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Milton’s plan for wind turbine near golf course opposed  

Credit:  By Dennis Tatz, The Patriot Ledger, www.wickedlocal.com 26 January 2011 ~~

MILTON – The owners of Granite Links Golf Club want to stop the town from building a wind turbine near the 27-hole course.

In a civil suit filed in Norfolk Superior Court, Quarry Hills Associates Inc. asserts that construction of a 480-foot turbine would violate a 1998 agreement with the town and “dramatically impair” Granite Links’ unobstructed views of the Boston skyline and the Blue Hills Reservation.

The suit also names D & C Construction Co. of Rockland, which would build the proposed turbine 80 feet from the golf course.

Town Administrator Kevin Mearn said Tuesday he was disappointed the golf club was trying to block the town’s efforts to be energy-efficient.

“They entered in a lease with the town for town property,” Mearn said. “That doesn’t preclude the town from having additional revenue from the turbine that is outside the lease and on town property. Quarry Hills wants to extend their boundaries.”

Mearn said the turbine would actually add to the uniqueness of the golf course and not hurt revenues the club generates.

Hingham attorney Jeffery Tocchio, who represents Quarry Hills, called into question Mearn’s reasoning.

“It’s the size of a 50-story building,” Tocchio said about the proposed turbine. “If this wasn’t the town being the applicant, this would go nowhere.”

Hikers and horseback riders in the Blue Hills Reservation would find themselves passing under the turbines’s massive blades, Tocchio said.

The suit alleges that the town’s plan to use eminent-domain proceedings to obtain easements for access to the turbine site from land leased to the golf course would violate a covenant.

The golf club said it saved the town millions of dollars and invested millions more to create a top-flight course.

Prior to construction of the golf course, the town operated the site as a landfill for 30 years.

Quarry Hills paid $13 million for capping and cleanup of the 104-acre landfill. Clay from the Central Artery Project was used to convert the site into a golf course, which is also in Quincy.

“Quarry Hills was willing to assume Milton’s immense landfill-capping and closure obligations because of the unique characteristics of the Milton landfill property,” the suit states.

In exchange for a 50-year lease of the site, the golf club also agreed to spend $300,000 to build two athletic fields for Milton residents and pay the town an annual rent equal to a percentage of gross receipts from greens fees.

The suit alleges that the turbine’s 123-foot-long blades would physically trespass in the golf course’s air space. In addition, the turbine would be visible from nearly every tee and fairway, it says.

In an affidavit, Granite Links’ award-winning golf course design architect, John Sanford Jr. of Juniper, Fla., stated that the turbine would “present acute and unacceptable visual, vibration and sound distractions, which will destroy the exquisite playability and unique ambiance” of the course and its facilities.

Source:  By Dennis Tatz, The Patriot Ledger, www.wickedlocal.com 26 January 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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