A packed house Tuesday night, in the Town of Litchfield. Residents both for and against wind turbines came out to hear Attorney Daniel Spitzer, hired by the town, give his recommendations on what their options are in terms of proceeding with a possible law on turbines in the area.
Lots of legal details were laid out on the table, dealing with what the town can and can not do when it comes to wind turbines.
The Wind Committee, made up of town residents, has already set forth a proposal on zoning for wind turbines, that includes a formula for turbine set backs. The committee’s proposal also provided for an operating permit that would get a review after five years. Spitzer gave his recommendations for zoning that would put turbines at a closer distance to residences, (in comparison to the Wind Committee Plan) and Spitzer’s plan also provided for a land use permit instead of an operating permit.
The President of North Wind and Power, who wants to build 8 to 12 turbines in Litchfield, says that people are always going to be resistant to change. He says the project would be a positive development, saying “a wind project would be very beneficial in many ways, obviously it would clean the air, wind energy lowers electricity production costs, and of course it would bring benefits in payments to the municipalities, land owners, and bring jobs during construction and also there would be jobs during operation.”
Meanwhile, residents like Pat Christensen found a conflict with the attorney speaking to the board. “I think there is a definite conflict, the attorney tonight said he wouldn’t mind living next to a wind turbine.” Spitzer disclosed tonight that while he was hired by the town, he has worked for wind companies in the past.
Some residents spoke out tonight saying they came to the meeting because they are in favor of turbines, largely for the economic boom they hope it would bring to the town.
Spitzer advised the board they’ll likely need to do an environmental impact statement going forward. He also said from a legal standpoint, public opposition is not enough to keep turbines away since they are considered a public utility. The board has not set a date for a public hearing on a potential new law. Right now, there is a moratorium on building wind turbines until March, however a new law could change all that.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding