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Wareham Zoning Board looks to deny Bog Wind project

After more than a year of discussion and debate, it appears as though the Zoning Board of Appeals will soon halt the Bog Wind project from going forward.

The Zoning Board of Appeals on January 11 voted 5-0 to authorize attorney Jon Witten to draft a denial of the project, which the Board will then review before taking a vote.

The Board closed the public hearing on the project in mid-December. The proposal, which calls for the contruction of two wind turbines on Charge Pond Road cranberry bogs, has been controversial since it was first introduced in 2010.

The original plan called for the construction of eight wind turbines on various bogs in Wareham, but the project was scaled back twice after residents voiced concerns about quality of life.

During deliberations on January 11, Zoning Board of Appeals member Michael Martin asked that the Board review all 11 conditions in Section 580 of Wareham’s zoning bylaws, as well as the bylaw preamble. After the review was completed, Martin moved to deny the permit on a finding that the two wind turbine project plans as submitted on May 10, 2011 did not comply with regulations for noise and shadow flicker – a result of the sun casting intermittent shadows from the rotating blades of a wind turbine onto a building, creating a strobe effect.

Martin included in the motion that the project as presented was not in harmony with the general intent and provisions of the bylaw as it relates to the character of the neighborhood and protection of public health and safety.

On advice of Town Counsel, Martin’s motion will be put into a draft for review on January 25.

Representatives from Bog Wind developer Beaufort Windpower did not speak at the meeting.