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Citizen’s petition would ban medium-big turbines in Brewster

BREWSTER – All future wind turbine debates will be moot if a citizens petition article passes at town meeting in May.

One of three citizen-inspired articles on the draft warrant dealing with turbines, Article 40 would amend the board of selectmen’s authorization to negotiate with the Cape and Vineyard Electric Cooperative to “not site any Medium-Scale Wind Energy Turbine or Large-Scale Wind Energy Turbine within 1.2 miles of the nearest residence.”

There is no location in Brewster that could meet that requirement – unless houses are torn down.

“I think essentially they are saying there will be no turbines in Brewster,” said town administrator Charles Sumner.

The article also requires any project to pose no threat to zone 1 or 2 watershed areas.

Another citizens petition (draft Article 41) would amend the town code for noise. The article is similar to draft Article 29 proposed by the board of selectmen. Both amend Chapter 125 of the town code, but the citizens’ article says “any person or entity shall be deemed in violation of this chapter,” as opposed to just “any person” in the selectmen’s version.

The selectmen’s version sets a fine of not more than $50 for each offense. The citizens’ article retains that but adds language for “permanently installed noise sources including wind energy turbines of any size” in which case the fine will “no less than the maximum allowed by law,” which is $50 for each violation.

The third citizens article dealing with turbines is essentially the same as one proposed by the selectmen, draft number 25, that revokes the authorization to develop the Barrows property, which consists of three lots off Freeman’s Way, for renewable energy.

An article submitted via citizens petition requires a minimum of 10 signatures.