BOURNE – A 15-page bylaw amendment that would tighten town regulations on wind turbine construction could spell defeat for a seven-turbine project proposed in Bournedale.
The amendment, originally scheduled for discussion at Monday’s town meeting, will now be discussed at a planning board public hearing May 6 and then voted on at a May 9 special town meeting.
After two hearing dates, the planning board tabled its discussion of the citizen-sponsored amendment at its meeting two weeks ago.
“It kind of left it hanging,” Town Planner Coreen Moore said.
“They wanted more time to study and understand what was presented to them,” said planning board member Peter Meier, who is running for selectman.
At last May’s town meeting, voters approved bylaw changes allowing commercial-grade turbines to be built in town after a permitting process. That vote allowed New Generation Wind to create plans for six 2.5-megawatt turbines and one 2-megawatt turbine on land in Bournedale proposed for a technology park.
Panhandle Trust owner Tudor “Jerry” Ingersoll and the Lorusso family, owners of Cape Cod Aggregates, would build three turbines at a Cape Cod Aggregates gravel pit, one on Cape Cod Aggregates-owned land off Route 6, and three others on land owned by the Panhandle Trust near Route 25.
The bylaw amendment would increase the required distance between homes and turbines – a requirement New Generation plans would not meet – establish a fall zone for debris, and limit shadow flicker to five hours per year.
If the amendment passes, it could sound the death knell for the New Generation Wind project, Moore said. She called it “a de facto moratorium” on land-based turbines in Bourne.
The changes are “unnecessarily restrictive and inequitable,” said Greg O’Brien of the Stony Brook Group, a spokesman for New Generation Wind. “It is unfortunate that some turbine opponents are circulating misinformation about our project. … There is no rational basis for the proposed amendment’s (changes).”
But the president of Citizens for Responsible Wind Energy, the group that sponsored the bylaw amendments, said a moratorium isn’t the intent.
“We’re not saying ‘no turbines,'” Jim Potter said. “We’re just trying to express that industrial turbines don’t belong adjacent to neighborhoods.”
The planning board must vote for or against recommending the amendment before the special town meeting can be held, Moore said.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding