If all goes smoothly, Chili will be the next Monroe County town to regulate wind turbines.
Town staff and officials have written a set of proposed wind turbine regulations, and the Town Board will hold a public hearing on them at 7 p.m. on May 18 at Chili Town Hall, 3333 Chili Avenue. The codes are available on the town’s website, www.townofchili.org.
Several Monroe County towns have already developed turbine regulations. Hamlin started developing them after Iberdrola expressed interest in erecting utility-scale wind-power generators in the town. Irondequoit developed them to allow small turbines for on-site use.
There haven’t been any wind turbine proposals in Chili, says Supervisor David Dunning. But town officials wanted to be prepared in case the town gets one, he says.
The proposed regulations limit wind-power generators to five zoning districts: general industrial, limited industrial, general business, planned institutional development, and rural agriculture. A special-use permit is required to build a wind turbine in any of those districts.
The proposed regulations also establish three different wind turbine classifications based on height and generating capacity. Small turbines are those under 65 feet tall from the base of the tower to the tip of the turbine blades and have a generating capacity of less than 10 kilowatts. Medium-sized systems generate more than 10 kilowatts and are less than 200 feet tall. Both the small and medium-sized turbines would likely be intended for private use. The regulations don’t specify the generating capacity for the large turbine category, but they define them as turbines systems that generate power for off-site consumption. No tower and turbine combination could be taller than 400 feet.
The regulations also deal with minimum lot sizes; setbacks from roads, houses, and wetlands; noise thresholds, and appearance and require studies of flicker and wildlife impacts.
“The process is very similar to building anything else in the town of Chili,” Dunning says.
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