding structure that is as tall as the tallest building in Rhode Island in a residential community does not make much sense. Moreover, it does not bring any income to the town, lowers property values, minimizes the efforts of the town’s comprehensive plan, TDR and prevention activities, and virtually eliminates our town as a desirable destination.

Please halt development of wind turbines in our town until responsible regulations can be put in place.

Sam and Tiffany Salvati

5 East Court