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Litchfield passes local law banning industrial wind turbines

LITCHFIELD – The Town Board Thursday night passed in a 4-1 vote a local law that will ban construction of industrial wind turbines.

Councilman Mark O’Sullivan, who headed the committee that drafted the Wind Energy Facilities Law, said the council wants to keep the residential community the way it is, while keeping industrial turbines for industrial areas.

“The main driving force (for the law) was the well-being of the community,” he said.

Councilman Jeff Smith, the only member to vote against the law, said he did so because he feels the law takes away the rights of landowners.

“It’s their land, they should be able to do what they want to their own land,” he said.

About 36 pages in length, the law document details the concerns the town has with the construction of industrial turbines, including the noise and shadow flicker from the blades as well as potential risk of lowering property values.

While the law bans industrial turbines, O’Sullivan made note that smaller, domestic powered turbines 120 feet in height or less at 50 kilowatts is permitted.