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North Kingstown moves to prohibit wind turbines

NORTH KINGSTOWN –– The Town Council Monday night took steps that would prohibit wind turbines in all parts of town except Quonset, which does not fall under its zoning authority.

Proposals for two large wind turbines by Wind Energy Development LLC have sparked considerable resistance among some residents.

Last January, the town put a moratorium on new wind-energy applications and asked town planners to develop a new ordinance.

Reviewing the proposed ordinance Monday night, council members decided the measure was so restrictive that any new wind turbines would be impractical. So council members directed the town’s planning staff to draft an ordinance to revoke the existing ordinance and amend zoning regulations to prohibit wind turbines.

Before that can happen, there will be a public hearing in August.

Town Planner Jon Reiner said the town could revisit the issue if state planners come up with statewide guidelines for wind turbines.

Meanwhile, Wind Energy Development is appealing separate town decisions halting its proposed turbines at North Kingstown Green, off Ten Rod Road, and Stamp Farm, off Route 2.

The North Kingstown Green turbine case is before the town’s Building Code Board of Appeals. The town has been notified that Wind Energy Development plans to appeal the Stamp Farm turbine case to the Zoning Board of Review.

“We don’t think last night’s action is very positive for renewable energy in our community, but it won’t affect any of the turbines we have proposed,” said David Darlington, a spokesman for Wind Energy Development.

“We will continue to seek remedies under the ordinances that were in place when the applications were filed.”

In other action Monday, the Town Council voted not to reappoint longtime Planning Commission Chairman Dick Pastore, whose term expired July 1. By a 3-to-2 vote, the council appointed Michael Annarummo to the commission, which must now elect a new chairperson.

Pastore, an engineer who has been on the council for 18 years, expressed his desire to serve one more six-year term.

Annarummo is a former director of administration and public works for the City of Woonsocket, as well as director of the state Department of Environmental Management in 1989-1990 and 1994-1995.