As the town of Litchfield works toward voting on its laws to govern wind-power projects and the town of New Hartford begins looking into the issue, some potential help could be blowing their way.
The Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School announced Tuesday that it drafted a model ordinance that municipalities in the state can use to regulate wind projects.
“The model ordinance offers a framework that can enable municipalities to implement and enforce the effective and efficient use of energy resources,” center Director Michael Gerrard said, in a released statement. “Having these rules in place will help cities and towns respond to demand for alternative energy sources in a responsible way.”
According to the news release, every piece of the model ordinance was derived from existing wind ordinances – primarily ones enacted in rural Upstate New York communities.
The draft ordinance “includes provisions regarding permits, approvals, oversight and operations” and “addresses noise levels, interference with communications systems and aesthetic concerns,” according to the release. It also “deals with such issues as where to place wind turbines, with an emphasis on ensuring they are set back far enough from the borders of residences, as well as such properties as schools, hospitals and utility substations,” according to the release.
Even if local town officials end up disagreeing with the draft ordinance, it might at least be a good starting point for them or something to compare their ideas to.