FOXBORO – The town won’t just breeze into zoning changes allowing construction of a wind turbine.
While generally supportive of green energy, planning board members say the concept of allowing an almost 500-foot wind turbine on Kraft property on Route 1 needs more study.
Trying out smaller windmills, which others in town have proposed for their property, might come first.
The board voted 5-0 last week not to include a wind turbine zoning article on the May 14 annual town meeting warrant.
Town Planner Sharon Wason said the board initially considered a wind turbine article largely drafted by Kraft Group attorney John Twohig, and also reviewed an article she drafted based on the state model.
“They voted no action because the installation, siting and adjustment of wind turbines is a quickly evolving science and one that they still had significant concerns about, particularly as to the impacts on abutters and nearby residents,” Wason said.
Walpole and Norfolk residents whose homes abut Kraft property have attended public hearings and brought a number of issues to the board’s attention, including shadow flicker, sound from turbine blades and the impact on views.
The board will continue to investigate and research the topic, and will work toward developing language for a subsequent town meeting.
John Rhoads, a professional engineer who is the board’s alternate member, has stressed that the world needs a menu of alternatives to oil energy – wind, solar and hydro – coupled with education and conservation.
Board member Gordon Greene said his brother, who lives in New Hampshire, has a turbine that generates much of the power for the brother’s home.
“I don’t believe any of the members are against wind turbines, just being cautious and thoughtful about such a complicated issue,” Wason said.
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