Another spin for Bourne wind project
Credit: By HEATHER WYSOCKI, Cape Cod Times, www.capecodonline.com 16 March 2011 ~~
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BOURNE – Second time’s the charm?
That’s what supporters of a proposed seven-turbine wind project in Bournedale are hoping.
New Generation backers Tudor “Jerry” Ingersoll, who controls the Panhandle Trust, and the Lorusso family, which owns Cape Cod Aggregates, refiled an application for a special permit Friday with the town’s planning department. The group refiled with the Cape Cod Commission on Monday.
The submissions effectively kick off another monthslong permitting process for the project that has divided land-based turbine supporters from many of the project’s neighboring property owners.
Citing the dwindling size of the Cape Cod Commission subcommittee tasked with reviewing the project, New Generation announced earlier this month it was pulling its plans and would revise them.
During the initial county review process, the subcommittee dwindled from five members and two alternates to three members.
The application submitted Friday requests a special permit to build “six commercial wind energy system turbines and one neighborhood wind energy turbine” on 373 acres owned by Panhandle Trust and Cape Cod Aggregates. The application doesn’t specify how tall the turbines would be because they haven’t been purchased.
The project’s spokesman, Greg O’Brien of the Stony Brook Group, said the number of proposed turbines remains at seven, but the amount of permanent open space has been more than doubled, from nine acres to 20. Under commission guidelines, a developer must preserve open space to offset a project.
The New Generation Wind project would build three turbines at a Cape Cod Aggregates gravel pit, another windmill on Cape Cod Aggregates-owned land off Route 6, and three on land owned by the Panhandle Trust near Route 25, O’Brien said.
The Cape Cod Commission received notification Monday afternoon that New Generation wanted to restart the county permitting process, regulatory officer Page Czepiga said. Commission staffers are reviewing the application to make sure it is complete, she said, and have 60 days before they must schedule a public hearing.
It is too early in the application review process to announce hearing dates, Czepiga added.
O’Brien said the development group is confident the application meets the regulatory board’s standards and “responds in great detail to Cape Cod Commission staff questions and public input to date.”
The refiling of New Generation’s plan means it will be reviewed as a new project by the Cape Cod Commission, so the public must resubmit any comments they made during the project’s first review, Czepiga said.
On its last go-round, opinions about New Generation were split, with some critics worried about the turbines’ potential negative effects on neighbors’ health and property values. Under the revised plan, the closest home to a proposed turbine is about 1,000 feet away.
The town’s zoning bylaw allows commercial wind turbines. A town meeting warrant article, submitted by petition, will ask voters to revise the bylaw to place new restrictions on land-based turbines, including limits on noise and shadow flicker from turbine blades.
The annual town meeting is scheduled to be held May 2.
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