BOURNE – Residents who last week expressed distaste for wind turbines in town didn’t make as strong a showing at a Cape Cod Commission hearing Tuesday afternoon.
Just under 40 people attended the county regulatory agency’s first public hearing for the New Generation Wind project since its refiling in March.
Last Monday, more than 500 voters crowded the Bourne High School auditorium to vote at special town meeting to strengthen the town’s bylaw governing wind turbines. The revised bylaw essentially bans commercial-grade turbines in town but does not apply to New Generation because its plans were officially filed just days before the special town meeting vote.
On Tuesday, many of the same concerns about New Generation were expressed as during its first go-round before the Cape Cod Commission and public meetings in Bourne.
Since New Generation Wind refiled its plans, county staffers have found it meets several of its major requirements, but they still have concerns about the project’s impact on the visual beauty of the area and natural resources, regulatory officer Page Czepiga said.
But New Generation attorney Diane Tillotson countered that the project could eventually become another of the area’s talking points, like the Cape Cod Canal nearly 100 years ago.
“What we view today as an incredible scenic resource was at one point one of the most disruptive public works projects,” she said of the canal.
At the Times’ press deadline, public comment on the wind power project was still being heard, but neighbors had raised several concerns about the proposed turbines.
Having turbines near her home “is not a sacrifice I should be required to make,” said Susan Daniels, who owns a home on Glacier Way. “Please take a humane view of the affect these turbines will have on our neighborhoods.”
Project proponents stressed many of the same arguments they have in the past, urging attendees of Tuesday’s hearing to remember wind energy’s economic benefits and the project’s distinction from the town-owned wind turbines in Falmouth, which many neighbors have linked to alleged negative health effects.
“This project is not Falmouth,” Tillotson said. “And (these turbines) will not generate the same issues.”
The next public hearing in the commission’s review process of New Generation Wind is scheduled for June 16.
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