Wind turbines in Shelburne? Who gets to decide? The governor and Beacon Hill bureaucrats are pushing wind energy hard. Electric companies are being forced to purchase wind power, even at higher rates, which they pass on to customers. Massive subsidies are motivating developers to invade towns with high ridges.
Under “Industrial Uses” in the Shelburne bylaws, “Commercial Electric Generating Facilities” are allowed in all districts by special permit. There are five pages of rules about communication towers in the bylaws, three pages defining signs, but not one word about wind turbines.
The Planning Board needs to write a bylaw to present to the voters to specify exact specifications if industrial-sized wind turbines are to be allowed. Otherwise, the Zoning Board of Appeals will have to make a subjective judgment of what is in the best interest of the town.
No matter what they decide, somebody is going to be unhappy. If it results in a lawsuit, the town will have to appropriate money to defend it. This can be avoided by stopping the application and taking time to study the issues and let the voters decide.
On April 2, Mount Massaemet Windfarm Inc. submitted another application to the Zoning Board of Appeals. The moratorium article voted by the Planning Board on April 3, Article No. 20, is too late and will not stop this application from going forward without the town having a chance to vote on appropriate standards and guidelines.
There is only one way to protect the town and give the Planning Board time to write an appropriate bylaw before the ZBA has to make a decision. Vote “YES” on the citizen’s petition Articles 17, 18 and 19. Don’t let Beacon Hill bureaucrats and big money push Shelburne into a wind project before there has been a vote on a bylaw that is in the best interest of the town.
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