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Two turbines near Buzzards Bay neighborhoods withdrawn from plan

New Generation Wind has withdrawn from its wind-farm proposal two turbines that would have been situated near homes at Nightingale Pond Estates in Buzzards Bay and Glacier Way, Bournedale.

The Cape Cod Commission will conduct its second public hearing into the controversial wind-farm proposal Thursday afternoon at 4:30 in Bourne High School.

New Generation plans include turbines off Scenic Highway on land owned by Tudor Ingersoll of Buzzards Bay and Samuel Lorusso of Hyannis, owner of the Cape Cod Aggregates gravel pit off Scenic Highway.

The project has faced systematic opposition from abutting property owners, who flooded into the May 9 Special Town Meeting to revise the town’s bylaw governing review and siting of turbines; which if approved by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office would preclude industrial-grade structures anywhere in Bourne.

The Cape commission has closely followed turbine developments in town, given that the county has been trying to revise its review of turbines and because the Ingersoll/Lorusso project represents the first land-based wind-farm proposal in Massachusetts.

Bourne selectmen oppose the project, principally because they don’t favor turbines going up that will affect neighboring property values.

New Generation spokesman Greg O’Brien said that “in the spirit of compromise and cooperation,” the decision was made to withdraw turbines 3 and 6. “We believe these turbines have generated the greatest level of concern from (commission) staff and abutting property owners, and that removing them from the project will greatly diminish the impacts of concern.”

New Generation says the reduction in project scope “is not without significant cost to project developers and is done in the spirit of compromise and willingness to work together on a project that will benefit all. While we believe our plans as initially filed met all the standards of a good project with notable community benefits. We are now proposing a smaller turbine project that minimizes impacts and represents a fair compromise for private landowners.”

Project opponents likely will not be mollified. Mitchell D. McClain of Nightingale Pond Estates filed complaints with the Massachusetts Ethics Commission, saying planning board officers Chris Farrell and Dan Doucette should have announced their affiliation with the Bourne Financial Development Corp., a turbine-project booster before commenting on New Generation plans..

Farrell said the proposal has not come before his board yet. He said suitable announcements would be publicly made when wind-farm plan arrives; should it arrive from the Cape commission.

The BFDC supports an Ingersoll green-technology and scientific research campus on his land with the wind farm being its first potential tenant. The independent non-profit BFDC is in collaboration with green-technology campus property owners.

Farrell said Ingersoll/Lorusso turbine opponents have “introduced Wareham style politics” to the issue, targeting those with whom they disagree and otherwise think can be of influence in the turbine-review outcome.

Some wind-farm opponents have challenged the veracity of Courier reporting on the bylaw amendment review process and complained to Town Administrator Thomas Guerino about Town Planner Coreen Moore’s professional interpretation of the turbine bylaw, the amendment and whether or not the amended bylaw could be applied to New Generation Wind’s seven turbine proposal.

“What happened to freedom of the press in town?” Doucette said.

Guerino, meanwhile, said he sent the citizen concerns to Town Counsel Robert Troy. “I’ve heard of no further repercussions,” Guerino said Friday morning.