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Quincy council opposes Milton turbine  

Credit:  By Jack Encarnacao, The Patriot Ledger, www.patriotledger.com 23 February 2011 ~~

QUINCY – The city council has come out against a proposal by the town of Milton to erect a 480-foot wind turbine at the Quincy border, overlooking the Granite Links golf course.

A resolution of opposition passed 7-0 at the council’s meeting Tuesday night. It will be sent to the Milton selectmen.

“I can not sit idly by while the town of Milton, without any consultation with the city of Quincy, essentially drops a 500-foot turbine on our border,” said city council member Brian Palmucci, who represents West Quincy. “At the very least, the residents I represent deserve an opportunity to be heard on this matter.”

The turbine is proposed on land that is within Milton and just outside the golf course property.

The city council’s vote jibes with pending state legislation, filed by Rep. Ronald Mariano of Quincy, that would outlaw a wind turbine on the site Milton is eyeing.

The legislation would ban anyone from building a wind turbine within 2,640 feet of the Granite Links golf course as long as there is a revenue-sharing agreement in place between Quincy and Milton. Under a lease agreement with Quarry Hills, Quincy and Milton receive a percentage of the annual revenue the golf course generates.

Milton’s proposal calls for putting the turbine less than 100 feet from the property line.

Quarry Hills Associates Inc., which owns Granite Links, sued Milton in Norfolk County Superior Court to stop it from building the turbine. The suit asserts that a 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 lease agreement was made in exchange for the communities allowing the course to be developed on a former landfill and quarry site. Quarry Hills paid $13 million to cap and clean the landfill, and used clay from the Central Artery project to convert the site into a golf course. Quarry Hills also built a public athletic complex on the property and paid Milton $300,000 toward the construction of new high school athletic fields.

Milton officials have argued that the lease arrangement does not preclude the town from building a turbine on town property to generate revenue.

The Quincy council’s resolution says the proposed turbine “may have a negative impact” on West Quincy residents’ use and enjoyment of their property as well as on people who use the Blue Hills for recreation. The resolution also echoes concerns voiced by Quarry Hills in its lawsuit: that a visible wind turbine would make the course less attractive and affect the revenue in which the city shares.

Councilor Daniel Raymondi worried that a vote for the resolution could be interpreted as the city agreeing that any wind turbine proposal in the city negatively affects neighbors.

“I just think we need to be mindful of that” he said.

The city has passed a wind-facility ordinance that regulates blade-tip height and spells out the required distance from dwellings.

Councilor Douglas Gutro said Quincy residents and officials should have a say in finding common ground on the prospects of turbines on the Quincy-Milton border.

“You don’t want to drop a turbine right up on the border of a community at the 11th hour without some consultation,” he said. “It’s just one of those good-neighbor things that you do.”

Source:  By Jack Encarnacao, The Patriot Ledger, www.patriotledger.com 23 February 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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