February 22, 2012
Rhode Island

Town: sufficient info available to amend wind turbine ordinance

By Olga Enger, Middletown Patch, middletown.patch.com 22 February 2012

Town administration has already begun drafting modifications to an ordinance that will restrict wind turbines to agricultural uses only.

During the previous town council meeting, held on Feb. 6, Councilors Bruce J. Long and Town Council President Arthur Weber proposed the town hire a firm to analyze information regarding wind technology. Data on wind turbines is required in order to amend an ordinance that would restrict wind turbine usage, a motion council approved during that same session.

At that time, council requested that Town Administrator Shawn Brown look into the existing information available on wind technology and provide a recommendation if the outside firm would be necessary.

During the following town council meeting held on Tuesday evening, Brown stated that hiring an outside firm is unnecessary.

“I believe there are sufficient resources available to amend the Town’s wind ordinance as approved by the Town Council without engaging someone to prepare a report that summarizes available information,” said Brown.

The motion, proposed by Councilor Semonelli, was to amend the zoning ordinance to only permit small and medium tower-mounted turbines for agricultural uses, provided the power generated is used primarily for the farm. The permitted farms would be field crop farms, horticulture nurseries and livestock farms.

After the meeting Semonelli said that he agreed with Brown’s recommendation that there was sufficient information available to prepare the ordinance.

“This approach would also allow the town to focus its resources on matters that are of importance to the town and not necessarily addressed by the state,” said Brown.

The two reports highlighted by Brown that will be used to prepare the ordinance are:

Wind Turbine Health Impact Study: Report of Independent Expert Panel, January 2012, prepared by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Permitting Setback Requirements for Wind Turbines in California, November 2008, prepared by the California Energy Commission

Brown said that administration has already began modifications to the ordinance based on information from these reports and discussions to-date.

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2012/02/22/town-sufficient-info-available-to-amend-wind-turbine-ordinance/