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Selectmen back Bourne planner on wind turbine comments

An opponent of industrial grade turbines has asked Bourne selectmen to admonish the town planner quoted in a Bourne Courier story published on wickedlocalbourne.com in which she said the New Generation Wind proposal could not be situated in Bourne if the governing zoning bylaw is amended in May.

Don MacPhee of Pocasset, in an April 2 e-mail message to selectmen, said Town Planner Coreen Moore “should not be taking sides” on the New Generation Wind proposal or efforts to amend the wind energy systems bylaw by the Citizens for Responsible Wind Energy group.

“Either the planner is putting out more bad information, or this paper has made incorrect statements,” MacPhee noted. “I do not know who the planner works for, but she should not be taking sides on this because she is a paid employee. If she works for the planning board, please let me know, and I will address this issue with them. Who is her supervisor?”

Selectman Donald Pickard in reply said Moore “is not taking sides in the article, just stating the facts after her evaluation. That is what I would hope all department heads would do. Ms. Moore stated the facts as a professional planner of what the outcome would be if the [zoning bylaw governing turbine review] amendment passed.”

Pickard said Moore has an “an excellent reputation among her peers and in the town.” He said he values her analysis of planning issues.

“I agree with the point she made in the article that ‘any zoning bylaw or regulation should be at the very least adaptable in the town.’ I believe that she also makes a good point that why not just have the bylaw say ‘no wind turbines’ in town if that is the goal of the opponents to New Generation Wind or any other wind turbine project.”

Moore stands behind her analysis of the zoning amendment request headed to the May 2 Annual Town Meeting. “Now I’m doing an analysis of their analysis,” she said. “To see what would fit in town if the amendment passes. I think their analysis is wrong, but I’m still checking all aspects of it. In the end, who reviews turbine plans? Me. So I want to understand their amendment.”

Moore is also gauging whether community-sized turbines, such as those in Barnstable and Woods Hole, could be situated in Bourne should the citizen-petition amendment prevail. “At first glance, that’s very limited,” she said.

She said if the overall goal of Bournedale and Buzzards Bay residents is to block all industrial-sized turbines in town, “Just say so. Just wipe out the provision; go with community-sized turbines. Then if people come into Town Hall and say, ‘Where can I put an industrial turbine?’ I can say, ‘Sorry. They’re not allowed.’’’

Planning consultant Phil Herr said zoning bylaws governing turbines and wind farms are complicated matters in terms of science and technology; let alone community sensibilities. Moore agrees.

She said Herr’s idea of a moratorium on all turbines is not a bad idea. “Say perhaps a year. Give us all time to get all the facts on it sorted out. But you have to remember, a moratorium might not stop New Generation Wind; so a moratorium might not be considered a good idea by everyone.”

Falmouth Town Meeting voters approved a moratorium on turbines in that town until May 2012.

Moore is filing her analysis of the wind energy systems bylaw amendment with the planning board and the finance committee.

MacPhee did not return a phone call seeking comment for this story.