SHELBURNE – To give other town boards more time to study a proposal for a commercial wind farm, the Zoning Board of Appeals will delay Thursday’s scheduled public hearing on the Mount Massaemet Wind Farm proposal until Nov. 17, 7:30 p.m. in Memorial Hall.
Because the hearing date was previously advertised, the ZBA will open the public hearing Thursday at 7:30 p.m., but will immediately adjourn it until Nov. 17, upon the request by other town boards, and based on an agreement made between the ZBA and Mount Massaemet Wind Farm Inc.
“While we expect the public hearing process will take some time and allow numerous chances for all the town boards and the public to review, ask questions, and make comments about this project, both the applicant and I felt it was the right thing to delay their first presentation,” said ZBA Chairman Joseph Palmeri.
The special permit application was filed on Sept. 6, and the town’s zoning bylaw specifies that the Conservation Commission, Planning Board and Board of Health are entitle to have 30 days to review special permit applications before a public hearing takes place. But the bylaw doesn’t stipulate how the board are to be notified, and the other boards weren’t aware of the application until mid-September.
The special permit application before the ZBA is for the construction of a 20-megawatt wind energy project, consisting of eight 2.5-megawatt windmills located along the eastern slope of Mount Massaemet, in Shelburne Center. The application requires special permitting by the ZBA to proceed. Mount Massaemet Wind Farm Inc. based in Littleton, is represented by former Shelburne resident Frederick “Don” Field.
Palmeri says the ZBA makes every effort to act on applications promptly, but adds: “In this case is worked out; the original hearing was going to overlap with a special town meeting on the same night, so we’ve resolved two issues at once. Hopefully it will work out fine and enable all citizens to attend both meetings.”
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